Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done. He expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols his ancestors had made. He even deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah. Asa cut it down and burned it in the Kidron Valley. Although he did not remove the high places, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life. He brought into the temple of the Lord the silver and gold and the articles that he and his father had dedicated.
- 1 Kings 15:11-15
On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”
- John 6:60-65
Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
- John 10:7-10
“All of the world may be able to get through this moment and the next without Christ, but I, imperfect and often misfunctioning, cannot. I need him from this breath to the next, Out of my incompleteness I witness to completeness. Out of our common humanity, I speak of the uncommon humanity of Another.
“I am glad my daughter is not afraid to be her whacky, irrepressible self. I was so inhibited as a high schooler that I had a ghetto mentality. Everyone was my enemy, my potential oppressor. I had to prove myself to them.
“’Why are you always so much fun?’ my daughter’s friends ask her. ‘What are you high on today?’
“One of Melissa’s breezy replies is, ‘Oh, today I’m high on jelly beans!’ Another is ‘I’m high on Jesus and I’m gonna live forever!’
“What do your friends say to that?’ I want to know – really want to know.
“’Oh, first they laugh because they think I’m joking, then they sort of go “Whaa-a-a-a-a-a – did that girl say what I think she said, and do I think she really means it?”’
“It’s a marvelous answer from this tongue freed from ecclesiastical prohibitions, an answer out of Melissa’s irrepressible humanity. But I know exactly what she means. Some days I’m a little whacky with the jelly bean side of life, but most of the time, I’m high on Jesus. Eternal life began for me when the warm flame within began to flicker higher.
“And I know that more and more this tongue is going to be able to speak the words of life; I care, I love, I hear.
“I’m sure the woman down the block knows all there is to know about life’s jelly bean side as well. One day, perhaps, as I listen, respond, and befriend her, she’ll want to know about the warm flame within, and maybe, popping jelly beans together, I’ll tell her.”
- Karen Burton Mains, You Are What You Say
Sorry for the long quote, but I really liked it. I pray that the author finally did talk about Jesus with the woman down the block. With a book mostly dedicated to what not to say, ending the book with a couple of chapters on what you should say was a refreshing way to end the topic of our tongue that seems to have a mind of its own.
But the “High on Jesus” line got me. I have written a few times about how my graduating class may have done more to lead me to Jesus than anyone else. The Holy Spirit was strong for my junior and senior years of high school. Like the author, I had a ghetto mentality. I did not want them to know that I was NOT “high on Jesus” until mid-October of my senior year. And I heard the line often.
I experienced my teen-aged years starting in the mid-60s, finishing in the early 70s. It was the time of tie-dyed T-shirts, psychedelic flower-power paint jobs on VW buses, and, sadly, getting high. But there was not a drug culture at our school until after my senior year. A year later, I dropped by the school one day to say “Hi” to my high school chemistry teacher, thanking him for the excellent college prep (hardly learning anything new in freshman chemistry), and I was stopped at the door. I had to sign in. I had to be escorted. No visitors were allowed to roam free. They had to stop the drug epidemic that only a year before did not exist. But my senior year, if they said they were high on anything, they said, “I am high on Jesus!”
“Wow! Like, right on, Man!”
And for most of my senior year, I was right there with them, once my defenses were lowered and I asked Jesus into my heart – for real, instead of all the hundreds of times that I held back from a total commitment.
Have you ever been high on Jesus? It is a wonderful experience. You feel great and there are no unwanted side effects.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.