I’d Rather Have Jesus
The Apostle Paul wrote, “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”1
On a TV program some time ago Joy and I saw the late George Beverly Shea being interviewed by Bill Gaither. Close to the beginning of the Billy Graham Crusades back in 1947 Mr. Shea had been the BGC team soloist.
Over the years I’ve attended several Graham Crusades in both Australia and the U.S. When in Chicago, I and a few other college students “cheated” a little. We joined the choir so we could get a great seat and observe the evangelist close up. We were reasonably good singers back then anyhow. In every one of these crusades it was always inspiring to hear Bev Shea with his rich baritone voice sing his signature song which was, “I’d Rather Have Jesus.”
I didn’t realize it until I heard Shea on the TV interview that he wrote the music of this well-known gospel song—the words of which are a devotion in and of themselves.
I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands,
I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hand.
Than to be a king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway,
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.
I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than world-wide fame,
I’d rather be true to His holy name.
He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He’s sweeter than honey from out of the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs,
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, grant that I, too, will always be able to sing from my heart, and truly mean it, the words of the song, ‘I’d Rather Have Jesus.’ So help me God. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’s name, amen.”
1. Philippians 3:8 (NIV).