Today’s Scripture: But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. Philippians 3:7-8

‘I’d Rather Have Jesus’, ‘Blessed Assurance’, ‘It is Well’, “Just as I Am”…Sunday after Sunday we sing these powerful hymns. Unmoved by their poignant words and history, their truths leave our lips as though we were repeating a grocery list. Perhaps remembering a little hymn history can help us make them a personal source of praise once again.

Born into a family with a saved mother and a drunken father, Rhea F. Miller saw first hand what alcohol and the world’s influence did to her family. Rhea’s mother prayed faithfully for her husband’s salvation. Years later, he finally placed his trust in Christ and stated he would rather have Jesus than any silver, gold, houses, or lands that money could buy. So impacted by her father’s changed life, Rhea penned the poem, “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” She had no idea whose life would be touched by her words.

Some time later, twenty-three-year-old George was faced with a hard decision. He could accept a secular singing position in New York City with a spectacular salary and world acclaim, or he could continue singing for Christian radio programs. With this burden, he sat at the family piano to prepare a hymn for his father’s Sunday service.  On the piano, his mother had left a poem by Rhea F. Miller. After reading it, he began to compose the music. Not only did he decide to sing his new song that morning in church, but he also chose to use its truth to direct his life. Since that day, George Beverly Shea has shared the song, “I’d Rather Have Jesus,” with audiences around the world.

Rhea’s father’s testimony had a profound effect on George’s decision and consequently impacted many lives to follow-just as your decision to serve the Lord today will impact the lives of those around you. It may not be visible to you now, but the choices you make each day can change someone’s life for all eternity. Pray for God to use you and for Him to direct your life. Show this world that despite the riches and fame it has to offer, you would rather have Jesus.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.