Sunday Morning Lessons

This morning we sang the song, “I’d Rather have Jesus.” Here’s the first verse and chorus of the song and then I’ll keep going with my own thoughts!

I’d Rather Have Jesus
by Rhea F. Miller
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.
So, my question to you is this, would you rather have Jesus, really? I mean more than silver, gold, rices, a house, a nice car, land? Really? Would you? I think the good, Christian thing to say would be, “YES! Of course! How could you even ask me?” But, really, would you? I mean, what’s so wrong with money, a house, food on the table, a nice car, not having to “worry” about how to pay bills? I feel this song should make us ask this question of ourselves–would I really rather have Jesus then the comforts of this world? I think in some ways this is a hard question to answer, if we’re really honest with ourselves. If you’re a Christian you know being one does not make your life easier. In a lot of ways it makes life harder, more challenging. You realize as a Christian you’re supposed to be content with only the necessities (food, shelter and clothing) and anything extra is a bonus. It’s hard because the world tells us we need more than just basic clothes. We need to have the latest fashions and styles, the hottest names. We need to have not just a house to fit our family, but a house that is ginormous with all the latest gadgets and doodads. Who cares if you can’t afford it? You need it! The world tells us our car must be NEW and shiny and not just for transporting our little ones around town, but a statement all it’s own. And, well, food! We don’t just need food to sustain our lives, but we need to be able to eat out, eat completely organic, or the best cut of meat, or buy all the convenient foods. Really? Of course! You need it! It’s no wonder Christians struggle with being in debt and overweight and greed as much as the world does. I mean, we’re humans after all. And, I think if we were all completely honest we would say, what’s wrong with all that stuff? I suppose nothing, but it’s the attitude behind it all. Do I want/need this house/car/gadget/whatever because I truly need it or because I just don’t want people to know the true state of my bank account? So, I ask you, would you rather have Jesus then all these things the world tells us we need?

This song really smacked me in the face this morning. It’s no mystery the past 13 months have been hard, challenging and just plain not fun for David and I. I mean, we’ve had to live very frugally and there have been months when we didn’t know how we were going to pay the bills. But, we have always, without fail, had everything we need and a lot of our wants. God has not let us suffer for food, shelter or clothing. And I have to ask myself. Is Jesus enough for me, really? Or, would I rather have “comfort” (albeit fleeting) over living with just my needs met? It’s hard. I want to say “of course! Simply having my needs met is plenty for me!” But, in all honesty, there have been many times when I’ve asked the Lord why he can’t give us a little extra so we can go out and buy this, that and the other.

On the other hand, in all honesty, I know that Jesus IS everything I need. I know that though life might be hard for a time right now, Jesus IS all I need. And, because of this I would rather have him than riches untold. I would rather have Jesus than silver and gold and land and homes. Why? Because when I live with just what I need I am not distracted and am more able to turn my eyes to the One who watches out for me and loves me so much he blesses me with food, a home to live in and clothes to wear.

I urge you to ask yourself this question: would you rather have Jesus?

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4 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Lessons

  1. i think for most of us we would rather have both, and dont really want to be forced to choose. Especially since there is such a great gulf between what we think we need and what we really need.

  2. Thanks for the quotation from Bev Shea's signature song, and for the thoughtful comments. You raise an issue that relates to many of our hymns: Do we sincerly mean what we are singing? Not to do so reduces our singing to mere ritualism.If you enjoy reading about our hymns and their authors, I invite you to check out my daily blog on the subject, Wordwise Hymns. (Today there's a post on Mr. Shea, on his 101st birthday.)

  3. I struggle with this a lot – mostly in relation to truly wanting Jesus more than my hubby and kids. It's a continual learning curve for me. Thank you for the reminder! Love you.

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