Last year saw several significant deaths of well-known individuals in America… entertainers, politicians and musicians. Among that number was a beloved member of the Christian community, George Beverly Shea. “Bev,” as Billy Graham and his closest associates referred to him, had walked with Billy as a classmate, accountability partner, friend, advisor and worship leader.
His voice through the years literally enthralled stadiums worldwide as he sang his signature “How Great Thou Art” and slightly lesser known, a song titled, “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” Though Shea did not write the words to the song, he sang it as though he had.
It’s an awesome thing to see a man so greatly used by God come to the end of his race and end well. Shea lived the words of this song that has been used to bring many to tears and a renewed commitment to knowing, serving and following Jesus.
And though his voice has been silenced for a season on earth, I am confident it still resonates among the angels in the courts of Heaven and before the throne of God.
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 the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.
Today, I am more confident than ever that Bev Shea is glad he lived his life on earth with a clear and singular purpose:
To seek Jesus most of all.
For Meditation: What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8
For Reflection: As you inventory your life, what is more important to you than Jesus?