4 Letters That Changed My Life Forever
My freshman year at Baylor University, I went to this thing called Vertical. It was a worship service held on Monday nights for college students in the Waco area.
And while I had walked with God in a sort of legalistic way before, this was the first place where I had ever heard the message of the gospel preached and taught in such a way that I felt like it actually should and could be an active part of my life - in all parts of my life!
I loved going. When I did, I felt filled up. I began to feel a tug to change.
But being the insecure and immature freshman in college that I was...
I continued to live for other things.
I didn't change. And I didn't take what I heard and felt, and surrender my heart to the Lord.
I'd go out Friday and Saturday, skip church on Sunday, and only sometimes make it to Vertical on Monday nights.
One night though, I went to Vertical and they were selling shirts. So of course, while I didn't want to live like the people there just yet, I did look up to them and, more importantly I thought their shirts were cool.
That night I bought a shirt and there were 4 letters on the back of it that I so desperately wanted to believe - but didn't.
The 4 letters were:
I R H J
Below the letters read the phrase they stood for:
"I'd Rather Have Jesus."
You can read more of the history behind this saying here, but at the time these 4 letters were far from true for me.
At the time, I didn't want to trade Jesus for that fourth beer on Friday nights or the touchdown shots on game day.
I didn't want to trade Jesus for the crazy stories I got to tell my friends and the short-lived popularity I got from the weekend festivities.
Fortunately, while I didn't surrender my life to Jesus at Vertical on Monday nights in Waco, God continued to work on me through a ministry called the Porch in Dallas.
And after a season of hearing the same message I'd heard in Waco, and my heart slowly being softened, I remember pulling out the shirt with those 4 letters on it one night to sleep in.
But when I read the letters this time, something had changed.
When I read those letters over 2 years later, I felt my heart believe for the very first time that, I'd rather have Jesus.
I believed that I'd rather have Jesus than another drink.
I believed that I'd rather have Jesus than fit in with the popular party girls.
I believed that I'd rather have Jesus than the degree, or the boyfriend, or the crazy weekend stories.
I believed that I'd rather have Jesus than fit in.
I believed that I'd rather have Jesus than the awards.
One ordinary night on July of 2014, reading those four letters changed my life forever.
So my question for you is:
What would you rather have than Jesus?
Maybe for you, you'd rather have sex with your boyfriend or girlfriend more than you'd rather have Jesus.
Or maybe you'd rather have marriage than Jesus?
Do you want grandkids more than you want Jesus?
The salary more than you want Jesus?
Your dream job more than you'd rather have Jesus?
What is it that is standing in the way of you fully experiencing the joy and hope found in Jesus?
Because I can make you one promise:
None of those things will fill you up or complete you like Jesus will.
Now don't get me wrong...
Not all of these things that we want are bad things.
And sometimes it can be so difficult to want Jesus whom we can not currently see more than all of these other things that are just right in front of us.
But I can assure you, it is infinitely worth it.
Having Jesus changed my life forever. Will you let Him change yours?
"While following Jesus may cost you something, not following Him will cost you everything."