Rather Have Jesus

Hymn Favorite – I’d Rather Have Jesus

Continuing from an earlier post on VALUES

Here’s a hymn that is familiar to most of us through the Billy Graham Crusades. George Beverly Shea found this poem lying on his piano, left there by his mother, who hoped it would change the course of his life. George created a tune to go with the poetry and that is the song we know today. It indeed did change the course of his life as a musician on NBC, he gave it up to travel and sing with the Reverend Billy Graham. I’d Rather Have Jesus became one of the most loved songs that he sang.

Hymn of the Week: I’d Rather Have Jesus

attr. to Oscar C. A. Bernadotte, 1888
Rhea F. Miller, 1922

copyright status is Public Domain

LYRICS

  1. 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

    • Refrain:
      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.
  2. I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
    I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
    I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
    I’d rather be true to His holy name
  3. He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
    He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;
    He’s all that my hungering spirit needs;
    I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead

Story Behind the Hymn

American hymnals give Rhea Miller credit for the song but Swedish believers so that is was written by Prince Oscar C. A. Bernadotte sometime after the woman he loved introduced him to Christ. She was a commoner and the story is told that he gave up his lineage to the Swedish throne to marry her and serve God.

HAVE A LISTEN

I’d Rather Have Jesus Sung by George Beverly Shea

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