I’d Rather Have Jesus 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
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 [Chorus]
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 [Chorus]
I’d Rather Have Jesus Hymn Story
“I’d Rather Have Jesus” is a hymn that was written in 1922 by Rhea F. Miller. Beverly Shea is the one who provided the tune later in 1932.
“I’d rather have Jesus” is a song that emphasizes the fact that having Jesus is more important than all the earthly goods and pleasure.
The song says that if made to choose between gold and silver and Jesus he would rather have Jesus.
Earthly goods will one day vanish away, but the things God has prepared for the saints will last forever.
Sometimes you can have riches but have poor health. Our focus should be on things that are eternal
The inspiration of this song, “I’d Rather Have Jesus” was the testimony of her father Martin James Ross.
He had been a drunkard with no interest whatsoever in spiritual things until late in life when he gave his life to Christ influenced by his wife who was a faithful Christian all along.
His drinking problem was such that he would steal money from his wife to buy alcohol.
In talking of what Jesus meant to him after conversion he said, “I’d rather have Jesus than all the gold or silver in the whole world. I’d rather have Him than anything this world has to offer.” Mrs. Miller sat there and heard the words of her father’s testimony, and a new song was born- “I’d Rather Have Jesus”.
The following quote from Beverly Shea talks of how he came across this song and how he added the tune to the poem:
“One Sunday morning in the family home by the piano he discovered a poem with the title “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” At the age of twenty-three, I was living at home with my parents, continuing to work at Mutual Life Insurance and studying voice. Going to the piano one Sunday morning, I found a poem waiting for me there. I recognized my mother’s handwriting. She had copied the words of a poem by Mrs. Rhea F. Miller, knowing that I would read the beautiful message, which speaks of choice. As I read these precious words: “I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause. I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause.” I found myself singing the words in a melody that expressed the feelings of my heart.”
The author, Rhea F Miller was born in 1894 and was the wife of one of the leaders of the Church of the Nazarene.
Her music career took off after her husband passed away. She taught piano to young people in her area.
While she charged the rest of her students, she did not charge pastor’s kids as she felt they need to know how to play the piano to be useful to the church when they became adults.
Below are more hymns’ lyrics and stories: