I'd Rather Have Jesus

GodTube Staff

I'd Rather Have Jesus
"I’d Rather Have Jesus" is a hymn written in 1922 by Rhea F. Miller with the music composed by George Beverly Shea. This hymn is about dedication and commitment to Jesus. George Shea's mother had left Miller's lyrics by his piano and he then created accompanying music, thus this hymn was born. Find the lyrics and story, plus video performance below!

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]

Songwriters Rhea F. Miller Published by Public Domain

The Story Behind I'd Rather Have Jesus

"I’d Rather Have Jesus" is a song written by Rhea F. Miller with the tune written by George Beverly Shea. This poem, penned in 1922, was left on a piano in the Shea home by Bev Shea who wanted her son to find it and change the trajectory of his life. 

The lyrics, I’d rather have Jesus, inspired George so much and conveyed to him about his own goals and ambitions in life. He sat at the piano and began singing them with a tune that seemed to fit the words. Shea’s mother heard him singing and requested him to sing it at church. 

George’s life direction did change. He was presented a popular music career with NBC, but years later chose to work with evangelist Billy Graham and sang this hymn around the world.



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Nearer My God to Thee
Abide with Me
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Be Thou My Vision
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty
Amazing Grace


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Song - I'd Rather Have Jesus by Jim Reeves

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