JESUS IS ALL THE WORLD TO ME
Words and Music by Will L. Thompson, 1847–1909
I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him. (Philippians 3:8, 9)
The author and composer of this hymn, Will L. Thompson, was known as the “Bard of Ohio” for his respected musical talents. He wrote many successful secular and sacred songs and he edited and published numerous collections. But it is said of him that his greatest joy was writing and performing simple gospel songs about his Lord. He has provided Christian hymnody with two such enduring songs that have been mightily used by God: A testimony song for Christians, “Jesus Is All the World to Me,” and an invitation song that has been influential in directing non-Christians to the Savior, “Softy and Tenderly.”
The story is told of a visit that Will Thompson made to D. L. Moody’s bedside as the famed evangelist lay dying. All visitation had been stopped, but when Moody heard that Will Thompson had called, he insisted upon seeing him. “Will,” said Moody, “I would rather have written ‘Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling’ than anything I have been able to do in my whole life!” Soon the well-known evangelist entered His eternal rest with these words of invitation that had been used so many times in his evangelistic campaigns once again upon his lips: “Come home, come home, ye who are weary, come home; earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling—calling, ‘O sinner, come home.’ ”
And the words of this hymn by Will Thompson, published in his hymnal collection of 1904, have since been widely used by believers to express devotion to Christ and dependency upon Him for all of life’s needs:
Jesus is all the world to me, my life, my joy, my all; He is my strength from day to day, without Him I would fall. When I am sad to Him I go; no other one can cheer me so; when I am sad He makes me glad—He’s my friend.
Jesus is all the world to me, my friend in trials sore; I go to Him for blessings, and He gives them o’er and o’er. He sends the sunshine and the rain; He sends the harvest’s golden grain; sunshine and rain, harvest of grain—He’s my friend.
Jesus is all the world to me; I want no better friend; I trust Him now, I’ll trust Him when life’s fleeting days shall end. Beautiful life with such a friend, beautiful life that has no end; eternal life, eternal joy—He’s my friend.
For Today: John 15:14, 15; Philippians 1:21; 4:12; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:25
Reflect on this statement—There are three essentials for a happy life: (1) A faith to live by, (2) a self to live with, and (3) a purpose to live for. Carry this musical truth with you—