1 ONE thing's needful! then, Lord Jesus,
Keep this one thing in my mind;
All beside, though first it please us,
Soon a grievous yoke we find;
Beneath it the heart is still fretting and striving,
No true, lasting happiness ever deriving.
The gain of this one thing all loss can requite,
And teach me in all things to find true delight.
2 Soul, wilt thou this one thing find thee?
Seek not 'midst created things;
What is earthly, leave behind thee,
Over nature stretch thy wings.
For where God and Man both in One are united,
With God's perfect fulness the heart is delighted,
There, there is the worthiest lot and the best,
My One and my All, and my Joy and my Rest.
3 How were Mary's thoughts devoted
Her eternal joy to find,
As intent each word she noted,
At her Savior's feet reclined!
How kindled her heart, how devout was its feeling,
While hearing the lessons that Christ was revealing!
For Jesus all earthly concerns she forgot,
And all was repaid in that one happy lot.
4 Thus my longings, heavenward tending,
Jesus, rest alone on Thee;
Help me, thus on Thee depending,
Savior, come and dwell in me!
Although all the world should forsake and forget Thee,
In love I will follow Thee, ne'er will I quit Thee;
Lord Jesus, both spirit and life is Thy Word;
And is there a joy which thou dost not afford?
5 Wisdom's highest, noblest treasure,
Jesus, lies concealed in Thee;
Grant that this may still the measure
Of my will and actions be.
Humility there, and simplicity, reigning,
My steps shall in wisdom forever be training.
Oh! if I of Christ have this knowledge divine,
The fulness of heavenly wisdom is mine.
6 Christ, Thou art the sole oblation
That I'll bring before my God;
In His sight I've acceptation
Only Through Thy streaming blood.
Immaculate righteousness I have acquired,
Since Thou on the tree of the cross hast expired;
The robe of salvation for ever is mine,
In this shall my faith through eternity shine.
7 Let my soul, in full exemption,
Wake up in Thy likeness now;
Thou art made to me redemption,
My sanctification Thou.
Whatever I need for my journey to heaven,
In Thee, O my Savior, is unto me given;
O let me all perishing pleasure forego,
And Thy life, O Jesus, alone let me know.
8 Where should else my hopes be centered?
Grace o'erwhelms me with its flood;
Thou, my Savior, once hast entered
Holiest heaven through Thy blood.
Eternal redemption for sinners there finding,
From hell's dark dominion my spirit unbinding,
To me perfect freedom Thy entrance has brought,
And childlike to cry "Abba, Father," I'm taught.
9 Christ Himself, my Shepherd, feeds me,
Peace and joy my spirit fill;
In a pasture green, He leads me
Forth beside the waters still.
Oh! naught to my soul is so sweet and reviving,
As thus unto Jesus alone to be living;
True happiness this, and this only, supplies,
Through faith on my Savior to fasten mine eyes.
10 Therefore, Jesus, my Salvation,
Thou my One, my All, shalt be.
Prove my fixed determination,
Root out all hypocrisy;
Look well if on sin's slipp'ry paths I am hasting,
And lead me, O Lord, in the way everlasting!
This one thing is needful, all others are vain;
I count all but lost that I Christ may obtain.
Source: Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-book #83