~* I GAVE MY LIFE FOR THEE *~
Frances R. Havergal, 1836-1879

And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
II Corinthians 5:15

A vivid painting of Christ, wearing the crown of thorns as He stands before Pilate and the mob, is displayed in the art museum of Dusseldorf, Germany. Under the painting by Sternberg are the words, "This have I done for thee; what hast thou done for Me?" When Frances Havergal viewed the painting during a visit to Germany, she was deeply moved. As she gazed at it in tears, she scribbled down the lines of this hymn text on a scrap of paper. After returning to her home in England, she felt the poetry was so poor that she tossed the lines into a stove. The scorched scrap of paper amazingly floated out of the flames and landed on the floor, where it was found by Frances' father, Rev. William Havergal, an Anglican minister, a noted poet, and a church musician. He encouraged her to preserve the poem by composing the first melody for it. The present tune was composed for this text by the noted American gospel songwriter, Philip P. Bliss, and was first published in 1873.

When Christ cried out on the cross, "It is finished," victory over sin was won. All that is required of each of us is to personally appropriate His finished work. To show our gratefulness, however, our response should be, "Thank You, Lord, for giving Your life for me. Now I want to live for You and serve You till the end of my days." This was the reaction of Miss Havergal, known as the "consecration poet", whose entire life was characterized by simple faith and spiritual saintliness. In spite of frail health, she lived an active life until her death at the age of 43. On her tombstone was the Scripture verse she claimed as her own: The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin. I John 1:7. She wrote many beautifully phrased hymn texts, including "Take My Life and Let It Be", "Who is on the LORD's Side?", and "Like a River Glorious".


I gave My life for thee, My precious blood I shed,
That thou might ransomed be, and raised up from the dead
I gave, I gave My life for thee, what hast thou given for Me?
I gave, I gave My life for thee, what hast thou given for Me?

My Fatherís house of light, My glory circled throne
I left for earthly night, for wanderings sad and lone;
I left, I left it all for thee, hast thou left aught for Me?
I left, I left it all for thee, hast thou left aught for Me?

I suffered much for thee, more than thy tongue can tell,
Of bitterest agony, to rescue thee from hell.
Iíve borne, Iíve borne it all for thee, what hast thou borne for Me?
Iíve borne, Iíve borne it all for thee, what hast thou borne for Me?

And I have brought to thee, down from My home above,
Salvation full and free, My pardon and My love;
I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee, what hast thou brought to Me?
I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee, what hast thou brought to Me?



*For Today*: Psalm 116:12-14; John 19:30; Romans 12:1 & 2; Galatians 2:20

Allow your soul to respond in a new and fresh dedication to God as you reflect on all that Christ has done for you.

MUSIC

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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