Article 11

Living Your True Purpose (Header)

Living Your True Purpose (Article 11)Give It Away, by CCM artist Michael W. Smith was released on his Change Your World project in 1992. Giving 2 Smitty’s song is an incredible testimony of God’s call to humanity to love one another, as Christ loves us. Love simply isn’t love until we give it away.

An additional CCM artist, David Meece, recorded another song about giving some twelve years earlier, entitled We Are The Reason. It was released in 1980, on his project entitled: Are You Ready?

In the first verse of We Are The Reason, the listener is drawn back to his/her childhood and the anxiously awaited gifts all children hoped they would be receiving on Christmas morning. Then just before the chorus, the listeners are reminded of God’s gift to humanity — the Christ Child.

As the lyrics to the chorus are heard, David explains so beautifully just what God’s gift really was, and why it was given. Disclosing to his listeners that God’s gift, the Christ Child, was given to make right our wrongs and to show us our purpose for living.

In verse two, we are reminded that as we grew up we began to learn that gift giving was more than just commercialism at Christmastime. That real gift giving requires something sacrificial; something much more costly than money. Then again, just prior to the chorus, David unwraps God’s gift to humanity. The holy present hidden within the Christ Child — God’s grace.

As the hope of Christ swells from the music and lyrics of the chorus into the majesty of God’s truth, revealed in the bridge, we hear the song exclaim:

“I finally found the reason for living. It’s in giving every part of my heart to Him. In all that I do, every word that I say, I’ll be giving my all just for Him — for Him!”

We — all of mankind — are the reason that Christ gave of Himself. Humanity’s sin is the reason that Jesus came to suffer and die (2 Corinthians 5:21; Galations 1:3b-4, 3:13). For an unholy world that was condemned to death, because of sin, God gave all that He could — His perfect and blameless, unbegotten Son — to show us our purpose for living and to reveal to us just how much our Creator loves us (John 3:16-17; Romans 5:6-10).

I know we have already discussed Christ’s sacrifice, in this series, and what that means to us. We have even discussed our expected sacrifices, in order for us to serve Christ and each other as we should. But what we haven’t really stressed is the giving portion of Christ’s sacrifice; the giving part of our service to Jesus. The giving of ourselves, wholly to God, as we embrace the gift of salvation and begin to live as servants of Jesus Christ; as we grow and become true worshipers of God (Matthew 20:25-28).

Giving is more than tithing to your local church, which you are called by God to do (Deuteronomy 14:22; Leviticus 27:30; Proverbs 3:9). Giving is more than donating money to a good cause, which we are also called by God to do (Exodus 25:2; Proverbs 28:27; Acts 4:34-35; Galatians 6:9). Giving is more than feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick, providing for the poor, befriending the lonely, or showing kindness to the unloved. Giving is pouring out your own life into another (Isaiah 58:10). Giving is allowing yourself to be vulnerable to someone who may or may not take advantage of your humble state.

Giving should open us up to potential pain, and suffering. Why? Because it’s only in this state of weakness that we can relate to Christ’s sacrificial giving, and shine His light of grace and love to the rest of mankind (Matthew 5:14-16; 1 John 1:7). Recall with me the words of Christ at the last supper:

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is My body.’ Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’” (Matthew 26:26-28)

In the last supper of Christ, we have the perfect picture of what God’s gift entails. The bread, which represents the physical body of Jesus, is passed from Christ to His followers. Each one tearing away at Christ’s physical proxy and consuming it. It was the same for the cup of wine that Jesus shared. Each disciple took the cup from Christ and drank the liquid that represented His sacrificial blood. God gave humanity His most prized possession — His only begotten Son, Jesus — and it cost Christ His very life (Hebrews 9:12; 1Peter 3:18).

Today, we still tear away at God’s holy gift. Whenever we observe the Lord’s supper, and break the bread, we tear into the flesh of Christ and reveal the gift of God’s grace that was hidden inside. The present of salvation, which can only be received by those who consume the perfect blood of Christ (John 6:50-59; 1 Peter 2:24). But be aware, this holy gift can’t be rejected without cost, and it certainly can’t ever be exchanged (John 14:6, 17:3). For it’s only by accepting the present of God’s grace — the consuming of Christ’s blood — that humanity can be cleansed from all evil and saved from eternal death (Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:13-14; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

So each time you are given an opportunity to give, consider what it cost God to give His gift of grace to you. And each time you receive a gift, and tear it open, remember Who was torn open when all of humanity opened God’s present on the cross. Then as you choose to embrace your gift, or not, consider whether you have truly accepted the present of God’s grace. I pray that you have, and I pray that you will always give as Christ gave. For Jesus gave not only until it hurt, but He gave all of Himself unto death (Philippians 2:1-11). After all, a gift — even the gift of eternal life — isn’t a gift until it’s given away.

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Living Your True Purpose by J. Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

Give It Away lyrics and music written by Wayne Kirkpatrick, Amy Grant Gill, and Michael W. Smith. Copyright © 1992 Reunion Records, a division of Provident Label Group.

Video made available by Jason Ministries and Reunion Records, a division of Provident Label Group; Copyright © 1993 All Rights Reserved.

We Are The Reason lyrics and music written by Tamara Savage, Warryn Campbell, Trecina Atkins-Campbell, Erica Monique Atkins-Campbell, and John T. Smith. Copyright © 1980 Myrrh Records, a division of Word Entertainment.

If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason MinistriesTwitter account or Facebook page.