I Gave My Life For Thee

I gave my lifeI 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?

I spent long years for thee, In weariness and woe,
That an eternity,  Of joy thou mightest know.
I spent long years for thee:   Hast thou spent one for Me?
My Father’s 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.
I’ve borne, I’ve borne it all for thee, what hast thou borne for Me?
I’ve borne, I’ve 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?

Great gifts I brought to thee: What hast thou brought to Me?
Oh let thy life be given,  Thy years for Him be spent,
World-fetters all be riven,    And joy with suffering blent.
Bring thou thy worthless all: Follow thy Saviour’s call.”

The story behind this hymn touched me when I read it. Miss Havergal was staying in the house of a pastor in Germany. In his study there was a picture of the crucified Saviour; underneath which was the motto: “I did this for thee. What hast thou done for me?” It was January 10, 1858. She had come in tired, and sitting down before the picture the Saviour’s eyes seemed to rest upon her. She read the words, and the lines of her hymn flashed upon her. She wrote them in pencil on a scrap of paper. Looking them over, she thought them so poor that she tossed them into the stove, but they fell out untouched. Some months after she showed them to her father, who encouraged her to preserve them and wrote the tune “Baca” specially for them.

We have not time to speak in detail of this hymn. By some it has been thought to be the best of all her hymns. I would beg you, each one, to listen to the appeal as I read the lines, as coming to you from the suffering Christ Himself. “I did all this for thee what hast thou done for Me?”

This particular hymn asks some extremely poignant questions of each of us.  So important that the author repeats the question in each of the verses.  I want to emphasize that I do not think the author was indicating a pre-salvation requirement of doing “things” i.e. good works to earn a salvation, but I do think the questions are as pertinent today as they were in the 1860’s when they were written.  There are four key questions the author uses to determine our commitment to Christ.  One of the great things about these questions is that we can find examples of how to or how not to answer them in Scripture.

  • Give – The Bible says to “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”  Are you giving as it has been given unto you?  Freely, abundantly, running over?
  • Leave – Jesus told the women caught in adultery “Go now and leave your life of sin.”  We may not have committed the sins that she did, but we too are commanded to go and leave a life of sin.  Have you become a new creation?  Have old things passed away?  Have you left a life of sin?
  • Bear – “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”  Col. 3:13  Do you put up with people that drive you crazy?  Are you looking to bear someone’s else burdens or do you think that you have too many of your own?  Paul’s instructions here are not recommendations, but commands to bear with each other and forgive one another as Christ forgave us.
  • Bring – I was recently reminded of a difficult passage of Scripture in Malachi Chapter 1.  God is speaking and is admonishing His people for bringing blind animals or crippled animals for sacrifices.  In verse 10 of that chapter, God says “Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the LORD Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands.”  In verse 13 of that chapter, God asks a hard question “When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?”  I am convicted by these verses because I know I am guilty.  I have brought “injured, crippled, and diseased” offerings to the Lord.  No, not animals for sacrifices, but I have given Him my leftovers, my seconds or even my thirds.  I have brought Him “second rate” offerings, and He is saying to me, “I am not pleased.”  Have you been there before?  Are you there now?


Sources: Jeff Mowery – Hymns of the week (http://hymnoftheweek.net/?p=455): and adapted from Stephen Ross for WholesomeWords.org from Bright Talks on Favourite Hymns… by J.M.K. London: The Religious Tract Society; Chicago: John C. Winston Co., [1916?

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One Response to I Gave My Life For Thee

  1. Elain George says:

    Oh such a Beautiful & Spiritual Reading of what came from Miss Havergal’s heart & soul.This truely has opened a new Light within my Soul & I need to share this new feeling with God. I’m sorry Lord for my sins & for not being a better Child of Yours & for not doing more to help You help others. I will now spend my time being a better person for You Lord, in Jesus name, amen. Thank You for sharing this with me & others in hopes to enlighten A Better Christian Life in Each of Us! Thank You


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