I first heard this phrase on the radio on Gold 90.5 FM. It was an advertisement raising awareness for the recent President’s Star Charity 2015. An appeal was made to those who were financially capable to give freely so that those who were less fortunate and in need of financial help could have an equal opportunity in life to live fully. And as heart-warming as it is to see the charity event raise over S$6.42 million for 86 beneficiaries, there is also an imperfect picture of giving; because the message that is sent across to all beneficiaries is that they should live their lives fully… for themselves. A selfless act of giving may or may not lead to a self-centred way of living, but more often than not, those who receive rarely live their lives for those who have given.
However, as Christmas approaches, I am reminded of the perfect example of giving, which can be seen in God the Father giving His Son, Jesus Christ, freely, to save us from our sin, to rescue us from our rebellion against Him. God has given freely; and so in response, we ought to be living our lives fully, not for ourselves, but for Christ who has given us new life.
But what does it mean to be living our lives fully for Christ? Living for Christ means NOT living for ourselves. 2 Corinthians 5:15 reminds us that “[Christ] died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” Living for Christ means NOT giving priority to your own desires but rather putting God’s will at the center of your life. Living for Christ means making Christ-centred decisions that will ultimately allow you to demonstrate Christ-likeness in your life and point those around you to Jesus.
But surely this is not as easy as it sounds, right? To have every thought, every action and every word we speak centred around Christ, that’s just too difficult. But as high a calling as it may sound, that is exactly what Christ has instructed us to do – that whoever wants to be [Christ’s] disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow [him].
While it is good to understand from the Bible how God wants us to live fully for Christ, it is also good to know some practical examples on how we can actualise that kind of godly living (because many of us struggle to know where to start). And one of the ways we can ‘gear up’ our Christian lives during this Christmas season is to be involved in giving back. And one platform we can take advantage of in giving back is the Boys’ Brigade Share-A-Gift project. This is the project’s 28th year and the Boys’ Brigade seeks to reach out to over 40,000 elderly and less fortunate Singaporeans. So how can you be involved in giving back?
You can start by donating financially to the BB Share-A-Gift’s fund, or you can head down to NTUC to purchase food items that are needed. Better still, why not make those purchases and deliver them to the Boys’ Brigade Headquarters personally? Even better still, why not offer your time to help the Boys’ Brigade deliver those items to those elderly and less fortunate Singaporeans? And even better still, why not make the effort to spend time befriending some of those elderly and less fortunate residents, and to ultimately tell them about Jesus.
The BB Share-A-Gift project is but one of many examples of how we can give back. And regardless of the method of giving, this question still stands: Will you be willing to share the greatest gift of Christ with someone this Christmas? Before I end, I pray that these lyrics penned by Carol Owens will remind us of the reason for this season, and that if we give freely, others can see the greater purpose in life to live fully for Christ.
God forgave my sin in Jesus’ name; I’ve been born again in Jesus’ name
And in Jesus’ name I come to you, to share His love as He told me to
He said freely, freely, you have received; Freely, freely give
Go in my name and because you believe; Others will know that I live