Songs by Peter J Blackburn
Studies in Active Christian Living and Giving by Peter J. Blackburn
1. Life is a Gift.
I am alive. The dog is alive. The fish and the bird are alive. The plants and trees are alive. The egg? The seed? The fruit? The cut flower?
What is Life?
• What do we mean by "life"?

Life speaks to us of movement, growth, potential that is being realised.
A Gift from God
We don't regard life as a kind of accident of nature, but as part of the plan of God - as a gift from God.
What are these Bible passages telling us about the gift of life?
• Genesis 1.26

• Genesis 2.7

• Psalm 8

• Acts 17.26-28

So life is meant to be accepted as the Creator's gift and lived responsibly, adventurously and joyously.
Something is wrong! Our Bible references have reminded us that, while physically part of the animal world, we are unique within this world. We have been made "like God". This suggests not just privilege but responsibility.
We are meant to know and love God and to be part of his family. That's real life! Instead, we try to live independently of God - to become something great and to "do our own thing" quite without reference to God!
So our lives fall far short of real life! See what Paul writes about it -
• Romans 3.23

• Romans 6.23

• Ephesians 2.1

New Life, a Gift
So God had to plan to give us the real, full and wonderful life which had been his purpose for us all along. He did this by sending his Son, Jesus Christ, into this world.
• Jesus himself said (John 10.10)

• He also said (Mark 10.45)

• What does "redeem" mean?

Note also Romans 5.8 and 6.23.
Accepting Life
We are alive. As long as we keep on breathing, eating and our heart keeps beating, we will be alive.
But the real life, the new life which God makes possible for us in Christ, has to be consciously accepted as a gift. It involves a change of direction, a change of attitude, a change of life-style.
• Sum up John 3.16 in your own words.

Life is a gift, a privilege, a response, a responsibility!
Does it matter, then, how we live?
• See what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6.19-20.

Questions for Discussion
1. What are the signs of people trying to live independently of God?

2. "Life is a gift from God". In what ways would the world be different if everyone took this seriously?

3. New life "involves a change of direction, a change of attitude, a change of life-style".
a) How has your life changed direction?

b) In what ways have your attitudes changed?

c) How has the gift of new life changed your life-style?

4. How can we get this message across to others (as individuals and together)?

Adventure in Living. Studies in active Christian living and giving © Peter J. Blackburn 1979, 1999. Permission is given for this study to be copied in its entirety for group use. Courtesy advice of the use of these studies would be appreciated. Any other proposed use must have the written permission of the author. Email Peter Blackburn.
Next Study: 2. Life is for Sharing