Songs by Peter J Blackburn
Studies in Active Christian Living and Giving by Peter J. Blackburn
2. Life is for Sharing.
I am alive because God is Love, because God has given and continues to give me life, because God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to give me the real and new life he always wanted me to have.
Since God is Love, it is natural that his gift of life will find basic expression in relationships.
• List some of the relationships that are basic to human life.

• Comment on the statement, "The basic cause of unhappiness in this world is the breakdown of relationships".

Not Just for Me
We haven't really grasped God's gift of life for us if we fail to see that it is for others too. It is quite possible to use this concept simply to boost the image of our own self-importance. In reality, we still live independently of God and forfeit our claim on real life.
Jesus pointed this out very graphically in his picture of the final judgment in Matthew 25.31-36.
• What is he getting at in vv. 35,36,40?

• What about the ones who think they are alive but live to themselves (vv. 44-46)?

So at the most basic levels Jesus expects us to share the gift of life. This is one of the clear signs that we have made the gift our own.
Receive - Share
Notice how Jesus stresses the sharing that must follow the receiving.
God loves us, so we should -
• Matthew 22.39

• Matthew 5.44-45

• John 13.34-35

God forgives us, so we should -
• Matthew 6.12

• Matthew 18.21-35

• Think of some other examples

The Life of the Body
Sharing life is basic to our human society. Even the brokenness of relationships cannot hide what was meant to be.
In all who accept new life the healing of relationships should become visible.
Paul describes the Church as the Body of Christ. We are not all the same. God has given us different gifts. The life of the Body depends on everyone using and sharing his/her gifts for the enriching of all. Note what he says in -
• Ephesians 4.11-16

• Romans 12.3-8

• Look again at Romans 12.3. Why do we have difficulty in recognising and using the various gifts God has given?

Remember! They are gifts. They are not meant to "boost our own self-image". They are part of a life of fellowship with and dependence on God. They are given for sharing and for the enriching of all God's people. If they are "hoarded" and not used, then the message of God's new life will not reach out as effectively to others in the community.
Jesus had a warning about not using the gifts God has entrusted to us.
• Matthew 25.14-30

Questions for Discussion
1. How basic are love and sharing to our human life?

2. What more should we be doing to share in the life of the local community?

3. What more should we be doing to share in the life of the world community?

4. In what ways can the Christian community make God's love visible?

5. What are God's particular gifts to me which I should share -
at home?

within the Church?

in the local community?

more widely in the world?

6. What gifts do I recognise in other members of this group/Church? How can I encourage the development and use of these gifts?

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: 3. Life is a Response