I Gave My Life for Thee is another exquisitely beautiful hymn written as a poem by Frances Ridley Havergal, an English poet born in 1836 in Astley, Worcestershire. She has written numerous poems and hymns, which have continued to be a blessing to millions of believers around the world.
I Gave My Life for Thee lyrics were inspired by Jesus’ sufferings on the cross to save us from eternal destruction. Each stanza in the hymn, I Gave My Life for Thee, ends with a powerful question, asking us whether we have given as He did. I Gave My Life for Thee hymn stresses the fact that we can be saved by faith alone in Jesus Christ as He died for our sins and gave us eternal redemption.
Let us listen to this thought-provoking and heart-touching song and sing along with the lyrics given below.
Table of Contents
I Gave My Life for Thee Song
I Gave My Life for Thee Lyrics
I gave my life for thee, Galatians 2:20
My precious blood I shed, 1 Peter 1:19
That thou mightest ransomed be, Ephesians 1:7
And quickened from the dead. Ephesians 2:1
I gave, I gave my life for thee; Titus 2:14
What hast thou given for me? John 21:15-17 I gave, I gave my life for thee; Titus 2:14
What hast thou given for me? John 21:15-17
My Father’s house of light John 17:5
My glory-circled throne Revelation 4:3
I left for earthly night Philippians 2:7
For wanderings sad and lone. Matthew 8:20
I left, I left it all for thee; 2 Corinthians 8:9
Hast thou left aught for me? Mark 10:29 I left, I left it all for thee; 2 Corinthians 8:9
Hast thou left aught for me? Mark 10:29
I suffered much for thee Isaiah 53:5
More than thy tongue may tell Matthew 26:39
Of bitterest agony, Luke 22:44
To rescue thee from hell. Romans 5:9
I’ve borne, I’ve borne it all for thee, 1 Peter 2:21-24
What hast thou borne for Me? Romans 8:17, 18 I’ve borne, I’ve borne it all for thee, 1 Peter 2:21-24
What hast thou borne for Me? Romans 8:17, 18
And I have brought to thee John 4:10, 14
Down from my home above, John 3:13
Salvation full and free, Revelation 21:6
My pardon and my love. Acts 5:31
I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee, Psalms 68:18
What hast thou brought for me? Romans 12:1 I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee, Psalms 68:18
What hast thou brought for me? Romans 12:1
Oh, let thy life be given, Romans 6:13
Thy years for him be spent, 2 Corinthians 5:15
World-fetters all be riven, Philippians 3:8
And joy with suffering blent! 1 Peter 4:13-16
I gave myself for thee; Ephesians 5:2
Give thou thyself to me! Proverbs 23:26
I spent long years for thee 1 Timothy 1:15
In weariness and woe, Isaiah 53:3
That an eternity John 17:24
Of joy thou mightest know. John 16:22
I spent long years for thee John 1:10, 11
Hast thou spent one for me? 1 Peter 4:2
Brief Biography of the Author ( I Gave My Life for Thee)
Frances Ridley Havergal was a prolific hymn writer who wrote numerous hymn melodies, devotional tracts, and books for children. She lived a life dedicated to God and was a talented pianist and singer who composed several hymn tunes. Some of her most famous hymns are Take My Life and Let it Be, Jesus, Master, Whose I am, Lord, Speak to Me, O Master, at Thy feet, and Another Year is Dawning. I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus was her favorite hymn and was found in her pocket Bible after her death.
Story Behind the Hymn — I Gave My Life for Thee
The story goes that Francis Havergal went to Germany when she was 22 years old, visiting the house of a preacher/relatives. After an excursion, she came in weak and weary and seated herself in the parlor to rest. Here she observed a large painting of Christ. Other sources say she went to an art museum in Dusseldorf where she saw a vivid portrait of the Savior, wearing His crown of thorns, standing before Pilate and the mob (known as Ecce Homo (“Behold the Man”). The painting was done by Sternberg, underneath which was the motto “This have I done for thee, what hast thou done for Me?” This incident is supposed to have happened on January 10, 1858.
She was deeply moved by the painting and the words written beneath it. Her eyes swelled with tears, and the Redeemer’s eyes seemed to rest upon her. She scribbled the lines of the hymn, which flashed in her mind, on a piece of paper.
She returned to England and read the words she had written. She felt that the poetry was so poor that she tossed it into the fire. However, fortunately, a sudden downdraft blew the paper out into the room again (blown back off the hearth). She decided to keep it but did not work on it anymore. A few months later, she showed it to her father, Rev. William Havergal, an Anglican minister, who asked her to preserve it. Her father was touched by the powerful words of the poem and encouraged her to finish it. The song was published in February 1860 in Good Words and The Ministry of Song in 1869.
Rev. William Havergal, who himself was a poet and musician, composed the first melody for the poem, the tune Baca. However, the version we sing has the music composed by American gospel songwriter, Phillip P. Bliss, an associate of D. L. Moody, which was first published in 1873.
The hymn I Gave My Life for Thee was inspired by an image of Christ who was stripped to the waist, bound, and crowned with thorns. Pilate is depicted gesturing toward our Master, calling to the overexcited multitude below, “Ecce homo!” (Behold, the Man!). The image had a short, powerful, and penetrating question written below it.
The hymn I Gave My Life for Thee goads us to gaze into the thorn-crowned face of the Savior. We are called to reflect upon all that God has given to us through Christ. We should be galvanized by the overwhelming love of Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit to surrender all to God.
The hymn I Gave My Life for Thee should remind us that Christ left all the glories of heaven and came to Earth to sacrifice Himself for us. He paid a terrible price to ransom us, and His precious blood has made our salvation possible.
The question of what have we done for Him is not about what we can pay Him for Calvary, which is impossible. Salvation is a gift received in faith, paid fully by Christ. We should be grateful and give a loving response to what God has done through His Only Begotten Son. We should willingly express our true love to Him and live to serve Him.
The Hymn Discussion — I Gave My Life for Thee
I Gave My Life for Thee hymn reminds us of what our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ did for us.
The first stanza of I Gave My Life for Thee hymn says that Christ gave His life for us, which is the truth according to the scriptures. Jesus died for our sins, according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15.1-3). The purpose of Him dying for us is to demonstrate God’s love (Romans 5.8). The outcome of His death is that we can have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1.7).
The second stanza of I Gave My Life for Thee hymn tells us that to carry out His mission, Christ left His Father’s abode and throne. Jesus, who was God, became flesh (John 1.1, 14). He was born of a woman (Galatians 4.4). He sacrificed Himself that He might save us (Philippians 2:5-8).
The third stanza of I Gave My Life for Thee hymn says that while living on Earth, Christ suffered agony and pain to rescue us from hell. Jesus suffered throughout His life, especially in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26.36-39). The cause for which He willingly suffered was to rescue us from eternal damnation (1 Timothy 1.15). Because of what Jesus has borne for us, we need to be willing to carry our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16.24).
The fourth stanza of I Gave My Life for Thee hymn says that the result of all these deeds by our Redeemer is that He brought salvation to humanity. The very name of Jesus means salvation (Matthew 1.21). Christ recognized that His goal was to seek and save the lost (Luke 19.10). Given what the Living Son of God has brought to us, we should submit in humble obedience to His will (Hebrews 5.8-9).
For more awesome Christian Music check our Hymns Collection. You will find the background stories behind the hymns very interesting and informative. Sing along with the lyrics understanding the meaning of each song and fill your heart with joy.