“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13

Nothing would do our sons but to get a dog. All the usual promises were made to feed, bathe, walk and generally do everything that you do with a pet. Our cute little puppy grew into a big, fuzzy, 130-pound beast of a dog. Only he thought he was as small as a Chihuahua. He also turned out to be quite the escape artist. He loved to get out of his yard and run wild. When he got out he wouldn’t return until he was ready, no matter how hard we tried to coax him. He took full advantage of his freedom, though he didn’t realize he was much safer at home where he was supposed to be.

Some people can be like our dog was. Freedom is a wonderful thing. Freedom in Christ is even more so. It is true that with freedom comes great responsibility. The freedom God gives to us is not an opportunity to live according to our own rules (or lack of them) or treat others in ways that don’t reflect the love of Christ. The freedom in our scripture today is given by God in order to serve others.

Love is the theme of our freedom. Love demands that we serve one another in love. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. In Christ, we are free to love as He first loved us. When we freely love as Jesus did, the world will see the fruit of the Spirit in us.

As we observe this week of love, I say Happy Valentine’s Day to you. I thank our Heavenly Father, our first love, for the freedom we have in Jesus. I pray that he will teach us to use that freedom to serve others and show His love to everyone around us. Who will you share God’s love with this week? Think about it!

PRAYER TIME: I ask that you continue to pray for me, also for Mikey Pitts, Jeff Joines, Hersel Story, Jason Greene, Joe Key, Louise Greene, Margaret and Rudy Hartley, Pat McNeill, Kathy Pennell, Eddie Bentley, Nancy Bentley, Butch Pitts, Ann Greene, Matthew Ford, Mary Hicks, Mabel Church, Peter Floistad, Bob Miller, Rachel Moody, Teri Graham and her parents, Marshall and Doris Edwards, Marie Moody, Adam Lewis, Lisa Abernathy, Wendy Estes, Sharon Pitts, Marilyn Crisp, Reba Moretz, Maxine Sparks, Brian Helton, Jewel Moody, Jill Dixon, James Sigmon, Jim Greene, Recie Craig, Stanley Coffey and many unspoken requests, for our Military, our Nation and leaders and a ray of hope for those in prison.

OUR SYMPATHY TO: The family of Melba Storie Watson who passed away this week.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: Joyce Stines on February 14th, to Mary Story and Jim Greene on February 15th, to Eric Brown and Morgan Herterich on February 17th, and to Steve Sciara and Kaye Morgan on February 18th. May the good Lord bless you in His most wondrous and serendipitous way!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO: Luther and Faye Church on February 13th and to Frank and Sarah McLane on February 15th. May the Lord bless you with many more years together!

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Just as you think your work is done, you become a grandparent!”

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