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051118-hn-nws-ryan-perry

The Rev. Ryan Perry

“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them,” 1 Corinthians 9:19.

As this time of year rolls around, we naturally spend more time outside and in conversation with our neighbors. We have conversations about our yard, the kids, work, and more than likely the vacations that we will take during these warm months.

One of the things we forget is that these are also great opportunities to find ways to serve our neighbors and show God’s love.

The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 9:19 that he has been set free from everything through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but instead of using his freedom merely to have casual conversations and friendships, he uses it to serve others. He serves them by investing himself in their lives in practical ways that show them the greatness of his God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

He goes on to tell us in verse 23 that he does all of it to share in the blessings, or happiness, of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This means that Paul believed that his happiness was tied to how he served others for Christ.

Now springtime is a happy time in and of itself, but we all know that it is happiness that will fade. Soon summer will come and we will get hot and sometimes grouchy on those 90 degree days.

Eventually fall will come, and though the pretty colors of fall will make us happy for a few weeks, we also know the leaves will fall and the cold darkness of winter will set in.

This kind of seasonal happiness is for a moment and then is gone.

In contrast, through the apostle Paul we see that there is a joy and happiness that lasts forever. That happiness is a life well lived in service to others for the purpose of showing them the greatness of our God and Savior.

So I encourage all of us this spring to make the best use of those opportunities to connect with and serve our neighbors.

Serve them in tangible ways that let them know you care. This will not only show them how great and wonderful Jesus is, but it will be for your current and everlasting happiness and joy.

Ryan Perry is an associate pastor at La Crescent Evangelical Free Church.

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Coulee Courier and Houston County News editor

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