Galatians 5:1 – It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Freedom comes with responsibility.

A cost was paid for our freedom. A high cost.

I know just like me you are grateful for the freedom Christ has given us. We are thankful for mercy and grace and so many other things. It is truly a gift and one we could never repay, yet it comes with responsibility.

In our key verse for this year, the words “stand firm” give us a picture of what that might look like.

Growing up in north Texas, tornadoes were a part of life. I remember many times over the years spending hours in the hallway at school or in the bathtub at our house with my brother’s bed mattress over the top of us. Crazy times. One year, when I was six years old, we had the biggest tornado I have ever experienced.

It was about 6pm that Tuesday evening in April and my siblings and I were hanging out in the bathtub. My dad got home from work about that time, knowing the storm was coming. He came in the house and told my mom to load us all in the car. We never got in the car in storms like this, but this time we did. Heading out of the house, I remember my dad holding my hand and the wind being so crazy my feet didn’t really stay on the ground.

We climbed in the car and drove a few blocks away. Sitting in the parking lot of a church, we watched three tornadoes become one and roll through our town like nothing I had ever seen. Our house was fine with only a few shingles missing and a tree down, but we went to check on the building where my dad worked. It was unreal counting streets because there were no landmarks or streets signs to tell us where we were. It was a day I will never forget, but a day that taught me the strength and love of my dad.

Reading the verse in Galatians where Paul tells us to “stand firm” and knowing that there is a responsibility that comes with my freedom in Christ, I think back to that day in our front yard when my dad was holding my hand. The wind did not blow me away that day. I made it safe and sound, not because I was big and strong but because I held on to the one who was. And he held me.

Standing firm, being BRAVE, is just that. It’s holding on to the One who is stronger and letting Him hold on to me. We don’t have the strength or size to weather the storms on our own.

Being BRAVE is the responsibility that comes with our freedom.

Our freedom in Christ means we hold on and remain obedient. We do what He has called us to do and we do it with our whole heart, holding on to the One and weathering the storms.

Freedom means we are free to hope, free to love, free to trust, free to persevere, free to share Christ, free to do so many things – we are FREE to be BRAVE, to boldly step into places we would never have imagined because it’s where He has called us. The storms will come for all of us. The Christian life is not easy, but we are simply responsible for our own obedience, not the results, the responses, or the reactions. We have been given much, but with it comes a responsibility to live out what we believe in a world that needs to know. The strength, faithfulness, and love of our Savior makes us FREE to be BRAVE.

Join us this year at Planting Roots as we take a look at how this plays out in real life and join together, encouraging each other to hold on to the One and be BRAVE. Where will He take us? What will He ask of us? Only the Lord knows. But if we boldly live what we believe, holding on to the One, we leave a legacy of Jesus behind. Then others can know this freedom too. What could be better?

This year at Planting Roots our heart is to be FREE TO BE BRAVE.

Verses to ponder:

Colossians 2

Psalm 118


Lord, we are so grateful for the freedom only you can bring. Help us to be BRAVE as we seek to follow you.


** Didn’t catch the first part of the theme? You can read that here.