The anniversary of the birthday of Elvis Presley, "the king of rock 'n' roll," has been observed with appropriate tribute and appreciation paid to one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century.

Sadly, Presley's abbreviated life also serves as a reminder of the difference between personal freedom and the freedom we gain when we turn our lives over to God.

Elvis lived a life that almost everyone else can only dream about. He recorded numerous number one hits and became a must-see act in concert. He was young, handsome and had more money than he knew what to do with - although it should be pointed out that he was very generous.

He had the money, fame and freedom to do whatever he wanted. Unfortunately, he did. Surrounded by pals and cronies, he had no one to tell him "no." He had the company of countless women admirers, he could and did eat everything he wanted without limit, and he had the ability to gain prescription drugs for daily consumption.

All that "worldly freedom" did not bring Elvis true happiness. There was sadness in his self-centered life that he could not overcome. He was essentially a good man who made bad decisions.

By contrast, people with faith in God exercise another type of freedom; one that is hard for others to understand. They know that the only way they can be free is if they turn their lives over to God.

We cannot find freedom unless we are willing to enter the servitude of God's love. It is only when we surrender our freedom to God that we become truly free.

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God gave us life; we give our life to God.