When we gather with our family and friends this 4th of July are we remembering what or who we are really celebrating?
I had to take a moment before this great celebration to remember what 4th of July is really about and all that we need to be thankful for about this historical event.
Many of us remember from history classes that on the 4th of July, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. The United States was born and as always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.
I'd like us to take a look at what some of the founding Fathers and those that signed the Declaration of Independence had to say about what they believed to be the ultimate importance in their lives and over the United States of America:
John Adams - 2nd US President and signer of the Declaration of Independence - "Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God . . . What a utopia, what a paradise would this region be."
Thomas Jefferson - 3rd US President, drafter and signer of the Declaration of Independence - "I am a real Christian - that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ."
John Hancock - 1st signer of the Declaration of Independence - "Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual . . . Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us."
Samual Adams - signer of the Declaration of Independence and Father of the American Revolution - "And as it is our duty to extend our wishes to the happiness of the great family of man, I conceive that we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world that the rod of tyrants may be broken to pieces, and the oppressed made free again; that wars may cease in all the earth, and that the confusions that are and have been among nations may be overruled by promoting and speedily bringing on that holy and happy period when the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and all people everywhere willingly bow to the scepter of Him who is Prince of Peace."
Wow - this was just a snippet of quotes form some of our founding forefathers and those that signed the Declaration of Independence. I truly wonder what they would think of our country right now if they were still alive. I would have to believe they would very quickly come to the conclusion that our country needs healing.
Think about this as you gather with friends and family this July 4th, remember we are celebrating what God has done, how He has set us apart as a nation to follow Him and His ways, apply Godly principles to our everyday lives - to love one another as He has loved us. During this great celebration we are to give God great thanks, honor and praise for all that He has done especially for giving us the greatest freedom of all, His son Jesus Christ!