There are a few words that I associate with Independence Day- Freedom, Liberty, Soldier, Veteran and Love.
I rarely wish someone a happy 4th of July, because it’s so much more than just a day. Independence has meaning.
Independent (n) meaning; not subject to the authority of another, not dependent on or part of a larger group. Not influenced by others. Acting as to manage one’s own affairs, self-reliant.
Independence (n) meaning; the quality of being independent.
Not all shared the desire for independence when British rule was becoming more tyrannical, but for those who did, they gave so much to obtain it and even more to keep it. It has been the same spirit and determination ever since which has kept this nation free and in relative peace.
The Founders gave their wisdom to the new Nation’s Independent spirit in the laws, enshrined in the Constitution. Their prayers, debates, and their personal thoughts showed that they had hopes, yet also a fear of a time when the people of America would lose everything they had given so much for, that all they had wrought would be stripped away if the people ever grew dependent on the government.
Liberty is defined as “the right and the power to believe, act, and express oneself as one chooses, of being free from restriction, and having the freedom of choice. It is the condition of having the power to act and speak without restraints.”
Liberty is when individuals behave according to their will and can govern themselves, taking responsibility for their actions and behaviors. There is a difference between liberty and licence however- as licence gives everyone the right to do whatever they want whenever they want, which plunges society into anarchy. Liberty comes with responsibility.
Billy Sunday, former pro baseball player and early 20th Century Evangelist (early contemporary of Billy Graham) once proclaimed, “I dare not exercise personal liberty if it infringes on the liberty of others.“
Freedom is defined as “the state of being free to enjoy political, social, and civil liberties. It is the power to decide one’s actions, and the state of being free from restraints or confinement. It is synonymous to the words liberty, privilege, deliverance, and independence.”
Freedom gives individuals the ability to exercise free will, which gives them freedom from coercion or restriction. As Christians know free will is given by God to all, we have the choice to follow Him in obedience, or follow our own paths through life, while enjoying or reaping the consequences of our choices.
As Edmund Burke once stated, “Men qualify for freedom in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains on their own appetites. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power is put somewhere on will and appetite, and the less of it there is within, the more their must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.“
On this Independence Day, it is my hope that people will think and understand what true Independence means, and with it, the liberty and freedom we have as a nation enjoyed for over 200 years.
Our founders fought for Independence from a tyrannical government who refused to represent the people. Brave men and women have been fighting to keep us free from tyranny ever since.
Our founders gave us a Constitution with our God given rights embedded throughout our laws.
As citizens of America, we must continue to speak out, to use whatever powers and rights we have to remind those in our government that they are to do the will of the people, that they work for us as employees. They must adhere to the oaths they swore, to uphold the Constitution.
As Christ followers, citizens of Heaven, we also must continue to pray for our leaders (all of them) and share the Gospel of Jesus. Our country is in a world of hurt spiritually and unless the hearts of the people change we can’t change the course we’re on as a nation -which will be liberty lost.
As John Adams said, “Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure than they have it now, They may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty. They will only exchange Tyrants and Tyrannies.“
Jesus said and demonstrated that “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Our Savior proved that as He laid His life down for our redemption- as a propitiation for our sins. In essence the American men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice have demonstrated a great love when they laid down their lives for our freedoms.
Our Independence depends on keeping liberty and freedom. Our men and women in uniform now and all of those who have served in the past to keep our freedoms deserve nothing less than the freedoms they’ve bought.
America, humble yourselves and Bless God and thank Him for the nation we’ve been given, the freedoms and liberty we’ve been granted.
And God, please Bless our Troops and Veterans this Independence Day and every day. Help us preserve what they have given to us.
And all the people said….