Saluting 245 Years of Freedom
As we come to the nation’s birthday on July 4th, I want to suggest two things.
(1) We should celebrate our freedom and (2) we should not forget how we got it.
To the fifty-six brave men, including one preacher (John Witherspoon), who signed the Declaration of Independence, we owe a great debt.
For the patriots like George Washington who went to war to secure our independence, we should be very thankful.
For the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have put on the uniform and served in our military, let’s give a fully whole-hearted salute.
Those many thousands (approximately 1.1 million) of Americans who have died in battle—let’s never ever fail to honor them.
From 1776 to this hour we have much for which to be thankful and much reason to celebrate when July 4th arrives.
With abortion, alcohol and numerous other tragic issues always on the front burner of things that need to be halted, we know America has its problems. Our country is not perfect, but we will never stop in our pursuit of perfecting it.
When Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32), He was advocating God’s eternal values as the key to our spiritual well-being as well as our long-term eternal welfare.
God’s truth offers us salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ whereby we are set free from the bondage of Satan and the condemnation of sin.
That same eternal truth and that same spiritual freedom are also at the foundation of a free society. When men build their lives on the value system of faith, they will reject totalitarianism in the pursuit of personal freedom.
Here in America the Bible, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are the bases upon which our country was founded and upon which it has survived and thrived.
As we approach the nation’s 245th birthday on July 4th,
I am grateful for the privilege to live here and for the freedom I have enjoyed my entire life.
A Christian and a Patriot
I am a Christian—a fundamental, Bible-believing, Bible-toting, Bible-quoting, born-again, church-going, soul-winning, tithing, Heaven-bound, excited and happy Christian.
I am also a patriot. I love my country, its hills and valleys, its rivers and deserts, its natural resources and its fruitful fields. I am a free enterprise, capitalistic, free-market enthusiast. I salute our soldiers and honor our veterans. I pay homage to our fallen heroes.
I salute the flag, say the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the “Star-Spangled Banner.” I back the blue. I vote every Election Day. I stand with those who are right and oppose those who are wrong. I am a peace-loving man; but if you threaten my freedom or my well-being, I will fight.
Yes, I am a Christian and I am a patriot. The two go hand in glove.
Patriots of the Past Paved the Way for Us
Samuel Adams (1722–1803), one of America’s Founding Fathers, was one of the men who crafted the principles of our republic. A second cousin to President John Adams, he said,
The liberties of our country… are worth defending at all hazards, and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors…[who] purchased them for us with toil and danger.
It was that same patriotic fervor that enveloped Patrick Henry (1736–1799) when he said, “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”
Early in the twentieth century President Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924) said, “Civilization itself seems to be in the balance, but right is more precious than peace.”
When I was less than a year old my own dad joined the Army, sailed across the Atlantic and fought for two solid years to defeat Hitler and the Nazis. He came home with a purple heart, but he lived to be an aged man.
He taught us that he took the fight to the enemy so that we and all men could be free. As a young man, I often heard the cry, “Better dead than red” as communism threatened the world.
Red, White and Blue: The Colors of Our Freedom
Here is a clever piece that John J. Daly wrote (1917) that speaks for me.
Old Glory Here’s to the Red of it—
There’s not a thread of it,
No, nor a shred of it
In all the spread of it From foot to head,
But heroes bled for it,
Faced steel and lead for it,
Precious blood shed for it, Bathing it Red.
Here’s to the White of it—
Thrilled by the sight of it,
Who knows the right of it
But feels the might of it Through day and night?
Womanhood’s care for it
Made manhood dare for it;
Purity’s prayer for it Keeps it so White.
Here’s to the Blue of it—
Beauteous view of it,
Heavenly hue of it,
Star-spangled dew of it, Constant and true.
Diadems gleam for it;
States stand supreme for it;
Liberty’s beam for it Brightens the blue.
Here’s to the whole of it—
Stars, stripes and pole of it;
Body and soul of it,
Oh, and the roll of it, Sun shining through.
Hearts in accord for it
Swear by the sword for it,
Thanking the Lord for it— Red, White and Blue.
On this July 4th let’s continue to look to the Lord, pray for our nation, give voice to our values, stand up against the evil in our society, push back against all enemies foreign and domestic and stand tall to celebrate our freedom.
An Appeal to God’s People for Our Nation
I’m looking at three Bible statements that should provoke and prod the people of God. They are
1. Proverbs 14:34: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”
2. Psalm 33:12: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.”
3. II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
What our nation needs is clearly presented in these great passages. What others do or do not do, we may not be able to determine; but like Joshua of old, we can say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Josh. 24:15).