Saturday, July 4, we celebrate Independence Day, the birth of our beloved country, The United States of America. Do you recall when you were required to memorize the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence?
“We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal
that they are endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and
the pursuit of Happiness.”
Abraham Lincoln called this document “a rebuke and a stumbling-block to tyranny and oppression.” The war to gain that independence last 8 years from April 19, 1775 – September 3, 1783.
There is a saying that “Freedom is not free.” The Revolutionary War came at the price of 6,800 American lives, 6,100 wounded, 20,000 prisoners of war with an additional 17,000 deaths from disease and between 8,000-12,000 prisoner of war deaths. British casualties were around 24,000 from war, disease and prison. These numbers do not include casualties among Hessian soldiers, African Americans and soldiers from France, Spain, The United Netherlands and other European nations.
As we celebrate the Birth of our Nation, we must solemnly remember the price that was paid for our Liberty. We must also ponder the meaning of the words, unalienable Rights, Life, Liberty and happiness.
“Unalienable” means not transferable to another or not capable of being taken away or denied. Unalienable Rights” are rights given to individuals by God and no one has authority to take them away. Freedom is in that category.
“Life” is also given by God. It is sacred, It is associated with “breath” and “soul”. Life is precious, of great value, to be preserved at all cost. Jesus gave his life that we might have life eternal with Him. To God, “ALL LIVES MATTER” and they should matter to us.
“Liberty” is freedom – freedom from slavery, imprisonment, captivity or any form of arbitrary control
“Happiness” is a feeling of pleasure, contentment, finding meaning and purpose in life and work. It is having gratitude, living with a thankful heart.
As Christians we consider ourselves to be citizens of our beloved Country and citizens of the Kingdom of God. All that God grants to us by his grace, we are also entitled to as citizens of our Country. We are to respect, honor and obey God’s laws and the laws of our land. Knowing that both the freedom that we have in Christ and the freedom that we enjoy in our country has come to us at a tremendous cost. As men Christ died on the cross for our spiritual freedom, men died on the battlefield for our human freedom.
As Christians we believe and teach that “the ground is level at the foot of the cross.” God is no respected of persons. He sent his Son to die for all people, for “whosoever believes shall not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Through Jesus death on the cross, Jesus liberates us, frees us from the bondage of sin and death. Our happiness in Christ is knowing that our sins are forgiven and our eternal life in heaven with Jesus is secure.
In His Love, Charles