The Fourth of July

Mark 16:15 NIV

15 And then (Jesus) told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone."


Did you know that President John Adams, our nation's second president, wanted the Fourth of July to be a holy day? Here’s what he said, "I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance, by a solemn act of devotion to God Almighty."27 Then, in a speech celebrating the 61st anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams' son, John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States of America, said, "Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day? Is it not that the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation, is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not the Declaration of Independence that first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission on earth?"28


What a wonderful day the Fourth of July is. Everywhere you look you will see the colors red, white, and blue on display. We celebrate with parades, fireworks, and backyard cookouts with lots of food! These are all fun activities, and I look forward to them every year. However, after reading what John and Quincy Adams wrote, I have a new appreciation for the Fourth of July. These men considered the anniversary of America’s independence as evidence of God’s blessing on our country. They celebrated their liberation while pointing their flags towards the God who saved them. These great Americans knew where their freedom came from.  


Although one date marks the celebration of the event of our independence, I challenge you to remember each day is a day of freedom. Each day is a day to be grateful. Each day is a day to live for God. Each day is a day to be thankful that we live in the greatest country in the world and serve the greatest God in the universe. So many Christians live in countries where they are persecuted severely for their beliefs. We are not. Take advantage of it. The world is waiting to hear about your freedom. They're waiting to hear about your success. The want to understand how you can be happy in a callous world.  Celebrate everyday and be a light of freedom.  


Action steps

  1. Read - Re-read Mark 16:15.
  2. Think - Think about what the word “independence” means to you with regards to your own life.
  3. Write - Take a moment to list the areas of your life you have freedom over, for example your choice for a spouse, how many children to have, where to work, where to live, how to serve God, etc.
  4. Pray - Thank God in prayer today for the specific freedom you have in this country.
  5. Take away - Take time today to thank God for good that's in your life. The more you see the Good News operating in your life, the more people will want what (Who) you have.
The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.
— John Adams, in a letter written to Abigail on the day of the Declaration’s approval