On July 4, 1776, 56 men sat in a hot room and deliberated for hours concerning freedom from the oppressive rule of England. High on their list of freedoms was taxation without representation. Also high on the list was the liberty to worship God according to the dictates of conscience rather than as ascribed by the Church of England. These highly respected men, turned rebels, we no ordinary men. They were all sober men; not dreamy-eyed intellectuals. They were also wealthy and highly respected men and certainly were not hot headed men seeking self-glory. They were also principled men. Two became presidents, seven became governors, one died in office as a vice-president and several became senators.
The Declaration of Independence, drafted largely by Thomas Jefferson, was discussed, argued and reduced by over 500 words with 86 alterations but was adopted on July 4, 1776.
Most amazing in all this was this statement. “And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” Nine of the 56 died of wounds or hardships in the Revolutionary War. Five were captured and tortured, several lost wives and some cases, their entire families. One lost all 13 of his children. Most were driven from their homes, twelve had their homes and possessions burned to the ground, 17 lost everything and one let the British take the lives of his two sons rather than recanting. It has also been said the one looming question among them was, “Will future generations be able to keep it?”
Yet another story of freedom and sacrifice is found in Jesus Christ. He gave up the pleasures of heaven to become a man and then gave His life in exchange for our salvation. “IF THE SON SETS YOU FREE, YOU WILL BE FREE INDEED. “ (John 8:36)
TRUE FREEDOM IS NEVER THE RIGHT TO LIVE THEY WAY WE WANT,
BUT IS THE POWER TO LIVE THE WAY WE SHOULD.