On July 4, 1776, Congress officially approved the Declaration of Independence. In response to this momentous declaration of the united colonies’ separation from Great Britain, John Adams wrote these insightful words in a letter to his wife concerning the remembrance of this day, now known as Independence Day:

“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 solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

This weekend, Americans from sea to shining sea will gather family, friends, and neighbors to celebrate their liberty with cookouts and local festivities on the Fourth of July. The warmth of early summer and the sounds of children will fill the air as patriotic music pulls at our hearts. Fireworks will be painted overhead on a canvas of clear night sky. This favorite day of summer provides the opportunity for people from all backgrounds to celebrate the precious freedoms and opportunities we enjoy in this country.

And while it’s important to be with family and friends on this day, it’s also good to reflect on why we’re celebrating. Our early forebears left England for the unfamiliar shores of America mainly because they were unhappy under the tyranny of religious persecution. Since those dawning years of our country, many others have migrated for the same reason. They gave up everything for the right to freely worship God here.

Among the many freedoms our country guarantees, what we as believers particularly hold dear is the right to worship God and to read His Word, the Bible, freely. In many countries on this earth, this freedom still does not exist. Here at Bibles for America, we are so thankful that we can spread His Word across this nation. This is something we do not take for granted; we thank God for the establishing of this country with such freedoms.

This July 4th, as we watch fireworks and wave flags in celebration, may we also pause to reflect on our nation’s heritage. As the festivities end and the last trails of smoke glide across the summer night sky, take a moment to solemnly thank God for all that our freedom allows.

May God bless all the inhabitants of America with His salvation and the full knowledge of the truth in His Word.