Pastor William was assigned to a small country church some years ago as he was nearing retirement. Attached to the church was a small school and William would visit the children from time to time. On one of his visits, the students were studying the different states of the United States. Pastor William asked the children if they could recite all of them from memory. The class worked together and came up with about forty of the fifty states. Pastor William remarked that in his day the children knew all of the states by heart. A lad near the front of the class raised his hand. "Yes sir, but in those days there were only 13 states."
We chuckle at some of the things children say, but even though Pastor William obviously was not alive when this nation consisted of only thirteen states, it is amazing to realize that our country is not as old as we like to think it is. Yesterday we celebrated 241 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Placed in the grand scheme of time, this is not that long. It's hard to believe that it hasn't been that long since we told the world that we wanted to be free. But as we talk and sing and celebrate freedom let's remember that physical freedom isn't everything. Jesus told the Jews, who claimed that they had always been free as children of Abraham, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31, 32). Jesus later said that He is the truth (John 14:6). We can only find Him by continuing in His word and then through Him and His death on the cross, we will have true freedom. This freedom has been purchased at an infinitely greater cost than the physical freedom we have in America. What are you doing with yours?