Today’s Scripture: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8

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.

Today, as we celebrate the birth of our nation and the declaration of our independence, it is good to pause and reflect on the dedication of the fifty-six men who signed the Declaration of Independence.

Carter Braxton, of Virginia, owned a plantation and was a trader. He saw his ships swept from the seas by the British. He was forced to sell his properties to pay his debts, and he died penniless. He lost everything because of his signature.

Thomas McKean was hunted like a fox by the British and forced to move his family five times in three months. He served in the Continental Congress without pay; his family was kept in hiding, and all their possessions were taken.

Thomas Nelson, Jr., had his home taken over by British General Cornwallis to be used as the British headquarters. He urged General Washington to open fire on that house; Washington did, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and property destroyed. The enemy captured his wife, and she died there in prison.

John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she lay dying. Thirteen of his children fled. His fields and flour mill were laid to waste. For more than a year, he lived in hiding. Upon his return, he found his wife dead and his children gone. Shortly after, he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.

Do these stories of dedication inspire you? These men gave everything they had for the cause of freedom. How can we as Christians not be dedicated to the God Who gave everything for us? As we celebrate Independence Day today, let us also recommit our dedication to the cause of Christ.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.