VIDEO Give Thanks To The Source Of Our National Greatness

lincolnthanks greatness

Why do people from many other countries try to come to America—even in some cases, risking their lives to do so? What is the source of this nation’s greatness?

I think the single biggest thing that makes this country so great is that our founding document—the Declaration of Independence (upon which the Constitution is predicated)—says that our rights come from God. What God has given us, no man can take away.

John F. Kennedy said as such in his Inaugural Address: “And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe — the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”

But long before 1776, if you look at the original charters and founding documents of America, we see over and over the mention of God and the Christian faith.

So much so that when the Supreme Court quoted many of those documents in the Trinity decision in 1892, they concluded with the words, “…this is a Christian nation.”

The Supreme Court marshaled a very rich argument, documenting in detail our nation’s rich Judeo-Christian heritage. I assembled an appendix of The Book That Made America: How the Bible Formed Our Nation built primarily on that Trinity decision. The facts are on our side.

For example, in the Mayflower Compact, the Pilgrims explained why they came here. They wrote: “In the name of God. Amen. We whose names are underwritten…having undertaken a voyage for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith…”

Since the Pilgrims cast a long and positive shadow over so much of the future founding of the nation (even Thanksgiving is derived from them), you could say America began “in the name of God. Amen.” The Biblical concept of covenant gave rise to our two key founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

When our founding fathers first met in the First Continental Congress in 1774, they decided to open up in prayer. And the Congress has been praying ever since. In fact, the founders created chaplains for our national and state legislatures and also for the military.

If they thought that such religious activities violated their key principle that there would be no national denomination in America, they would not have created the chaplaincy system. Of course, all the original chaplains, decade upon decade, were Christian ministers.

Because of the Christian roots of America, people of all faiths or no faith are welcome here.

The founders wanted religion to be voluntary, not forced, but they wanted it to flourish. Freedom of religion gives freedom to all—including nonbelievers. Freedom from religion leads to state-sanctioned atheism and leads to non-freedom. Even the atheists fared badly in the failed Soviet Union, if they happened to disagree with the atheists in charge. Trotsky is an example.

George Washington said, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” That’s from his Farewell Address in 1796. He said that in a nation where 99.8% of the people professed to be Christians.

Our second president John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Several years ago,TIME Magazine, wrote. “Ours is the only country deliberately founded on a good idea. That good idea combines a commitment to man’s inalien­able rights with the Calvinist belief in an ultimate moral right and sinful man’s obligation to do good. These articles of faith, embodied in the Declaration of Independence and in the Constitu­tion, literally govern our lives today” (“Looking to Its Roots,” 5/25/87).

President Eisenhower said in 1955, “Without God, there could be no American form of Government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first—the most basic—expression of Americanism.”

Ronald Reagan said, “America needs God more than God needs America. If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”

So in today’s highly secular age, where any mention of God is being actively banished from the public square, we should never forget that God has been a key part of America’s greatness.

This Thanksgiving, as we see the need for healing of the American soul and a need for America to return to God, at least we should be grateful for what He has done in our past. People are dying—in some cases, literally—to get into this country, so that perhaps they too can enjoy what we often take for granted every single day: freedom—which is a gift from our Christian forebears.


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In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

The holiday we now call “Thanksgiving” is rooted in the harvest celebration of the Plymouth Pilgrims in 1621. And their harvest celebration had excellent biblical precedent: At least three feasts in Israel included thanks for the blessings of the various harvests. The Feasts of Firstfruits (March-April), Weeks/Pentecost (May-June), and Tabernacles (September-October) all included thanks for various harvests during the agricultural year. George Washington encouraged the celebration of “Thanksgiving” and Abraham Lincoln made it official in 1863: a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

In the New Testament, we find that Christ changed everything—including the giving of thanks. Since all the ceremonial celebrations of Israel were fulfilled in the Messiah, there are no more official days of thanksgiving. Rather, we are told, “in everything give thanks.” In Christ, we have reason and opportunity to express our thanks to God for all things at all times.

Let this official Thanksgiving Day be a reminder to give thanks in everything—today and every day.

God’s giving deserves our thanks-giving. Anonymous

Prayers of Gratitude

Psalms 138

Prayer is the amazing privilege of entering into God’s throne room. The Creator and Ruler of the universe actually invites us to communicate with Him. Typically, our prayers consist of petitions, intercession, confession, praise, and thanksgiving.

Which of these five aspects of prayer consumes most of the time you spend talking with the Father? If you’re like many believers, you’d have to admit that thanksgiving isn’t at the top of the list. And there are several reasons why this could be true.

Whatever fills our minds is also what dominates our prayers. If we feel overwhelmed with problems, petitions naturally become more urgent. When concerns for loved ones are foremost in our mind, then intercession will be our focus. A sense of conviction and regret over sin leads us to concentrate on confession. All these are important and necessary, but we can’t let the cares of this earthly life and our own needs prevent us from taking time to center our attention on the Lord.

Now, it’s true that after we’ve seen God work in our life or answer a prayer request, we’re filled with gratitude and thank Him repeatedly. But after a while we tend to forget and drift back into our regular thought patterns. Here’s the key to keeping gratitude and praise foremost in our prayers: learning to know the Lord more deeply. As we read the Scriptures and discover His glorious nature and mighty works, He’ll become our focus, and our prayers will be filled with praise and thanks, not just for what He’s done for us but in appreciation of who He is—our good, loving, faithful, and glorious God.

Fullness of Blessing

“And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.” (Romans 15:29)

One beautiful characteristic of life in Christ is its fullness. Jesus Christ is Himself “the fullness of him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:23), and He does everything to the full! When He fed the multitude, there were 12 baskets left over (John 6:13); when He brought in the miraculous catch of fishes, the nets were so full that they broke, and the boats so full they began to sink (Luke 5:6-7).

First of all, He gives fullness of grace. “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace” (John 1:16). Then comes fullness of joy and peace: “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11). “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Romans 15:13).

It is then possible—in fact, we are commanded—to be “filled with the Spirit . . . making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:18-19). Not only does the Holy Spirit indwell us, but so do the Father and the Son, by the Spirit. Jesus said: “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23). In this way, the triune God indwells us, and thereby we “know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that [we] might be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).

All the fullness of God! In Jesus Christ “dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him” (Colossians 2:9-10), “for it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell” (Colossians 1:19). With the resources of such fullness of blessing available to us, we should be constantly growing “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). HMM

My First Priority

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. —Psalm 122:1

What are we going to do about this awesome, beautiful worship that God calls for? I would rather worship God than do any other thing I know of in all this wide world….

I cannot speak for you, but I want to be among those who worship. I do not want just to be a part of some great ecclesiastical machine where the pastor turns the crank and the machine runs. You know—the pastor loves everybody and everybody loves him. He has to do it. He is paid to do it.

I wish that we might get back to worship again. Then when people come into the church they will instantly sense that they have come among holy people, God’s people. They can testify, “Of a truth God is in this place.”

Lord, I pray that Your Church would discover a renewed passion for worship, that we would become a people who make Your presence known through our very actions, attitudes and presence in the world. Amen.

Let Us All Be Thankful

Giving thanks always… in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:20)

To be grateful to God’s servants is to be grateful to God; and it follows that in a very real sense we thank God when we thank His people!

We will always have spiritual leaders, and I think we make two mistakes in our attitudes toward them. One is not being sufficiently grateful to them. The other is in following them too slavishly.

The first is a sin of omission, and because it is something that is not there, it is not likely to be noticed as a sin that is plainly present.

We do make a serious mistake when we become so attached to the preaching or writing of a great Christian leader that we accept his teaching without daring to examine it. We should follow men only as they follow the Lord. We should keep an open mind lest we become blind followers of a man whose breath is in his nostrils.

Learn from every holy man and his ministry. Be grateful to every one of them and thankful for them—and then follow Christ!

Very bitter is the enmity of the world against the people of Christ

Very bitter is the enmity of the world against the people of Christ. Men will forgive a thousand faults in others, but they will magnify the most trivial offense in the follower of Jesus. Instead of vainly regretting this, let us turn it to account, and since so many are watching for our halting, let this be a special motive for walking very carefully before God. If we live carelessly, the lynx-eyed world will soon see it, and they will shout triumphantly, “See how these Christians act!” The cross of Christ is in itself an offense to the world; let us take heed that we add no offense of our own, for thus can much damage be done to the cause of Christ, and much insult offered to his name.