The Carlson Report sends our love and prayers to each of you on this Thanksgiving weekend. May it be your best ever. How thankful to know the Lord of the Bible and live in a wonderful Nation like America that has a rich, Christian heritage of godly people. It was President Abraham Lincoln that made Thanksgiving a National Holiday on October 3, 1863, at the height of the Civil War. Lincoln knew that whatever our trials, it was right and good to stop as individuals and a Nation to seek and thank the Lord. Lincoln wrote:
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.
Back then, President Lincoln was a great unifier, who used his office to bring people together, North and South, slave and free, rich and poor, Republican and Democrat. He used his Thanksgiving Proclamation to call the Nation back to the Lord to find the needed unity in the midst of our worst war of all, a war with each other. Even before the war, in a speech given at the State Capital in Springfield, Illinois on June 16, 1858, then candidate Lincoln told the audience that a “House divided against itself cannot stand,” quoting our Lord’s words from Matthew 12:25. Lincoln knew that without the Lord as the True Unifier, no nation could long endure. Lincoln was right!
Sadly, we are currently in a battle that is far more divisive than the Civil War. The Civil War was fought with canons and bullets, while our current battle is much more subtle. We are fighting for the spiritual soul of the Nation and our enemy is not flesh and blood. We are fighting a battle with the demonic powers behind multiculturalism and political correctness that refuses to acknowledge the God of the Bible as the true “Father” or “Almighty,” as Lincoln did in his proclamation. Without “one nation under God,” all that is left is division, chaos and confusion. How could it be otherwise?
This Thanksgiving our Nation is searching for its God. Many in our Nation have become orphans, who don’t know who our real Father is anymore. More and more of our youth and citizens are getting lost with empty speeches given by political leaders who claim to be “Christians” and lukewarm sermons from many of our pulpits. It seems that the real God of the Bible that Lincoln knew and spoke about in his Proclamation has truly been lost.
The essence of the battle we face in this hour is whether Jesus Christ is Lord of all or Lord of nothing at all. The Lord Jesus Christ is the God of the Bible and the God Abraham Lincoln was talking about in his Thanksgiving Proclamation. Jesus is the God mentioned on our money as part of our National Motto that states, “In God We Trust.” Sadly, this same Lord has now become a stranger to many of our leaders. We have exchanged the True Lord for a pantheon of gods that don’t exist under the banner of “tolerance” and “diversity.” This unhappy exchange has brought the Nation to such a place of political and spiritual division that we cannot long survive as a Nation. Lincoln’s impassioned speech in 1858 is as true today as ever, a house divided against itself will not stand for long.
So on this Thanksgiving weekend, I am so thankful that our Lord is the only Lord of all. One day soon every knee will bow and tongue confess that He alone is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11). And so on this blessed week of Thanksgiving, I don’t just give thanks for the turkey and mashed potatoes. I thank God that He is God and the only true God. I thank this wonderful Lord and God that He has saved us by His amazing grace on the Cross. That glorious truth is the real Thanksgiving for every believer today and forever.