by Bill Bright
While General and first President George Washington is my all-time favorite American hero, Lincoln is another.
There are many other great and godly leaders which our nation has produced-people who exhibited unusual vision and integrity and, most importantly, who trusted in and loved our Lord Jesus Christ. Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest.
God raised up Abraham Lincoln for the greatest crisis in American history. His integrity and leadership, and most importantly, his faith and time on his knees before God, preserved the union and helped the nation rid itself of the horrible institution of slavery.
Mrs. Lincoln stated that the battle of Gettysburg had a profound effect upon her husband, as he saw the graves of thousands of soldiers. One historian states that it was there that President Lincoln made a deep commitment to Jesus Christ.
Schuyler Colfax, who later became vice president of the United States, said that Lincoln would often get up as early as 4 a.m. in order that he might have time to read his Bible and pray before visitors would begin to arrive at the White House. On one occasion, Lincoln said: "That the Almighty does make use of human agencies, and directly intervenes in human affairs, is one of the plainest statements of the Bible. I have had so many evidences of His direction, so many instances when I have been controlled by some other power than my own, that I cannot doubt that this power comes from above."
On April 14, 1865, just five days after the Civil War had ended, Abraham Lincoln went to Ford's Theatre with his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. She recalled his last words as they sat there: "He said he wanted to visit the Holy Land and see those places hallowed by the footprints of the Savior. He was saying there was no city he so much desired to see as Jerusalem. And with the words half spoken on his tongue, the bullet of the assassin entered the brain, and the soul of the great and good President was carried by the angels to the New Jerusalem above."
© 2003, Bill Bright.
The late Dr. Bright was founder and president/chairman emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ.