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Republican Greg Abbott Sworn in as Texas Governor, Credits 'Grace of God' for Success

( [email protected] ) Jan 20, 2015 04:33 PM EST

Greg Abbott
Republican Greg Abbott was sworn in on January 20, 2015 as Texas' first new governor in 14 years.

Republican Greg Abbott emphasized the grace of God and his dedication to the people of Texas after being sworn in as the state's first new Governor in 14 years.

On Tuesday, Abbott, who has used a wheelchair since breaking his back in an accident as a young man, said his journey demonstrates how "the improbable becomes the possible."

"Let's face it, this moment was highly improbable. During this month 30 years ago I laid in a hospital bed recovering from injuries that broke my back and left me forever unable to walk," said the 57 year old politician, who was sworn in by Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht.

A devout Christian, Abbott said his journey from his hospital bed as a young man to Governor was due to God's grace and his "good fortune to live in the great State of Texas."

"As I begin my Governorship I humbly ask for God's continued grace and guidance, and I assure you: We will never forget that we remain One Nation Under God," the Governor stated.

Abbott has served more than a decade as the Texas attorney general and is taking over from Rick Perry, who is the longest-serving governor in Texas history and is considered a Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election.

On Monday, Perry passed down Texas' historic governors' Bible to his successor, and underlined text from Matthew 20:25-28 to help guide Abbott to success in his tenure as Texas' new executive.

"I gave a lot of thought about what I wanted to mark for you," Perry told Abbott as he revealed his underlining of Matthew 20:25-28.

The passage reads: "Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister, and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant, even as the son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life a ransom for many."

"You are called to be a servant first," Perry explained.

Abbott appeared to take Perry's advice to heart, stating that as Governor, he will continue to focus on ensuring that the state remains a place of opportunity for all its citizens. He cited more help for traffic and water problems, education for children who are struggling, efforts to provide a more skilled workforce, and assistance for veterans who return broken from battle.

Regarding his Texas agenda, Abbott said he will strive to keep Texas at the forefront of job creation, while acknowledging those who live on the fringe of opportunity - those in broken homes and trying to learn in "broken schools."

"And we must do more for the millions of Texans who are tired of seeing our state sovereignty and the rule of law ignored by a federal government that refuses to secure our border," said Abbott.

"As governor I will continue my legacy of pushing back against Washington if they spend too much, regulate too much, or violate our state sovereignty," Abbott said. "Any government that uses the guise of fairness to rob us of our freedom will get a uniquely Texan response: 'come and take it.'"