Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”
Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us”
Helene Madison was born in Madison, Wisconsin on June 19, 1913 and died in Seattle, Washington on November 27, 1970 of throat cancer. She was an American competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder. In 1930 and 1931 she broke sixteen world records in various distances. As an American Olympic champion, she won three gold medals in freestyle at the 1932 Summer Olympic Games, becoming, along with Romeo Neri of Italy, the most successful athlete there.
Royal Brougham a highly respected Seattle citizen, devout Christian, philanthropist and one of the longest tenured employees as a writer of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, primarily as sports editor. He befriended movie stars like Bing Crosby and athletes such as Jack Dempsey, Babe Ruth and Helene Madison. Concerning Helene he wrote that, “She could out swim any woman on earth.” However, after winning 23 national championships and breaking every world record, she dropped out of sight. Some thirty years later Brougham wrote a different story regarding Helene.
He told of finding Helene sitting in a one-room basement apartment, a despondent woman. Forgotten by the world and desperately ill, the former Olympic champion was planning to drive her car to some dead-end road, close the windows and by piping in carbon monoxide snuff out the life that still remained in her cancer-ravaged body. Brougham convinced her to change her mind and seek help. A year later she died, but not without hope. In recounting her death, Brougham wrote, “At long last, Helene Madison placed her thin, frail hand into the hand of a bedside counselor and asked the Lord Jesus to come into her heart. She finally found the peace she had unsuccessfully sought in so many other ways.”
As born-again believers in Christ, many times we become so frustrated when people who aren’t saved, especially family members, who refuse to trust in Jesus Christ. My brethren, when that happens, we must remember our role is to obey the command to tell others about Jesus Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to convict and save them. Jesus began His search-and rescue operation on earth by His life, death, and resurrection. However, He continues it today through the power of the Holy Spirit, and He graciously invites us to participate with Him by witnessing and loving those who are lost!
The prophet Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). God, who knows, says we deceive no one but ourselves if we think we have no sin (1 John 1:8). God’s Eternal Word clarifies the picture, for it is “a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Only as we measure ourselves by God’s standards will we see that we fall short of the glory of God. Only then will we realize the urgent necessity of salvation and accept His gracious offer of cleansing. My brethren, the same loving Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Helene Madison peace at last, stands ready to give ever lasting peace and eternal salvation to all who come to Him. The question that you must answer is, “Have you recognized your need of Jesus Christ and the salvation that only He can give?”
O send Thy Spirit, Lord, now unto me,
That He may touch my eyes and make me see;
Show me the truth concealed within Thy Word,
And in Thy Book revealed I see Thee, Lord. – Groves
Life with Christ is an endless hope; however, life without Christ is a hopeless end!