Cyclist Ben King: “My identity is as a person loved by God first” (Gospel Light Minute #253)

Ben King at stage 5 of the 2014 Tour of Alberta

Since 2008, he has been a professional road racing cyclist. Currently, he rides for Team Dimension Data which is a cycling team based in South Africa. Prior to joining his current team, he rode for UCI Continental teams Kelly Benefit Strategies–Medifast in 2008 and Trek–Livestrong in 2009 and 2010. In September of 2010, he won the United States National Road Race Championships. Between 2011 and 2016, he rode professionally with Team RadioShack, RadioShack-Nissan, and Garmin-Sharp among a few others. In 2013, he took first place in the Shenandoah 100. In August of 2018, he won the first Grand Tour stage of his career at the Vuelta a Espana and backed this up with another victory on stage 9.

He said of his journey to faith in Christ, “I was raised in a Christian home and grew up with all the answers to big questions about life. I feel like my faith is constantly being renewed and strengthened by my own experiences, and facing my fears and doubts has led to affirmations.

“My faith grew a lot on a service trip I took in middle school to Chattanooga, Tenn. There the answers and theology I grew up with took on a life of their own. I saw God’s people at work loving their communities and offering hope and comfort in the midst of suffering and brokenness. Since then, I’ve been on a number of trips like that. For example, when Guy East, a former teammate of Trek-Livestrong, told me that he and Todd Henriksen, of AIA cycling, were organizing a four-day trip for athletes to build a home for a family in Tijuana, Mexico, I signed up.

“My identity as a person loved by God first and as an athlete second, has allowed me to deal with pressure and disappointment that accompany a sport where you’re only as good as your last race, and where for every good day there are 10 bad days. On the same note, it has allowed me to approach cycling as an act of worship, pouring my whole self into it, as in any other vocation. Colossians 3:23 (NIV) says: ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.’

“I feel alive on the bike. Each day of health and strength is a gift. I think it’s comparable to a musician worshiping. Cycling is a beautiful sport, and I like to think that with the right mind and heart it also pleases God.

“There aren’t really a lot of believers in the sport of cycling. So, my friends and family at home keep me level and grounded. My parents raised me to be well-rounded, which has helped me adapt to new countries, cultures, languages, teammates and circumstances since I became a pro cyclist. I read while I’m on the road and try to take advantage of quiet times. I found a small evangelical church in Italy near my home and I live with a fellow believer in Italy.

“I’ve been asked why I continue participating in a sport where I’m gone 10 months out of the year along with having to sacrifice many things in life in order to be a professional cyclist. I do it because I’m motivated by the desire to reach my full potential. I show improvement each year. Also, I love the sport. It’s a lifestyle. I even embrace the suffering. There is something purifying about coming home empty, knowing you’ve given your best effort and are working to improve yourself. I get to see the world and race in amazing places. I get the adrenaline of competition and have made lifelong friends through the sport.”

His name is Ben King.

This is the “Chief of Sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me. Just as Ben King trusted Jesus Christ as his Saviour, may I encourage you to do the same. Here is how:

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Remember, friend, Believe by faith. Share the faith. and Keep the faith!

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