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Sunday, January 3, 2010

For Bravery

Eynon Hawkins was a Welsh miner, born in 1920 and dying in Wales in 2001. During World War II Eynon was an able seaman aboard a British Navy vessel.  On January 10, 1943, German U-boats fired three torpedoes into the vessel. The ship exploded into flames and was burning furiously. Many of the crew jumped into the sea -- the only way they might escape with their lives. However even that was fraught with more than the usual danger, for oil from the ships fuel tanks had spread across the water and threatened to set even the ocean ablaze.

Eynon Hawkins was one of those crewmen who jumped into the ocean. He was also a very strong swimmer, and keeping his wits about him, organized most of the sailors into a group and led them away to safety. It was his example and encouragement, especially to the weaker swimmers, that kept them going until they were rescued by the British Navy.

On two occasions Eynon left the group to turn back and save others. This meant swimming into oil covered waters that were ablaze. The risk of being completely enveloped by the flames was very high, and though Eynon escaped it was not before he suffered extensive burning to his face.

For great bravery in saving life at sea, Eynon was awarded the distinguished Albert Medal.  It was recognized that apart from Eynon's actions, most of the men on the "SS British Dominion" would have lost their lives. *

Due to our SIN, you and I are in a far more perilous condition than those swimming seamen.  For the wages of sin is certain death (Romans 6:23). Yet, when WE were drowning in guilt and despair, the Son of God came to our rescue.  

In order to save us from sin, He had to endure the most excruciating pain by dying on a cross.  He gave His life so that we might live.

Jesus' loving sacrifice is the Way of salvation to those who: believe in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), are baptized (immersed) in His name for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16), and follow Him faithfully until death (1Jn 1:7).

There is NO medal so glorious that could possibly be awarded Him that would adequately honor Him for His bravery in saving our lives.  The only appropriate response is our gratitude demonstrated through our loving obedience to His will.

Won't YOU cling to the Savior through your trusting obedience?

David A. Sargent, Minister


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