She is a racing cyclist who won the UCI world time trial championship in 2008 and the U.S. national road race championship in 2003. She played soccer and ran cross-country in junior high and high school. She graduated with both an undergraduate and graduate degree from the University of Nebraska all while scoring a top 10 finish at the national collegiate cycling championships. She is the only active American female cyclist to win multiple UCI category 1 stage races, having won the Gracia Tour in 2002, the Tour du Montreal in 2003 and the Tour de l’Aude (Od) in 2005 and again in 2006.
She said of her faith, “When I was 4 years old, I was in the hospital with spinal meningitis. They told my parents I was going to die, but if I survived I would be brain-damaged and deaf. I made it through that, and during that time, I know my parents had some friends who were Christians who were praying for me. As a result, my family started going to a Christian church.
I went to a Christian grade school, so I was around really solid people who walked their faith and talked about Christ. Through that, more so than anything, God was working in my heart at a very young age. I remember as an eighth grader having a real strong faith already. Even in high school when I started dealing with my injuries, my faith was already really solid.
I played soccer and was a distance runner in high school, but I began experiencing stress fractures around the end of high school. I went to college on a track scholarship, but the injuries kept me on and off the field. I really knew that God had given me something special but I wasn’t getting the chance to use it. It was four years of just waiting, trusting, and as the Bible says, ‘rejoice in your suffering, because suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character hope.’ That whole process happened over those four years while I was struggling with the running.
Someone took me out for a bike ride when I was in graduate school, and I loved it. When I found out you could race bikes, I started racing. I missed the Olympic team in 2004 by 8 seconds, then made the 2008 team. I had to fight for four years to come back. During that time, I had a two-year stretch with three really bad crashes and a torn muscle, surgery on my hand and finger, a broken shoulder, a shattered collar bone and another surgery.
It was one of those times where I spent a lot of time talking to God, asking, “Am I on track?” With a lot of prayer and consideration, I knew I just had to run the race set before me and persevere through it. God’s going to be with us, and we use His strength in the midst of all of it to get through it. It’s why I am here and how I got here… it’s all because of Him.
One of my favorite quotes is always be a witness for Christ and if necessary use words. I think in sport just living a life that reflects Christ, walking in a way that honors God and is real, and being genuine in who you are is huge. People need to see Christians live a Christian life. Sport is the best way to be on that stage and to do that. When people have a chance to share how they got to the places they’ve gotten to, it has that much more of an impact.”
Her name is Amber Neben.
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 Amber Neben gave her life to Christ, 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 Society.com 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!