The Ultimate Life Saver

Title: The Ultimate Life Saver
Category: Devotion
Subject: Salvation; Life Saver
The Ultimate Life Saver

Dr. George Harrison, one of my favorite professors at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, quipped in class, “Bad breath is better than no breath at all.” We know that people use peppermint candy to hide bad breath and have done so for years. Early advertising for Life Savers® pictured an old seaman throwing a life preserver to a female swimmer with the following caption “For That Stormy Breath.”

While attending a visitation and funeral at Wolfe-Bayview Funeral Home in Daphne, Alabama, I noticed large, individually wrapped, Pep-O-Mint Life Savers® in cut glass containers. Seeing the mints struck me as a very thoughtful gesture. Then it dawned on me that a place noted for death made “Life Savers®” available to visitors. At that time I began to think about the significance of Life Savers®.

One story continues to circulate that the inventor of Life Savers®, Clarence Arthur Crane of Cleveland, Ohio, lost a daughter due to choking on a piece of hard candy. The urban legend persists that he designed his peppermint candy with a hole to prevent the choking hazard. Articles like those written by Barbara Mikkelson on help solve the mystery of the origin of these popular mints. Mikkelson and others debunk this myth about the hole in the middle of the candy. Actually, Clarence Crane designed the “Crane’s Peppermint Life Saver” in 1912 to look like the ring shaped flotation device used on ships. In an effort to improve slumping summertime sales of his chocolate candy company Crane began to produce this peppermint candy. He wanted his product to stand apart from the pillow shaped peppermint candy produced in Great Britain, so he chose the life preserver motif as a marketing strategy.

It is interesting to trace the milestones of this well-know candy. Little did Clarence Crane know when he sold the rights of his peppermint candy to Edward Noble in 1913 for $2,900; eventually over one million locations would sell this candy in 12 roll varieties with 25 flavors. In due time, Kraft Foods purchased this special candy only to sell it in turn to the William Wrigley Jr. Company in part of a $1.5 billion deal.

What is the message of the Life Saver? When I see a Life Savers® mint it reminds me of our Lord Jesus Christ, who said of Himself, “the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). According to this statement of our Lord everyone on planet earth is saved or lost. Paul the Apostle explains, “when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7). Paul also writes of God, “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:7-9).

Jesus also declares, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Will you allow Jesus Christ to be your ultimate life saver?

By Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor
First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort
30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527
Author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice
Available on and
“Giving the Bible a Voice” on WNSI Sundays @ 10:30 AM
Click “Launch Player” to listen on Streaming Internet Radio (251) 626-6210
©April 14, 2008 All Rights Reserved