There once was a man who had a goat. He was not very smart—the man, that is. One day, he wanted to take his goat across the river to get to better pasture. But he only had a very small boat big enough for one person. He may not have been very smart, but he was not dumb enough to risk being in a very small boat with a goat.

The man said to himself, “Self, how can we cross the river to get the greener grass without tipping the boat?” He reasoned, “My goat can probably swim. But what shall I do if he does not follow me in the boat? Ah, I must tie a rope around him and lead him as he swims.”

He set to work on his plan when he remembered, “The only rope I have is the anchor line. I won’t need the anchor, so I will just leave it in the boat and tie the other end to my goat.”

So off went the man in his boat with the goat tied behind it. But when the boat launched into the river, the man discovered the river was swift (and he was not). He also noticed that there was a dam with a 100-foot waterfall just downriver. In panic, he decided, “I must throw out the anchor!”

The story of the not-so-smart man who tried to save himself does not have a happy ending. He neither saved himself, nor the goat; for the goat behind the boat did not float. And the not-very-smart man met his untimely end falling a hundred feet, yelling, “Float, you goat!” (He was not very smart, you know!)

What mankind needs for security is not the anchor of human merit, but the Lifeboat of Jesus Christ. He alone can rescue us from the penalty of our sins. Maybe you know someone who is trying to get to Heaven by their own merits. It’s possible he or she is indifferent to the danger of spending eternity without Christ. I hope your heart is burdened for them. Show the love of Christ to them and bring them to the Lifeboat before it’s too late.

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The gospel of Jesus Christ can make bad men good and good men better, can alter human nature, and can change human lives. — David O. McKay

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.