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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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Becoming Bigger

Paul M. Allen relates the following, "A sign in the Red Dog Saloon, Juneau, Alaska, reads, 'If our food, drinks and services aren't up[ to your standards, please lower your standards.'"  (Reader's Digest, March, 2002).  That sign, humorous or not, reminds me why the world needs Jesus so much.  He refuses to allow us to become content with low living.  He calls us to follow Him and by so doing become all God can make us to be.  Mark 1: 17, records Jesus' challenge to Peter and Andrew, "Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men."  Some of the best news in the gospel is found in the simple words of that call given so long ago, "Follow Me, and I will make you become."  These are hopeful words, for they assure us of the possibility of change.  If my life is not what it should be or what I know God wants it to be, I can, with God's power and grace, become more like He wants me to be!  Peter and Andrew ere fishing for fish but God wanted them to fish for the souls of men!

In the 1920's, a man by the name of Mallory repeatedly sought to scale Mt. Everest.  The first attempt failed, as did the second.  A third attempt was make with a team of the best quality and ability.  In spite of careful planning and extensive safety precautions, on the third attempt an avalanche hit and Mallory and most of his party were killed.  When the few who survived returned to England, a great banquet was held to honor the adventurous souls of Mallory's final expedition.  As the leader of the survivors stood to acknowledge the applause, he looked around the banquet hall at framed pictures of those who had died.  Then he turned his back to the crowd to face a huge picture of Mt. Everest which loomed like a silent, unconquerable giant behind the head banquet table.  With tears streaming down his face, he addressed the mountain on behalf of Mallory and his dead comrades.  "I speak to you, Mt. Everest, in the name of all brave men living and those yet unborn.  Mt. Everest, you defeated us once; you defeated us twice; you defeated us three times.  But Mt. Everest, we shall someday defeat you, because you can't get any bigger, and we can."

Your mountain may be a shaky marriage or a bad habit or some serious if secret sin.  The good news of the gospel is that you can become bigger than your mountain.  You can become more of whatever God wants you to be.  More faithful.  More forgiving.  More generous.  More patient.  More prayerful.  Following Jesus always results in us becoming more than we could be by following the ways of the world.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ