Give yourself some homework. Read the Bible every day. At the beginning of the year our elders asked us to read the Bible daily. How have you done? Sometimes a busy day squeezes out our reading. That happens, but we need to jump right back in.
God’s word is precious and is the result of the miraculous power of inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Interestingly, these two verses immediately precede Paul’s command to “Preach the word” in 2 Timothy 4:1. The purpose of that preaching is to “reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and teaching” ( 2 Timothy 4:2). A knowledge of the word, that comes through constant study, enables one to teach himself and others. Many believe, and I am one of them, that a lack of Bible knowledge has contributed massively to the weak spiritual condition of so many. Let’s get to work reading!
Math is important. The Bible is clear. Addition is important. Jesus began with a dozen apostles and many disciples. After his death and ascension about 120 people gathered in Jerusalem waiting for the Holy Spirit to fall on the apostles (Acts 1:15). By the end of the day their number had grown to 3,000. Three times in the book of Acts, the Bible says the church “multiplied” in number (Acts 6:7; Acts 9:31; Acts 12:24). That was exponential growth.
Our Lord desires that we grow the church today. We have a commission, a Great Commission, which instructs us to share the truth of the gospel with all (Matthew 28:19-20). If we are to evangelize the world, only exponential growth will work. Adding one or two here and there will fail!
The right kind of math is important. We must multiply, not divide. Paul speaks of division in the early church, most notably at Corinth. “I appeal to you brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that there be no divisions among you…” (1 Corinthians 1:10). In mathematics the number “1” is sometimes spoken of as “unity.” Indeed, when we are living and acting as one in Christ (John 17:11) we are unified. Such oneness is essential to solid growth in the church.
So, school is back in session. Let’s all dedicate ourselves to being fine students of the word. We tell our children that good performance in school will help them to gain better jobs later in life. That’s true. A good Bible student cannot “perform” his way into God’s mercies but can greatly improve the quality of life by knowing the Lord whom we serve. As the song says, “I have found a friend in Jesus” and likewise, I can go “Anywhere with Jesus.” Know him and the power of his life. You will be blessed.