I like math. Some may think I’m weird for doing so, but I do. I like math. I’ve enjoyed learning through the years about how to solve mathematical equations. It was my favorite subject from elementary through high school grades. I even began working toward a math degree in college as one of two majors until I decided to dedicate my life to another field of study and service. (I’ll come back to that in a moment.)
I’ve been asked how I came to like math. Was there someone who sparked my interest? My answer has always been “yes”; it was Mrs. Harrell, my third grade teacher in Stanton (TX) Elementary School. Over 4 decades removed from that third grade class, I now think back about Mrs. Harrell and my love for math. What did she do to kindle a love for math in me? I don’t remember many specific things that she did, but I think I’ve “factored” (a good algebra term) it down to two things: she challenged me to learn math and she cared about me. I’ve come to recognize that those are two great qualities in teachers. I’ll always be indebted to Mrs. Harrell who instilled in me a love for solving math equations. She made a difference in my life.
I have had – and continue to have – many teachers in my life. I’m especially grateful for those who have taught me and continue to teach me the truths of God’s Word. In the end, that’s the Subject that matters most. My teachers have been my parents, my grandparents (even posthumously), my wife and children, countless Bible school teachers, Bible professors at Faulkner and Freed-Hardeman Universities (Bible was my major), mentors, fellow ministers, dear friends, and even complete strangers (through their writings). I am blessed to be able to personalize what Paul wrote to Timothy: “you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14-15). I continue to learn from the Master Teacher Himself (Jesus) and His Spirit-guided apostles and prophets in the inspired Word of God.
I’m eternally grateful for my teachers who have taught me the way of salvation. They have cared enough about me to challenge me to learn God’s Word and to follow Him.
I want to issue a challenge to you. Read God’s Word. Study it deeply. Read it as if your life depends on it. It does. “It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4). Don’t miss the main Subject: “the salvation of man through Christ to the glory of God.”
The Truth is: God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).
God will save those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7-9).
Don’t take my word for it. Read and study God’s Word for yourself. Read it and heed it. You’ll never regret it. And, like me, you will be eternally grateful to those who have helped you to learn the way of salvation through Christ.
-- David A. Sargent