Without Christ, we are a row of zeroes
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge—Proverbs 1:7 (KJV).
You may set down six zeroes—000,000—and they count for nothing; but if you put a five or any figure before them, they all count—5,000,000. Human knowledge by itself adds up a row of zeroes. A young man goes through the university and then passes through his medical or law school and is graduated with honors, a learned man, but not yet a Christian. His acquirements make only a long row of zeroes. These will only be elements of power if he gets in before them something that counts. Then he gives himself to Christ, consecrates all his attainments to him, and every one of his acquirements assumes a high value. He has written a figure before the row of ciphers, and 000,000,000 has become 6,000,000,000.
The more a man knows, the more of a man he is if he loves, reverences, and obeys God. But this is the first thing in all true wisdom. Not to have it, is to make failure out of life; and the greater the other acquirements the greater the failure.
About the author and the source
J. R. [James Russell] Miller (1840–1912) was a Christian author and editor, who pastored various Presbyterian churches.
J. R. Miller. Morning Thoughts for Every Day in the Year. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell and Co., 1907.