A young man who works in an aquarium explained that the most popular fish is the shark. If you catch a small shark and confine it, it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium. Sharks can be six inches long yet fully matured. But if you turn them loose in the ocean, they grow to their normal length of eight feet. That also happens to some Christians. I’ve seen some of the cutest little six-inch Christians who swim around in a little puddle. But if you put them into a larger arena—into the whole creation—only then can they become great.1 Is it your goal in life to just be a cute six-inch puddle swimming Christian? Wouldn’t you rather get out into the ocean and make a big splash for the Kingdom of God? How do you do it? First, you have to make a decision about being willing to pour your life into others.
Matthew 28:19–20 (KJV)
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
- You know this discipling commandment.
- You’ve heard this verse quoted any number of times.
- But what is it exactly?
Making Disciples Is Where You Pour Your Life
- Making disciples is where you pour the learned spiritual life that you live into someone else.
- It is sharing your growth with people.
- Teaching is your growth on display.
- It should never be your knowledge on display.
- The power is not in what you know alone.
- The power is in what you know and walk in.
- This is the epitome of the Christian life, Jesus poured His life out for us and we pour our lives into others.
- When you pour your life into someone, teach them what you have learned from the Word.
- Teach people the portions of the Bible that you have actually learned and are using.
Old and New Treasure
Matthew 13:52 (KJV)
52 Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
- Look at the scribe mentioned in this verse in Matthew.
- But what was a scribe originally?
- He was a writer.
- Every writer about the things of God, the kingdom of heaven, is like a householder.
- Every scholarly student of God’s Word is a treasure storing householder.
- These householders bring out of their storehouses, new and old treasure.
- New treasure is new knowledge put into practice.
- Teaching should never be about coming to see what I know.
1 Corinthians 8:1 (ESV)
1 Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.
- So you see, it’s not about knowledge, it’s about walking in love.
- You can accumulate knowledge in a room by yourself.
- But knowing how to walk in love comes from interacting with people.
The Dangers of Unapplied or Unused Knowledge
- The good doctor Luke gives us a ‘Jesus picture’ of the danger of unused knowledge.
Luke 6:46–49 (KJV)
46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: 48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
- Everything hinges on the using.
- Everything hinges on the putting into motion the Word.
James 3:1 (ESV)
1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
- How are you going to avoid greater judgment?
- How is one going to keep himself on the right side of greater strictness?
- There is only one way, by living what you preach and only preaching what you live.
- For maximum impact, the man must be the message.
- Walking the walk and talking the talk is the standard.
- Teaching should be an unfolding of your life’s walk.
- It should be a sharing of your life principles in an open setting.
What the Scribes Did
- Did you notice what the scribes did?
- They were continually trying to minister and hold on to old things, old treasure.
- What did Jesus bring to the table?
- Jesus brought new things, new treasure.
Matthew 5:21–22 (ESV)
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
- ‘You have heard’ was ‘old treasure’.
- ‘But I say unto you’ is Jesus sharing ‘new treasure’.
- The scribes, the Pharisees, the teachers of the law rejected the new treasure that Jesus brought out of His storehouse and when they did, they stopped growing.
Call to Action:
Today’s call to action is clear, make the decision to pour what you have learned of Jesus into the people God has placed in your world.
Question: What was the last thing you shared about Jesus? Please leave your story in the comments section below.
- —Leadership magazine, Winter 1986, Charles R. Swindoll, The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart and 1501 Other Stories (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2016), 80. ↩