by Bill Mowry
I have a simple rule of thumb for home projects. Every project, no matter how big or small, requires 2.5 visits to a hardware store. I either forget something or the project takes an unexpected turn that requires a new tool, part, or piece of lumber. Big box hardware stores overflow with products for every home project.
Did you know that there’s a disciplemaking store that we can go to for our disciplemaking needs? This store is located near every disciplemaker and you can visit it as often as you want. Jesus was very clear about the location and nature of this disciplemaking store.
Ministry in the kingdom happens when, “Every teacher of the Law who has been instructed about the Kingdom of Heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old“ (Matt 13:52).
Jesus takes a concept of a “storeroom” and expands it for disciplemakers.
One commentator describes the storeroom in Matthew 13:52 as a “man’s heart, its wealth and cherished values. The discipled scribe brings things out of his heart–out of his understanding, personality, and very being.” This storeroom is a life-treasury filled with insights from walking with God and living on mission; insights that have shaped our lives and have the potential to shape the lives of others. We can always shop at this storeroom.
Our hearts are more than the place of our emotions. The authors of Proverbs paint the heart as life’s guiding compass (14:33), the repository of wisdom (2:9), and the center for our life planning (24:2). When properly cultivated and shaped by the Holy Spirit, the heart is the source of “the springs of life” (4:23).
We must stop and shop at this store to disciple others. Shopping at this storeroom doesn’t require money but it will require being Jesus’s “discipled scribe.” How can my life be like this storeroom, a place to shop for disciplemaking resources? Here are three suggestions.
Fresh insights from the Scriptures are stored in this room. The disciples’ hearts ”burned within them” when Jesus opened the Scriptures (Luke 24:32). Meditation and study should daily yield new insights that light a fire in our hearts. When our hearts are saturated with God’s word we gain the mind of Christ.
I always valued Pastor Robert’s understanding of the Scriptures. “How has your life been shaped by the Bible?” I asked him one day. Robert replied that in their first year of marriage they agreed to read the entire Bible. “We had such a rich time doing this that we decided to do it again,” he said.
They read through the Bible the next year, and the next, and the next. Today that number stands at fifty-two times. No wonder that when you poke Robert the Bible comes out! His mind is saturated with the word of God. He regularly shops at his heart’s store, a store filled with the Bible.
Applications are on the shelves of our life’s storeroom. Jan Johnson writes: “[Scriptures] meditated on but not practiced inflate our minds.” Silent obedience to the Spirit through the Scriptures in the quiet of life is the route to transformation (John 14:21). This route of transformation is a rich place for disciplemakers to stop and shop from.
Derrick and Jan decided to give their granddaughter a Bible for her twenty-first birthday. This wasn’t just any Bible; Derrick and Jan highlighted with colored markers their favorite passages in this new Bible. These highlighted verses were application memories of God’s comfort in trials, challenges of obedience, and promises for life and ministry. Their highlighting revealed their journey with God; a journey filled with God-filled memories. They shopped in life’s rich storeroom and handed the purchases to their granddaughter — free of charge!
Stories of change should fill this store’s aisles. Stories bring out the “old” in our storerooms. Here’s a simple assignment. Think through the basics of the Christian life—the Bible, prayer, fellowship, witnessing—and capture a story about how God has changed your life in each of these areas. Telling stories about what God has done shows others how to follow Jesus.
So far I’ve told two stories — my conversation with Robert and a birthday present Bible for a granddaughter. These are simple stores drawn from my storehouse of memories. I shop at this storeroom frequently when discipling others.
We all have storerooms of the heart that we can shop from. For some of us, this place of shopping may be small because we’re just getting started in our life with Jesus. For others, it’s a big box store filled with years of experience in walking with God and discipling others. We must learn to shop at our life’s store for disciplemaking resources.
Let’s fill our shopping carts with the Bible. Let’s stack our carts with memories of obedience. Let’s go to the check-out with stories about God. Our lives in Christ can be a storeroom of insight, challenge, and comfort to others if we take the time to shop.
What about you? Are you ready to go shopping?
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