[Willow Creek Association] 1999-08-11 - Consumer or Producer?

Originally Published 1996-10-23

James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. KJV

The other night I was doing my Bible study and started looking at the maps in the back of the Bible. Kind of strange, I don't think I have studied the maps since childhood Sunday School class. Something jumped off the map page which I believe you will find interesting.

There are two seas in Israel. Both are fed by the same source of life, the Jordan River. The Sea of Galilee is full of life. The area around the Galilee supports an abundance of wildlife. I am told by friends that it is absolutely a beautiful area. In contrast, the Dead Sea is lifeless. Nothing lives in the sea and few living organisms are found around the Dead Sea.

So, what is the difference? Why is one full of life and the other dead? If you look at the map, the answer is quite obvious. One sea gives; the other only consumes. The Sea of Galilee takes what it needs from the Jordan River, multiplies the gifts and then passes the water on downstream. The Dead Sea takes water and hoards the water, never passing any water on. The Dead Sea only consumes. The water in the Dead Sea evaporates, leaving behind salt, thus making the Sea lifeless.

How about you? Our source of life is Jesus Christ. His love flows in us and replenishes us. He restores us. He redeems us. He is our Savior. He is our everything. Are you hoarding His love, or are you because of your gratitude to Christ, passing that love on? Are you replenishing others around you or just draining them? How about in church? Are you sitting on the same pew weekend in and weekend out just being a consumer? Is it time to start producing more for the Cause of Christ instead of only consuming?

Make no mistake about what I am saying. We are saved by the grace of God and the faith alone in Jesus Christ. Our works should be a natural outpouring of our gratitude for what Jesus Christ did for us nearly 2000 years ago on that old rugged cross. For us to think we can add to what Christ did is nothing short of blasphemy. Christ did it all for us.

John 19:30 (KJV) When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.

Dear Lord, Help us be more productive in advancing the cause of Christ. Lord,help us step up to a new level of commitment to Jesus Christ. Help us gravitate from being mere consumers of Your love, to being producers of your good works to YOUR glory. Father, I write these words and pray this prayer in utter awe of Your greatness, in awe of Your power, in awe of Your love for us, in awe of what Christ did for all of us on that old rugged cross. You are an Awesome God! We love You and praise You and thank You for all You do. In Jesus' precious name we pray, Amen.

David Massey