I often ask this question of people: Are you a producer or a consumer? The short answer is that we are both but the eternal answer should be that we are producers. Unfortunately our society is bent on creating consumers; people who do nothing but consume whatever junk is thrown their way. Very little of it is of any value, mostly just entertainment related things. But we eat it up with an insatiable appetite. What is it that we are contributing, producing for our society?
The seed of God is not a consumer but a producer. Wherever God's Word goes things are produced. Wherever God's love is shared things are produced. Wherever he sends his children things are produced. We are seeds. We are producers. We contribute. If we are born of the Spirit it is part of our new character and we can't help ourselves.
In one of my favorite passages of the Bible, Isaiah 55, God says this of his Word:
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (vv. 10-11)
"It will not return to me empty". Jesus gave that same direction for our lives as he told the story of the talents. A master was going away for a while and he gave some money for his servant's to invest for him, to produce more. The one who produced the most from what he was given was rewarded the most. The one who produced nothing was rejected. Our lives are like that money. We have been given many blessings but those blessings are not to be selfishly hoarded away but instead they are meant to be given out, shared, planted, invested so that they will produce.
Paul encouraged the Colossians with this:
All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. (Colossians 1:6)
Wherever the gospel goes in produces growth. We have been given this gospel to seed into people's lives but we are like farmers who hold on to the seed, afraid of offending the soil. People are not being saved from death because we are too afraid of offending them; we withhold the good news. We have not yet understood that we have the key of life to be offered to those who are dying. If they accept it or not is up to them but how will you know unless you offer it?
So again I ask, are you a producer or consumer. We have enough consumers in this world, what God has called you to be is a producer. Wherever the gospel goes it produces fruit and there is growth. Are we taking the gospel with us wherever we go? Do we trust that God will do something with it? Are we willing to set aside our fear of rejection and just trust that God will use the words he places in our mouth and the action he gives to our hands? We are producers because of Christ in us, so let's get to work.