Soil & Growth Part 1 of 4: How’s Your Spiritual Soil?

Therefore hear the parable of the sower: …But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, and indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Matthew 13: 18, 23 NKJV

The soil where I live is not very good in many places. Close to the street it is partly clay. Deep puddles take a long time to dry out, and then the surface often sets into a hard layer. Closer to the house the soil is part clay and part sand. Some areas are rocky. The weeds are the only things that seem to grow without a lot of effort. I pull out rocks, crab crass, and dandelions. After wiping my brow, I grab my shovel and dig and turn the soil with added amendments such as compost and manure to improve the soil structure. Fertilizer is added to provide the required nutrients so the plants can grow. It’s the only way I’ll have beautiful flowers and tasty vegetables.


The Lord Jesus told the parable of the sower sowing seed, comparing the conditions of the various soils, or hearts, in response to the sowing of the Word of God (Matthew 13:1–23; Mark 4:1–20; Luke 8:4–15). The seed sown in good soil did the best, just as the seeds sown in my soil-amended flower beds grew better than those in the partial-clay soil of my yard.

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for awhile, and in time of testing fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.” Luke 8:11–14 ESV

Hearts that are hard, rocky or full of thorns won’t produce a good harvest.

Oh, that we would have hearts with good soil so we can be who God wants us to be! Let’s dig into God’s Word and apply it, drawing in the spiritual food we need so we can be fruitful for Him! Jesus described the hearts with good soil.

As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.” Luke 8:15 ESV

Bear fruit with patience. Not all areas in our lives are quickly conformed to Christ. Some areas are like fast growing radishes or strawberries, while other areas may be like the boysenberries that appear on the second year growth. All require the good soil of an obedient heart to be fruitful.

The Lord had another lesson in the parable. The sower did not spread his seeds only where he thought best. He sowed seed everywhere- on the roadside, in the rocky soil, and among the thorns. As Christians, we are to sow the Word everywhere. We are not to judge who needs Christ or who will accept the word; our job is to tell others of Christ, remembering that “it is God who gives the increase.” (I Corinthians 3:6 NKJV).

Dear Lord, I want to be fertile soil, to have a heart that hears and understands Your Word. Help me to obey You and to bear righteous fruit with patience. Help me to not be judgmental or fearful, but to share Your Word, sowing seed for Your harvest. Amen.


For Gardening information on soils, see “Soil Preparation Using Soil Amendments” under the tab “In the Garden— Gardening Articles.”

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV Text Edition: 2016. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scriptures marked NKJV are taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION (NKJV): Scripture
taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION®. Copyright© 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Top Photo by Greta Hoffman on

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