“How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)”- Numbers 13:20
Jesus, in the New Testament, makes many references to trees, soil and growth. I don’t think this is a mistake. Jesus judges growth not by how many times you attend church (although not attending church is a symptom of a much bigger problem) or how many ministries you serve in. Those actions stem from what’s inside the heart, which should be producing fruit of a different kind: love, joy, pace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Soil can’t do its job of producing if it has nothing to produce. Seeds can’t produce what’s inside if it doesn’t get placed in an environment that allows it to grow. Both are needed for growth; you can’t have one without the other.
Soil is good when it has a tree to grow. It’s poor when it produces nothing. So it is with us. If you can’t remember the last time you went to church, or when the bible on your shelf has only been used to wipe the dust off of it, chances are your soil is poor. Jesus wants us to use what we have been given. If he has planted seeds of gifts and talents made to accomplish His work of ushering in the kingdom of God, then the question is:
How is your soil? Is it good, with seeds in it so it can be used to produce? Is it poor, dry to the bone with no seeds anywhere in sight?
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