4 Kinds of Soil

MASTER GARDENING
THE FOUR KINDS OF SOIL -
WHAT KIND OF SOIL IS
YOUR HEART?

A master gardener has developed many skills.
They have an objective in mind for the plants.
They selectively purposefully choose certain
types of plants to grow. They consider the conditions
of light, moisture, temperature, and most importantly
the soil.

Matthew 13
The Parable of the Sower
On that day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by
the sea. Such large crowds gathered around Him that He got into a
boat and sat down, while the whole crowd stood on the shore.
Then He told them many things in parables, saying:“Consider the
sower who went out to sow. As he was sowing, some seed fell along
the
path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on rocky ground,
where there wasn’t much soil, and they sprang up quickly since the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up they were scorched, and since they had no root, they withered. Others fell among
thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them. Still others fell on good ground and produced a crop: some 100, some 60, and some 30 times what was sown. Anyone who has ears should listen.

The Parable of the Sower Explained
“You, then, listen to the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one sown along the path. And the one sown on rocky ground — this is one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. Yet he has no root in himself, but is short- lived. When pressure or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now the one sown among the thorns — this is one who hears the word, but the worries of this age and the seduction of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. But the one sown on the good ground — this is one who hears and understands the word, who does bear fruit and yields:some 100, some 60, some 30 times what was sown

  • Pathway
When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one sown along the path.

Solomon 4:12-16 - in a sense our heart is like a garden. Maybe we individually are the garden. We make up the church which is His bride. Interestingly, even in one garden there can be different types of soils?

God comes seeking for the fruits of His careful cultivation in our characters. The seed produces no crop on the pathway; it is compacted and hard, not penetrable. Almost a waste of throwing seed there. Became bird feed. Should the sower have thrown it there?

Anyone of us can choose to harden our hearts against the gospel. We make the choices that cause this. All the while, God is working through circumstances and people trying to break up this soil. Jesus comes to us in compassion to implant the seed of His own special Word. He endeavors to cultivate the soil of our hearts by the inner working of the HS. But He runs into resistance. This heart has become conditioned by the culture of the world.

Hearts are so hard even the dynamite of the HS can scarcely break up the compacted clods of scorn, censure, cruel hostility.

Somehow, this hard soil needs to be broken up before the gentle weight of the seed can sink into it and find a way to embed and sprout. Sadly, hard ground is only broken up by violent action. A pick, a bulldozer, an earthquake. If you have closed your heart to Jesus and have suffered one of these… it is God preparing the soil of your heart.

Ask, what type of soil is your heart? If it is the pathway, (the compacted soil which has had seed tossed on it and was never embedded), what does it take to break up that compacted soil? A pick, a bulldozer, maybe even an earthquake. If you have closed your heart to Jesus and have suffered one of these… it is God preparing the soil of your heart. 

Sowers of seed on the pathway are in for a looonng, nearly fruitless growing season. But they recognize it. They know the future contains a lot of soil surgery. Massive. They are in it for the long run.

And when that compacted soil is broken up it’s end is one of two scenarios: 1) it re-compacts and hardens if not further worked or 2) it is further worked and conditioned and becomes soil that will accept the seed and fertilizer. If this, then the soil must be weeded and protected from pestilence to become the fertile soil that sees the plants blossom, grow, and produce.


  • Rocky
And the one sown on rocky ground — this is one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. Yet he has no root in himself, but is short- lived. When pressure or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

Marginal soil for growing. Rocks are usually picked and moved. Often rock walls are built around the field. hard to till, tends to break implements. Sometimes requires dynamite or bulldozers to bust out the rock.

This is how the Lord takes care of that situation - Ez 36:26-36

One type of rocky soil is the kind with nice dirt on top but bedrock just below it. Plants spring up quickly but because there is no place for the roots to go, they wilt and die out. The bedrock represents unbelief, lying below the surface. We initially receive the joy and love of fellowship but when time comes for us to change some cherished beliefs, our heart is like that rock. It blocks the roots of faith from going deep. This is seen in people who are stuck in a cycle of confession, shallow repentance, a joyful even tearful walk of faith—then a falling away. The receipt of the seed is a surface experience. Once real change is required they rebel and turn away, back to previous worldly living. Like the seed thrown on the rocky soil, this cycle is repeated season after season. It might be said that their faith wasn’t in the real thing but in the surroundings and fruit of other people’s faith. The fellowship. The great things that come out of dedicated followers of Christ. What we’re really saying here is, “Jesus I’ll give you this part of my life but I’m gonna hold back the rest of my life”. This soil is certain to produce crop failure.

This type of heart never really comes to believe the bible. They will give the bible maybe equal footing with other books or philosophies but never really accept the bible as God’s literal word.

Another type of rocky soil would be boulder strewn. The seed germinates and roots wind their way down between the boulders seeking out the small amount of soil between them. But alas, there is not enough soil for the plant to survive and thrive. Likewise, our faith can be going deep in one area but our roots of faith are ignoring whats on the side of us, not believing all the issues to the left and right of the one issue we do believe in. This is vertical shallowness.

Yet another type of rocky soil is gravel. The problem with this soil is that the water and nutrients just drain away. The plant is constantly needing excessive amounts of watering and fertilizing. But to no avail. Gravelly faith is like this too. High maintenance. Consistently learning the things of God but losing them as they drain away. Unlike boulders which can be easily located, dug out, and moved… gravel requires hard labor. Big scoops. This type of faith is seen as all over the place. Nothing really sticks. No concentration.

Application

If we discover our hearts are rocky soil, how do we fix it? Complete surrender. Giving God permission. Acknowledging our heart of rocky soil. Complete life change.

Sowers who plant in rocky soil are determined people. They must be ready to endure constant care and feeding, even soil surgery to get the word to grow. But truthfully, they will often be disappointed as all of their effort comes to nothing.

  • Thorny
this is one who hears the word, but the worries of this age and the seduction of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Oooh, this type of soil is deceptive and frustrating. At first glance it looks promising. The soil is turned and ready for planting. But a quick look around towards the horizon should clue us in, but oh well, this soil looks pretty good.

So the soil is prepared, the seed is planted, watered, fertilized. To the sowers growing dismay, other plants are popping up. But they are not what was planted. They are weeds, brambles, vines. WHAT?! This isn’t what I planted. I thought I got all of the weeds out of there??

Somehow the thorns from the edges of the garden grew faster and began to crowd out the crop. Still other weeds were blown in UNSEEN by the wind and landed right here! And the animals that walked up and through, the birds brought weed seeds in. Somehow, there were weed seeds hiding in the ground that I thought I had prepared. The sun, rain, soil don’t distinguish between what seed is being planted. The animals, birds, and wind don’t either. But they all contribute to the growth of the weeds and thorns just as much as the desired seed.

In the same way, unseen things blow into our life and if they find the right soil, the will plant and germinate, then take over and choke out our faith.

2 types of weeds are mentioned. worries of the age. seduction of wealth. These weeds if not plucked out right away can grow fast without much attention being given to them.

What are the worries of the world? Christians aren’t exempt from them. The need to clothe, feed, shelter ourselves. After these are taken care of, our worries turn towards creation and maintenance of wealth. To family relationships. Business relationships. Recreation and entertainment. retirement. health insurance. list goes on. The weed killer for these is Ma.6, seeking first the Lord and His righteousness. Growing in trust. Living in the present. Do not overfill the day. Do not borrow trouble from tomorrow. Worry. Anxiety.

What is the seduction of wealth? Wealth is not wicked. Many bible characters were very wealthy. But it’s our attitude towards it, our relationship with it, our stewardship of it. Wealth can be used to the glory of God and it can be used to further evil or distraction. It can destroy an individual or build them up. If too much comes to quickly, it is rarely managed well. Jesus said we must prove faithful with a little before we are trusted with much.

Greed can take hold. The pursuit of more wealth. Fear can root. Fear of losing what wasn’t ours in the first place. These are the seducers and destroyers of our faith. The seduction of wealth can replace our attention and time spent with the Lord.
This deceiver can take root no matter what economic tier you are on. poor, middle class, wealthy. (pull something from eccl. here)

This seduction can draw us into criminal behavior. It is hard to grow in our relationship with the Lord when we are engaged in criminal behavior. We can’t serve two masters. We will hate the one and love the other.

This seduction can draw us into debt. Then debt becomes a slave-master.

The sower of seed into thorny ground will say to God, “this isn’t fair! I prepared the ground and YOU let weeds come in and take over? what is it that you want from me!” All his time becomes consumed with fighting the weeds and thorns rather than caring for the good plants. But, maybe the sower should have been a little wiser about the soil he chose? What if that soil is all that was available.

If your heart is like the thorny ground, how do you correct it? Shielding and Early Introspection.
Armor of God Eph 6 and Psalm 139:23




  • Fertile
this is one who hears and understands the word, who does bear fruit and yields:some 100, some 60, some 30 times what was sown

  • hear the word
  • understand the word
  • does the word, bears fruit

The fertile heart soil listens and hears. Jesus said my sheep know my voice. We can tune out things and not hear them. We can cause too much noise so that we cannot hear.

The fertile heart knows it is communication from God Himself. He communicated in such a way that humans could understand it. He wasn’t mystical or speaking in code or in sounds that don’t form a language or only in the spiritual realm. God desires understanding. And over time, His word has been translated into nearly every language on earth. It’s fascinating to remember that God brought about the myriad of languages back in Gen 11. God has spoken not only through people but through nature and creation around us, through circumstances, even through the miraculous and even angels from heaven.

Understanding is more than just understanding the language. It’s understanding the message and what the speaker wants the hearer to know.

So fertile soil receives the seed planted. It sinks in and is embedded. But it can’t just sit there. It also needs to have constant care. Water. Sunshine. Warmth. Fertilizer. And to some extent, protected from predators and weeds.

The soil is recognized by what is produced out of it. The fruit produced is multiple times what was sown in it. I think this is key. This is what Jesus is really hoping for. That the one seed planted in fertile soil will produce multiples of what was sown. This fertile soil benefits many others with the fruit grown from it! Interestingly, when someone approaches an abundant fruit tree, they never look down at the soil in wonder….no, instead they are fixated on the fruit and partake of the fruit. So I think that the fertile soil is not recognized nearly as much as the product. Humility. Serving others. Blessing others. Therefore, one fertile soil heart can impact and bless the lives of many.

AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT JESUS IS FOR US. Just like a seed that must be buried and die only to spring up in new life of a plant, Jesus died, was buried, and rose again to become that first fruit of many. Consider how many followers of Christ there have been since that day! Christ was sown and out of the hearts of fertile soil much fruit is born.

Jesus becomes our life. He is not just one thing we think about among many. He is our everything.

Jesus tells us in John 15 the spiritual lesson of the vine, the branches, the fruit, and the vinedresser. The Christian life is not one of outward dressing put on when the moment requires. It is one that is living, breathing, growing, reproducing, blessing all that come in contact.

Now, what kind of soil is your heart? Depending on what kind of soil it is, it needs intervention from outside of yourself. This is the basis of Christian fellowship and general assembly. When we gather, the soil of our heart is tended by the gardeners God brings to us. These gardeners each have a specialty. One will chop at us, another will shovel at us and mix up the clods that were chopped. Yet another will rake and smooth us out. Still others will come and sprinkle fertilizer or enhancers on us. Somewhere along the line we need to be watered by the Word of God by one of the gardeners. And God Himself shines the Son on us.