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Soil or Dirt


Luke 13:1-9

Verse 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

We have now reached this little, often ignored parable. Today as we delve into our parable we are going to get our fingers dirty, digging in the soil. OK, not really but we are going to dig deeper into the fig tree and the need of a proper soil.

Did you notice where this fig tree is? It is in a vineyard. This wasn’t the owner’s specialty and it didn’t sound like he knew much about the needs of the plant. Remember this point as we move forward.

There is a difference between soil and dirt, though most may question that. Soil is considered living while dirt is dead. The owner of the vineyard speaks as though the tree is already dead to him. It wasn’t doing what it was supposed to do so it needed to be gone. We tend to do that in life too, don’t we? If it isn’t benefiting us then it needs to be gone. We only want things and/or people in our lives that benefit us. If people don’t do what we want them to then we part ways with them; and not always in a gracious manner. We live in a world where we buy things for temporary use and then we sell it, donate it, or trash it. This isn’t living unto life but rather it is death or to fit with our analogy today, dirt.

So how could soil be considered living? It is made up of living things like fungi, worms, bacteria, insects and other organisms. What difference does soil make? For plants is can make a lot of difference. It helps the roots take to the ground like they need to for abundant growth. Some plants are very particular of the kind of soil it is in. Soil is lasting because it is living. The fig tree is less fussy about its soil but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be tended to. It also doesn’t mean that it flourishes in every soil.

Our lives are a lot like a fig tree. We can live in just about any environment but that doesn’t mean that we will flourish in every situation. Where a fig tree does well to be planted in a compost heavy soil that isn’t fertilized (more on this coming up), so that the roots go deep and out as they look for their needed nutrients. Isn’t that what we should be doing in life too? Shouldn’t we be looking for the nutrients we need to grow spiritually? Have you planted your life in soil or dirt, in life or death?

Making It Personal

What are things we can do in life that will help us grow deeper spiritually? Are you doing these things? What things do you need to do to really go deep in your spiritual walk?

Making It Personal Kids

Have you ever played in the soil and found little bugs and worms? Did you know that it means the soil is living? What do you think it means be growing deeper spiritually?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for wanting us to grow closer to You. Help us know if we have soil or dirt in our lives. We want to have soil so we can grow fruitful for You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Martin, MI 49070

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