This is the ability to reproduce and sustain life. Land can be termed barren or fertile – producing little or a plentiful harvest. Productivity can be increased by ensuring there is sufficient water, adding fertiliser and material

Is the ‘soil’ of my heart favourable to growth?

beneficial for growth (Gen 13:10; Lk 13:6-9). Jesus spoke a parable about four types of soil and the seed sown in it (Mt 13:3-9,18-23). The quality of the soil determined the harvest as the same seed was sown in each, yet with vastly differing results. While this illustrated the different fertility and ultimate productivity of people’s hearts to receive the good seed, unfortunately human hearts are wicked and can conversely bring forth an undesirable crop (Gen 6:5, 8:21; Lk 6:45). The natural soil can be enhanced by removing stones and weeds while adding beneficial material to boost productivity. In a similar way we should develop a daily time of Bible reading and prayer (personal devotions or quiet time) and meet for fellowship with other believers on a regular basis to increase our usefulness to Him while also eliminating what is negative and destructive (Act 20:32; Gal 4:19; Phil 4:8,9; 2 Tim 2:20,21; 1 Pet 2:2; Jud 1:20).

Fertility is often connected with a woman's ability to conceive and produce children. The instruction given to Adam and Eve was to "be fruitful and multiply" (Gen 1:27,28). It is God's intention this creative miracle only takes place within the bonds of marriage.

Jesus used fertility as a metaphor to describe the life of a true disciple, living a fruitful life of bringing others into His Kingdom (Mt 28:19,20; Jn 15:2,4,5,8). His warning is that those who profess His name but refuses to "bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire" (Mt 7:19). For a variety of reasons, not all 'entitled' women are able to have children but we all (men and women) should bear spiritual children (Jn 15:16).

See also: barren, children, conception, fruit, growth, infertility, input, produce/productivity, reproduction, sow and reap.