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You have a good heart, maybe.

One of the things you come to understand in reading Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge, is that you have a good heart. That is of course is contingent upon your relationship with Jesus Christ. (I have a tendency to learn and change my opinion as I write. I think one of the reasons that I write is that I am working through things in my head and heart. The goal of course is to produce more and better fruit, kind of like pruning, for Orange trees only produce fruit on new growth and pruning is the best way to evoke that new growth.)
I believe that the context for the good heart comes from multiple sources Matthew 12:35 or Luke 6:43-45 and Genesis 1:31.
Genesis 1:31 NASB God saw all (that included man in his image) that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Luke 6:43-45 NASB "For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. (44) "For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. (45) "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.
Luke 8:8 NASB "Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great." As He said these things, He would call out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Luke 8:15 NASB "But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.
Matthew 12:35 NASB "The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.
The English Revised version states it ­differently from all the others and yet makes a little more sense.
Matthew 12:35 ERV Those who are good have good things saved in their hearts. That's why they say good things. But those who are evil have hearts full of evil, and that's why they say things that are evil.
Notice the similar yet slightly different wording compared with Matthew's account. In both cases Jesus had refuted the Jews. In Matthews account he clearly called them vipers and I think it is safe to say that he fully intended to impress upon them that there was no good in them. (Keep an open mind about this no good part.)
In the nursery business you learn that some plants have to be protected from corrupting environments. Roses are particularly susceptible to nematodes, so they are grafted into a root-stock that is resistant to the nematodes and by itself does not produce the attractive flowers that people enjoy. Many plants and trees are like this, and make no other effort to do anything other than what their intended purpose is unless there is an outside influence.
In paralleling the heart to the good tree he is re-establishing that the heart was made good to begin with.
There is no denying that if God made the heart good there was a huge, over-arching change that took place, because we know through scripture that because of Adam's caving to temptation we all had to pay, and everyone is born in a broken condition.
Genesis 3:4-7 NASB The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die! (5) "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (6) When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (7) Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
Death, as you can imagine, came in so many forms that day. The heart changed and may have lost its innate goodness. It is an easy thing to say, their heart changed but I think it is wrong and removes their personal responsibility. God had already told them that the fruit contained knowledge of both good and evil. So really the knowledge of good is still embedded in the conflicted heart; Adam merely added evil to the mix.
As a side note: God blockaded man from accessing the tree of Life after this, why? Because had he not, some of the concepts we see in shows like Star Trek, where you run into someone who is eternal and blatantly evil. Outside of what imaginary portrayals give us, I suspect earth would have been a chaotic and deadly place to live; more so than what Genesis 6 shows us.
Genesis 6:1-8 NASB Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, (2) that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. (3) Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." (4) The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. (5) Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (6) The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (7) The LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them." (8) But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
Allow me to fling something at you that might unwrap the events of Genesis 6.
If we take a passage, such as Genesis 1:5 NASB (God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.) and hang our hat on it, demanding that everyone bow to the six-day theory, then we ignore understanding and reason. The word day in the Hebrew is yom and expresses a time period. The concept of temporal, which is not expressed here, is measured or limited time, and God cannot be measured or limited, even science has proven that. Light bends and time has decelerated, just as Einstein suggested.
The things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor 4.
So when we read of the events of Genesis we have no idea how long God allowed for things to transpire, only that the migration from one time frame to another was called a day, and it was good.
Add this into the mix.
Satan was thrown from heaven, Jesus told us that he witnessed this. But did his being thrown out exclude him access to God? No! Read the book of Job and you will see him action.
Job 1:6 NASB Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.
(Keep this terminology in mind, it will come into play momentarily.)
Scripture tells us that he (Satan) is the accuser of the saints.
Revelation 12:10 NASB Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.
This is a future event and not the one Jesus described earlier.
So Adam and Eve, given an undefined time frame, lived together in the garden, producing children. How do I know that? What did God say to her after the event that changed time to something temporal and defined?
Read it for yourself! -
Genesis 3:13-16 NASB Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" And the woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (14) The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; (15) And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel." (16) To the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you."
What an odd and incomprehensible statement to make to Eve unless she knew precisely what he was talking about, and she did. You do not hear her challenging God about his statement, as though she did not understand. She understood. To think that God operated differently with them suggests that they had no choice at all. It also suggests that their sexuality, an aspect that comes with these bodies we were given, was all tainted as well, and it was not.
 Given that they may have had a tremendous amount of time to explore each other prior to the fall, how many children did they produce? We do not know. If there were offspring from them prior to the fall, then those offspring had the same traits as the parents. (Think about trees again. The tree looks like the parent plant, including aspects of both.) What were their traits? We know that man was given dominion, and that alone made him Godlike. Adam communed with God and there is nothing to say that any offspring would not have followed the same path. We do know that there was no sin, as yet, and so nothing was tainted, until that day. On that day, death suddenly came upon everyone on the earth. Haven't you ever asked yourself, where did Cain get his wife? Or who were these people that he presumed would kill him? Why build a city if there is no one to live in it? And even God marked him to protect him, from who?
The book of Job places these Sons of God right along side Satan, in front of God, as Satan comes to accuse Job; doesn't that make them angels (perhaps fallen) as well. Why would God use the terminology if it meant something else? What if it implied, in Genesis 6, a race of Godlike people who are suddenly corrupted by sin, and yet still had the remembrances of their creative and Godlike abilities; abilities that we were designed, not to dominate men but “wilds” around them. Satan the corrupter would have quickly turned those Godlike qualities to evil, and that is exactly what we see in Genesis 6.
(I will not exclude the potential of angels inbreeding with the daughters of men but I struggle to find the clear definition in scripture. What I can see is my theory, deeply ensconced in scripture. - This concept of angels intermingling with men is spoken of by Dr. Chuck Misler, but I have not given it enough time to judge what he teaches so I stick with what I understand.)
Even with the flicker of good in his heart man only thought about the evil thing to do.
Genesis 1:31 NASB God saw all (that included man in his image) that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
The loss of everyone and thing that you considered family, gone, stripped out of your hands.
Now the real plan begins.
Out of this mess one man stood out, Noah, and he found favor with the Lord. Did anyone else notice that it was not his wife or his children that got noticed, and yet they found favor also because Noah was the spiritual head. I never thought about this, in this way, before.
Let's jump back a minute. Luke 6:43-45 NASB "For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit...” God created the tree (man) and he made it good. He also gave man the ability to choose which path he wanted to follow. If Satan came only to steal, kill and destroy, and man follows that path, then who is man following? Satan, a fallen, condemned angel. So then the good tree, without being grafted in, gets planted in soil that is now filled with nematodes, or at the least things that are harmful to it, and though the tree and its functions have not changed it can do nothing other than produce bad fruit.
Paul spoke of us being grafted in -
Romans 11:16-19 NASB If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too. (17) But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, (18) do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. (19) You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in."
The concept of the first piece, though in this case directed at Israel, also implies the creation, and certainly the first was holy. God was able to make the branches, Israel, holy through sacrifice and guidance, but God chose to graft us in too. The word indicating first in Greek is aparche and is a compound word, meaning: a beginning of sacrifice. Adam was the first, and he was perfect. His selfish actions infected the roots and we had to be grafted back into a non-infested rootstock, Jesus Christ. Because Jesus paid the price that Adam's treason demanded the only thing left is for us to accept Jesus Christ as our sacrifice and believe in him who raised Jesus from the dead. That means there is a God and the hope of a life with him is real. Surrounded by a sea of bad soil and nematodes waiting to corrupt the nature of our tree it is easy to become discouraged and not believe (bad fruit.)
If God created everything, and he did, then is it fair to say that the skilled nurseryman created it all perfect?
Is it fair to say that the cactus does not serve some purpose, display some beauty, and is perfect for its environment?
If God created all things perfect then he is capable of grafting you into the sound tree. A tree that is willing and ready to accept you and make you useful once again.
A heads up:
In the nursery business we took second year growth limbs. These were about the thickness of a pencil. After cutting and in a sense bruising the wood of the good stock we aligned the growth layers, the Cambium layer, of the stock plant and the plant that we are either trying to salvage or multiply. Why? Because the fruit that it produces is desirable and we know it has potential.
Are you beginning to understand that Christ did this for you, and that you are a plant worth salvaging and multiplying because you are worth it.
You are worth it.
If there been only you, you would have been worth it.


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