THE FRUIT DIET WORTH MORE THAN MONEY
There was a time when people were desperate to find the right diet. There was the: Atkins diet; The Zone diet; Ketogenic diet; Vegetarian diet; Vegan diet; Weight Watchers diet; South Beach diet; and, the Raw food diet. People went on these diets to lose weight, to gain weight, to become healthier, to improve their mental alertness, to make them happy, to have an excuse to drink blended thick green “health shakes” and to be trendy. I tried a diet once. But after two days I hadn’t lost the kilos it promised so I stopped. There is, however a little known diet that easy enough start and not so hard to end and its effects are beneficial physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, relationally, and spiritually. I’m referring to the Holy Spirit Fruit Diet.
How different would your life be if you were filled continually with the Holy Spirit? This seems to have been the experience of at least the first Christians. We know that Jesus told His disciples after His resurrection to “receive the Holy Spirit” (Jn. 20:22) which may have been the moment that they were “regenerated” which is a fancy way of saying that they were born again (Jn. 3:3). But then Jesus told His disciples to wait for the outpouring of the Spirit (Lk. 24:39; Acts 1:4) which was yet to come. The effect on the disciples when this happened was dramatic — especially in the Simon Peter (Acts 2:14). He went from being a cowering timid fearful backslider to being a bold courageous fearless leader of the Christ’s Church (Acts 2:15-39). Then some days later, as Peter was about to bear witness before the rulers of Judaism, he was filled afresh with the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:8). When Peter met again with the other believers to pray, all of them were filled with Holy Spirit again (Acts 4:31). Thus, being filled continually with the Holy Spirit seems to have been the usually experience of the early believers. As the Church grew and spread, the early Christians’ understanding of who the Holy Spirit was and what He wanted to do in each believer and church also grew. They discovered that the Spirit didn’t just fill them to be bold proclaiming witnesses, He also enabled them to bear witness to the power of Christ by how they lived. The apostle Paul called this, the fruit of the Spirit.
THE SPIRIT DIET FOR CHURCHES
When the apostle Paul arrived in Corinth he found people who were very spiritual. They were very aware of the spiritual realm. They had often seen demonic activity (note 1Cor. 10:20-21). They were very aware of angels and other heavenly beings (note 1Cor. 4:9; 6:3; 11:10; 13:1; 2Cor. 11:14). Thus, when Christian leaders such as the apostle Peter and Apollos, and Paul had ministered in Corinth there was much spiritual activity, including “signs and wonders” (2Cor. 12:12), miracles and healings (1Cor. 12:9, 28-30). Paul wrote to the Corinthians about how the ministry of the gifts of the Spirit were given to bless the whole church (1Cor. 12:1-11) and should only be used to do so. But before he wrote to the Corinthians about the Holy Spirit’s gifts, he wrote to the Galatians about the Holy Spirit’s fruit.
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT DIET FOR A BELIEVER
What does a ‘spiritual’ person look like? After Paul and his team had evangelised Galatia, reports soon came to him that Judaizers (Jewish Christians who believed that salvation was the result of faith in Christ plus keeping the laws of Moses which included circumcision for men) had come to these Galatian converts and told them that they weren’t really saved unless they also became Jewish. (A Gentile could become a proselyte to Judaism if they did the religious works required in the laws of Moses.) Paul was dismayed. He wrote a letter to them explaining that what these Judaizers had told them was wrong. He grounded his reasoning in the work of the Holy Spirit among them and especially within each of them. This work of the Holy Spirit, Paul reasoned, was proof of God having given them the gift of salvation and did not require their own religious efforts (“works of the law” or the efforts of “the flesh”).
Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
Paul reminded the Galatians that their new life in Christ was the result of the Holy Spirit giving them the gift of faith (Gal. 2:20) and then a spiritual diet that produced “fruit” (Gal. 5:22-24).
¶ If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, are the fruits of the Holy Spirit. This is what the Holy Spirit produces in each believer. This is why, when a church of these Spirit-transformed Christ-followers assembles, it just might be more similar to a ‘bowl of fruit salad’ than we had realised! While the health benefits of the previously mentioned fad diets might be questionable (and expensive!) there is no other diet that can compare with the body-mind-soul health benefits of the Holy Spirit’s fruit diet. You can start this free diet at anytime with just one prayer and a yielded heart. It really is a diet that is worth more than money!
Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.
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