home > Pastor’s Desk > 2022 > March 18th > THE FRUIT DIET WORTH MORE THAN MONEY

16 popular food dietsTHE 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?
Galatians 3:2-3

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.
Galatians 5:25

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!

Your Pastor,

Andrew

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.

1 Comment

  1. Alan

    Well spoken, Andrew. While I don’t always live up to it myself, yet perhaps these words from a certain R.L. Dabney sum it up well: “The light of a holy example is the gospel’s main argument”. I rather think this is what the great holiness preachers, who were the channels of revival in the past – including here in Tasmania, had as their hope for the church.

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AMAZING ACCESS

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WHY FINDING TRUTH MATTERS

How can we determine whether a claim is true or false? Some people think there are different kinds of truth — my truth, their truth, and your truth. But how do they know that their assessment of truth is true? After all, their assessment – that there is my/their/your truth might just be based on their truth rather than the truth. Truth has certain qualities that distinguishes it from what is false-
 Truth corresponds to reality.
 Truth is verifiable (that is, if it is true, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is falsifiable (that is, if it is false, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is sometimes testable (that is, claims that are experiential can be tested by experience – including scientific claims, historic claims, and existential claims).
We have good reasons for the believing that the Bible is true because it is the divinely inspired, reliable and authoritative Word of God which has been superintendedly preserved by the Holy Spirit (read more about this).

THE 5 MOST IMPORTANT YEARS OF ANYONE’S LIFE

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I AM WHO I AM BUT I AM NOT WHO I USED TO BE BUT I AM NOT YET WHO I WILL BE

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It may well still be the best-selling book of all time – and continues year-by-year to be so – but certainly is not the best-read of our current times! If there was ever any doubt about this, the events this week in Hobart, at St. Mary’s (Catholic) College Girl’s School, should remove all doubt! A furore erupted over the news that the prescribed Scripture reading for the year-end graduation celebration, which incorporated a Mass, was “Wives submit to your husbands” taken from Ephesians. Callers into ABC radio’s breakfast program decried this assault against women – especially young, vulnerable girls. One caller, responding to the news that the text being used was a citation from Ephesians, denounced Ephesians and apparently demanded, “Just who does this Ephesians bloke think he is?!” Another caller stated, “Why are they quoting ancient Roman philosophers in the twenty-first century?!” And yet another caller somehow linked all religious wars to passages like this one in the Bible! He remarked, “I’m an atheist. All wars are started by those who are religious! No war was ever started by atheists!” (Perhaps he had never heard of Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Vladimir Putin, who were collectively responsible for the deaths of over 20,000,000?) This furore led to the Archbishop conceding that the Ephesians passage did not have to be used at the graduation ceremony. But this furore has highlighted just how unaware many Tasmanians are about what the Bible is, what is actually says, and why it says it. And I am now about to correct this deficiency.  

THE LORD IS MY ROCK

Of the many tributes paid to her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, was the often noted reflection that during her reign the world underwent a series of rapid changes that were dramatic and unprecedented in human history. There were technological inventions that revolutionised the way people could access international travel options enabling them to be virtually anywhere in the world within a matter of hours. New forms of communication emerged with the development of a global satellite communications network enabling people to watch Neil Armstrong take his one giant leap Live on their black-and-white TV screens (as I did in the corridors of Corio Primary School in 1969). Space exploration, the stuff previously just in the realm of science fiction writers, became a reality with manned and unmanned voyages to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. But the past one hundred years have also been a time of great upheaval with empires crumbling, governments toppled, wars waged, genocides committed, pandemics raging, nations birthed, rulers assassinated, and massive refugee movements from oppressive Islamic and Communist regimes. Added to this has been the demise of professional journalism and the rise of internet-citizen-journalism where it is now common for TV News reports to feature footage taken from someone’s cell-phone which was posted on social media rather than the more expensive option of sending their own film crew there. And while we’re mentioning the internet, let’s not forget to mention – the internet. This alone has possibly been the most monumental change in the way people communicate, work, learn, and shop. But while it was noted that the Queen had witnessed all of these many changes, it was also noted that the Queen herself was an unchanging constant during all these upheavals who brought about a sense of stability, peace and reassurance. To millions of people around the world, she was their rock in a world of turmoil and change. Yet this was only possible because she herself had an immovable, dependable rock upon which she had built her life.

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I’ve been praying for Penn Jillette for some time now. It began when I first heard him ridicule the Bible and Christianity. My fascination with Penn (and Teller), and other world-class magicians, has been due to my pursuit to develop my craft of preaching. There are a lot of similarities between preachers and magicians (just as there is also a lot similarities between solo musicians and preachers). I seek to learn from magicians about how to keep an audience’s attention, how to tell a story, and how to make a point by employing the element of surprise. But there are some significant differences between what magicians do and what preachers do though. A magician is deliberately deceptive. A preacher is striving to uphold truth in an honest way.