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.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

MY BIGGEST BURDENS

A burden is something that weighs on you. You could be burdened emotionally because a relationship that is weighing on you. You could be burdened psychologically because of the weight of a looming deadline. You could be burdened spiritually because of the weight of guilt you are carrying. You could be burdened physically because of your weight and depleted strength. We all carry burdens. There are seasons in our lives where some burdens a big and you do not feel that you will be able to bear up under the enormous pressure you are under. Those seasons will pass. For those in leadership there is the constant burden of the weight of responsibility that must be carried. (Have you ever noticed what this kind burden bearing does physically to a President or Prime Minister over their term in office?) In the Bible we read that GOD actually gives people burdens so that they become stronger, wealthier, happier, and more productive. These types of burdens always involve caring for others. (Have you ever considered why Jesus was sweating great drops of blood as He was praying just before He went to the Cross via His hours of humiliating pummelling, beating, scourging, hair-pulling, and mockery?) I want to share you with you why I am now carrying an enormous burden that I would consider that biggest burden I have ever had to carry. I do so in the hope that this might help you to bear your burdens with greatest expertise and joy. Yes, joy.

HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR RELATIONSHIP SKILLS

This year we have been laying a foundation for knowing God and then each Sunday building upon it. Throughout June we are focusing on how knowing God enables us to find our joy in Him and consequently to discover that He enables us to find joy in our relationships with others. But sadly, for many people who have vowed to love, serve, and follow Jesus, this has not always been easy to do. This is why the current sub-theme of humility is critically important if someone desires to truly experience joy in each of their various relationships with others. 

KNOWING GOD

In the past few months, we have been hearing in Church and also by reading the Pastor’s Desks that through the Psalms and by the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, we can know God more. The Psalms show God as our Shepherd, God’s character is unchanging, we can be still and know Him, and that He is poetic. The Fruit of the Spirit reminds us that God is faithful, gentle and kind, and that we need to stay close to Him in the same way a baby gets nutrients from its mother through the umbilical cord. Knowing these things, we can become more like God as He helps us outwork His character in our lives. Philippians 3:10 challenged me in this regard some time ago.

RULES RULES AND MORE RULES

What comes to mind when you hear the word Rules? For some, it is a welcome relief to all the chaos surrounding us. Rules can provide comfort, safety, stability, predictability and protection. But for many others, as soon as you hear the word rules, it causes you to sigh loudly, followed by the instant urge to do the opposite. It can cause an immense sense of frustration along with that feeling of being boxed or caged in. Then some rules are plain silly as they make no sense, or there appears to be no apparent reason for why the rule/s exists in the first place. 

The Vine and the Umbilical Cord: Life, Abiding and Bearing FruitThe Vine and the Umbilical Cord: Life, Abiding and Bearing Fruit

Jesus’ allegory in John 15:1-17 of the vine and the branches provides a beautiful picture of the intimate and living relationship available to those who would abide in Him, the true Vine; and it illustrates how naturally the Holy Spirit is able to produce fruit in the lives of those who are willing to be branches abiding in the vine.

Knowing God Through The Fruit Of The Spirit

I’m sure you can picture an occasion where food delicacies are served and someone is there who has lost all sense of decorum to the point of being rude to get to the food before others and is unable or unwilling to engage in any level of conversation for the sake of finding the choicest of foods. Maybe that was you or me on occasions. Or an All You Can Eat challenge restaurant. It is a picture of complete lack of self-restraint (especially if Homer Simpson is involved). Whilst we are away, I am looking forward to visiting a town (Kenilworth) with a bakery tourist attraction that sells 1kg doughnuts. I’m not sure what will happen there, but I can imagine many have risen to a challenge.

WHAT CHARMING BETRAYERS DESERVE ACCORDING TO THE PSALM OF KING DAVID, NUMBER 55

Australia is now grappling with a national crisis — the violent abuse of women by men. Every four days in Australia a woman is being murdered [Source]. The sad probability is that she was murdered by “a current or former intimate partner” [Source]. But added to this alarming statistic is the even greater and more horrifying statistic of number of women who are experiencing abuse – physical; sexual; verbal; financial; psychological – daily. In fact, it is so prevalent that most people working in this arena know that most domestic abuse incidents in Australia are not reported. Abuse is oppression. And since the Bible is so clear and consistent in its condemnation of oppression of the vulnerable you would naturally assume that this national crisis was being thundered and denounced as a great evil from the majority of pulpits around our country at the moment. This assumption is further reinforced by the guesstimate that one-in-four women in every Australian church is regularly abused in some way by a man. But I suspect that it is not.

KNOWING GOD THROUGH PSALM 23

My cat, Lola, had a beautiful, fluffy, soft coat. I had her for 13 years so I knew her very well. She loved a cuddle and snuggling at night sleeping in the crook of my arm. She loved me but with others she could be a rascal, hissing or swiping her claws. She never scoffed her food but was a grazer. It was common to hear her crunching her biscuits for a midnight snack and she loved ice cream. She loved hiding in cardboard boxes or in the pantry. She particularly hated the car evidenced by her continual mournful meowing til she got out. As I knew her, she also knew me. She knew I would feed her and give her pats or cuddles. When I called her she knew my soft voice, my touch, my smell. She knew my growly voice when she had done the wrong thing. When I’d take her to the vet she would be still in my arms as the vet examined her and vaccinated her. If she was injured or sick I would look after her.

KNOWING GOD THROUGH PSALM 22

The Bible is an amazing book. As we look through the book of Psalms we can so unbelievably clearly see God at work. And also most poignantly, this Psalm – Psalm 22 – prophetically points to, and closely mirrors Jesus and the events of the cross mentioned in the New Testament. This Psalm is well over 1000 years prior to Jesus.There are some well known passages of Scripture that stand out as being prophetic promises of the Messiah. These prophetic words show us that God is Omniscient; He knows everything. The first Messianic prophecy shows that the seed of the woman would eventually defeat the devil.

THIS IS HOW AN EXPERT SUCCESSFULLY FOUGHT SPIRITUAL WARS

home > Pastor's Desk > 2024 > April 12th > THIS IS HOW AN EXPERT SUCCESSFULLY FOUGHT SPIRITUAL WARSThe distance between the spiritual dimension and our earthly-material dimension is a lot thinner than most people realise! This means that there is a direct...