Healthy Fruit for the New Year

As we look to another year, many will make new year's resolutions. Most of them won’t last very long. We often lack the desire or willpower to sustain our good intentions. It is part of our human nature.

Two programs that are well advertised for the New Year are exercise and weight loss programs. Some of these programs are certainly helpful. There can also be some great benefit to these programs since eating healthy and exercise are also related to how well our brain functions. Nutritionists explain how we need to eat more healthy fruits and vegetables. There is even a category of “superfruits” that are supposed to be filled with antioxidants even though there hasn’t been any good studies to support this claim.

There is a different kind of fruit, however, that has significance that will last beyond a year or two. This kind of fruit has incredible value. There are no laws against this kind of fruit, and the FDA will never shut it down. No nutritionist, health expert, or scientist has ever said this fruit is bad for you.

The kind of fruit I’m talking about is the fruit of God’s Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” The reason there is no law against these things is because these are characteristics that come from God Himself, who is perfect. When we turn away from the wrong that we have done and turn to Jesus, placing our faith and trust in Him, He makes us His children and gives us His Spirit to live within us. What begins to flow from our lives is His fruit...which has no laws against it.

No one tells us, “Would you stop being so loving and kind?! Quit being so patient and self-controlled!” It sounds rather ridiculous, doesn’t it? When we bear the fruit of God’s Spirit, we know it is His original intent for His children, and it reflects who He is as our Father in Heaven.
In our world around us we see all kinds of anger, hatred, disagreements, selfish-ambition, strife, sexual immorality, drunkenness and similar things. Paul, the writer of Galatians, describes these things as opposite of the fruit of the Spirit. They are bad fruit that come from within our hearts. When anger and hatred take over our hearts, things like murder and violence can result. When sexual immorality and drunkenness rule our lives, abuse and DUIs can be the result. There are laws against these things.

When we put our trust in Jesus, He gives us a new heart with new desires. He gives us His Spirit to help us bear good fruit rather than bad fruit. Then we will be at peace with Him and one another. No, we won’t be perfect, but His Spirit will give us the strength to live and walk more and more like Jesus. Let it be our prayer that we trust God and bear His fruit this year.

Rev. Mark Anderson, Pastor of Evangelism & Outreach, Chisholm Baptist Church
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Mark Anderson