Dr. Jerry Bridges is the best-selling author of such books as The Pursuit of Holiness, Transforming Grace, and The Practice of Godliness, from which this book is derived. Jerry is on staff with The Navigators' collegiate ministry. A popular speaker known around the world, Jerry lives with his wife, Jane, in Colorado Springs.
The Fruitful Life: The Overflow of God's Love Through Youby Jerry Bridges
As we desire to be more like Jesus, we want to live loving, joyful lives. Yet loving our enemies seems impossible. Even being patient with our family is often difficult. How can we put on the gentle garments of grace when we’re so busy battling our old behavior patterns? Navigator author Jerry Bridges explains how to practice the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23):
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I have been hesitant in the past to read a book about the fruits of the spirit. My hesitancy laid in some of what I see in the culture we live in. In our culture, the church often gets caught up doing what Sarah did when God didn't work as she wished. We don't wait on Him and seek to do things His way. We find ourselves in the land of self-help. Setting all that aside, I decided to embark upon reading The Fruitful Life by Jerry Bridges. This year I have read several other books by Bridges and so I was hopeful that this book would not fit into the mold of the self-help culture that we live in. Thankfully, it didn't. Later Bridges writes it this way, ..."the fruit of the Spirit, the result of His work within us. This means not that we bear no responsibility for the development of Christian character but rather that we fulfill our responsibility under His direction and by His enablement." p. 13 He began with a discussion of godliness from which all of these stem. He identifies on p. 29 that godliness is "the idea of a personal attitude toward God that results in actions that are pleasing to God." The quote from pg. 13 explains Bridges's understanding of how these fruits develop in our lives. He examines each of the fruits of the spirit: humility, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The chapters on each of these held deep challenges for my heart that God threaded through my days as I read this book. I fear that I cannot even begin to adequately describe how each individual chapter challenged me, so I will pick one. Patience. In this chapter, Bridges talks about the different faces of patience--longsuffering, responding to provocation, perseverance vs. endurance, and waiting on God. Throughout the chapter, Bridges reminds the reader of God's patience for us that we might see the need for patience in our own lives towards others. It helps us take our eyes off our temporary circumstances and put them back on God, on the the things that are eternal. Bridges has a way of taking deep spiritual truths and conveying them in very understandable ways without simplifying them. He is honest about his own struggles and weaknesses in his books as he shares his own stories and examples. He writes with great humility of spirit and love for the Lord. I highly recommend this book. I am thankful that God has brought his books into my life this year. They have been deeply encouraging and challenging. I can't shy away from the truth of God's love and grace for me. I am confronted with it and reminded to keep it on my heart and mind all day long. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from NavPress.
"Healthy human life is a fruitful life." So begins the preface of this book. Each chapter takes us through the fruits of the Spirit beginning with taking on God's character and pursuing our devotion to God. In this book, Jerry Bridges describes each fruit of the Spirit - Humility, Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness and Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and finally Self control. Guiding us with references to the books of the Bible, the author identifies each fruit as well as the many ways we can use these to strengthen our daily spiritual life. Well written and easy to use "The Fruitful Life" including its exercises for practice and discussion will help the reader or group to develop his/hers daily devotions. Either read chapter by chapter or read in its entirety, this book will help you to cultivate the beautiful fruit given by the Holy Spirit. This is indeed a Spirit filled book and I give it 4 1/2 stars. You will too! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
To feel the overflow of God's Love, it must start within you first and to learn it by heart the principles that makes a fruitful life. In order to be a believable Christian---you must walk the talk! Now if you want to disciple someone, you need the fruit of the spirit to be more effective and that is the secret of Christian influence. Start within yourself is from what I understand from reading Jerry Bridges book. Concentrate on developing character traits such as joy, peace, kindness, goodness, devotion among others to have a solid spiritual formation. If you are a church worker, laymen, Pastor or Worship Leader, you must know these things if you want more followers to lead to Jesus. Although there is nothing new even if each chapter is concentrated in how to have humility, self-control,having gentleness etc. Still this is worth reading if you think you need more "radical" approach to influence the lives of others . Learning and getting back to basics is one way of admitting with humility--- that you can't do it alone without the help of the Holy Spirit to guide you. Immerse yourself with these insightful book and you will benefit more if you practice it and learn from wisdom of the Author by also doing the exercises. There is practice discussion found at the end of each chapter and suggested bible verses to make your bible reading or "alone" time more meaningful. I received this book from Navpress as part of their books for bloggers program and the opinions I have expressed are entirely my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the U.S Federal Trade Commission
This Fruitful Life takes you on a journey through each of the fruits of the Spirit as described in Galatians 5. This book dedicates a chapter to each and offers insight into how we can cultivate each one in our life. I liked this book because the author addresses the important fact that while the Holy Spirit does the work in us, we have work to do also. He offers insight and wisdom into what each fruit 'looks like' in our lives and how and why it is important in our walk with God. There is a brief study section at the end of each chapter. I would recommend this for small groups and for individual study. *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."*