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Jerry Bridges explores the nine aspects of the “fruit of the Spirit” described in Gal. 5:22-23 and shows us how to practice them in real life.
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):
Learn how the Holy Spirit can help in your spiritual formation as you become a serious follower of Christ.
The Fruitful Life
Trim Size: 5.5 x 8.25
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Part of a Series
Available in Spanish
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The Fruitful Life: producing a harvest of righteousness
Devotees of Jerry Bridges’ well-known books The Pursuit of Holiness and The Practice of Godliness will be familiar with his encouraging words to modern day disciples of Jesus. I devoured these books when I first became a Christian, finding them essential tools as I began walking with Jesus. I thought this would, therefore, be an ‘easy read’.
Far from it. The style is easily accessible but the content is so thought-provoking that it is impossible to skim quickly through this lovely book. Bridges first takes the reader through the implications of taking on God’s character and becoming devoted to God. Gaining an understanding of this alone could be years of Bible study, but Bridges gives six principles for us to consider. One particularly useful reminder was that our conduct develops our character just as our character informs our conduct: what we are and what we do are intrinsic to each other. This understanding is essential to gaining an appreciation of the gifts of the Spirit. It is only then that the reader can begin to study, with a humble heart, what it means to develop the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Each chapter ends with thought-provoking questions for practice and discussion – ideal for a small group.
I am using this lovely little book with a group of friends who meet regularly for breakfast. Already, they are telling me how the topics we discussed have cropped up in their lives. And how helpful the discussions, based on The Fruitful Life, have been as they endeavour to ‘be Jesus’ in their workplaces. I imagine this is exactly what Jerry Bridges desires: that we can be encouraged to live more fruitful lives.
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.”
10/31/2010 7:16:44 AM
Coming full circle
To the best of my recollection, I have read ten books by Jerry Bridges. In each decade of my adulthood, one or two of his books were just what I needed. In my 20s I read “The Practice of Godliness” and “The Pursuit of Holiness”. In my 30s it was “Transforming Grace” and “The Discipline of Grace”. In my 40s it was “The Gospel for Real Life” and “Respectable Sins”. Now as I turn 50 it is “The Fruitful Life”.
It seems Bridges and I have come full circle. “The Fruitful Life” is a reworking of “The Practice of Godliness”. The major difference is both the author and I have twenty-five more years experience under our belts. As Bridges felt a need to revisit the fruit of the Spirit, I likewise have a need to reexamine the Spirit’s fruit in my life.
Jerry Bridges is eighty years old and has worked with the Navigators (a discipleship ministry) for over fifty years. His writing reveals a humble believer who is not afraid to confess his faults. As I read this book, I felt like I was sitting across his breakfast table as he shared the details of his spiritual growth. I highly recommend this book.
NavPress freely provided this book for review and there was no expectation of a positive review.
8/4/2010 2:26:02 PM
great book: disclosure
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."
7/27/2010 12:21:51 PM
great book: disclosure
Recently posts a review but the review posted before I could add my disclosure statement and it reposted again when I tried to enter one so I am doing this here.
7/27/2010 12:20:30 PM
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I have read several sections of books on the fruits of the spirit but none have been like what I read in The Fruitful Life by Jerry Bridges.
First all all this book is more of a guide on how to apply Galatians 5: 22-23 to your life rather than just simply telling you about the fruits of the spirit. Each chapter contains information that will enable you to apply these teachings in a real way to your own life in order to become more of what God has intended for each of us. Each section also has a set of questions at the end in order to help you to focus and reflect on what you have just read and to bring things more in perspective for you. This also makes it ideal for either an individual study or to use with a group. We have all been exposed to what the fruits of the spirit are and have had discussions on what each one means, but if you are like me, none have gone that extra step to guide you into applying the fruits to your own life as does the book The Fruitful Life. If you are truly looking for ways to enrich your personal relationship with God then this book is one that will help lead you on that path.
7/27/2010 12:19:07 PM