Jerry Bridges’ life and mine have connected on a few occasions within the last ten years. He’s been an important influence on me through his books.
Trusting God is my 2nd favorite book of all time, just below the Bible on my list. I quote heavily from his book in almost all of mine. This book helped me so much when I was writing my own book, Sunsets, which Mr. Bridges generously endorsed. In my thank-you letter, I told him it didn’t surprise me that he appreciated Sunsets, since I quoted him on almost every page. Haha. Okay, a little bit of an exaggeration, perhaps.
His book, Transforming Grace, also had a powerful influence on my life. That’s when God opened my eyes to the fact that nothing we do makes God love us more. And nothing we do makes God love us less. He loves us the same whether we’re “bad” or “good.” I realized that much of my “good behavior” was intended to ingratiate myself with God. So Mr. Bridges’ book helped me realize that nothing I did impacted God’s love for me. But much of what I did impacted my love for God. He is faithful even when we’re not. This was a life-changing realization for me.
For many years, Jerry Bridges has been one of my favorite Christian writers for these and other reasons. So I was saddened to hear that he died a few days ago. One less spiritual pillar in this world; one less spiritual guide to point us always to our Savior. Yet, I know that Jerry Bridges is more alive today than he’s ever been. I’m confident that the rejoicing in heaven right now at his home-coming is providing more joy to his soul than anything he could have imagined on this earth.
I’ll miss Jerry Bridges’ writing. But I have lots more of his books left to read and absorb. So while I’m sad for myself and the body of believers in this world, I rejoice with him that he is face to face with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Thank You, Lord, for men like Jerry Bridges who help point others to You so brilliantly.