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Note to Self (Foreword by Sam Storms): The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself by [Thorn, Joe]
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Note to Self (Foreword by Sam Storms): The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Length: 146 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 701 KB
  • Print Length: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; Csm edition (April 7, 2011)
  • Publication Date: March 15, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004V962TO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
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  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,005 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Last week (4/12-4/14) at The Gospel Coalition 2011 we were loaded up with free stuff (or, swag, if you will). Even more so for us bloggers fortunate enough to attend Band of Bloggers on Tuesday. On the Band of Bloggers panel was Church Planter and fellow Acts 29 guy Joe Thorn. Thorn is a great guy and I have had the pleasure of meeting and listening to on several occasions, so when I found out he was writing a book and it was getting published though Re:Lit, I was stoked. I was even more stoked when I found out those signed up for Band of Bloggers would be getting a pre-released copy!

It's a small book, not very intimidating and the text is of readable size: a good weekend read. But what a weekend it was, between Note to Self and The Greener Grass Conspiracy, I forcefully, yet lovingly was kicked in the rear end by the Gospel.

Note To Self is really like nothing I have ever read. It's made for the trenches, battle tactics in the Spiritual War we fight as Christians. It is sort of to the Good Guys what The Screwtape Letters is to the Bad Guys, letters from the trenches. The concept is simple yet brilliant. It's Joe (or you) preaching the Gospel to yourself amidst 48 real-time situations that we all have and will continue to face. What Joe does in Note To Self is take a section of scripture and in about 500 words engages in "self talk" as Martyn Lloyd Jones would call it.

Every section starts off with a rich verse of scripture at the top of the page and then the words Dear Self... What happens after that is straight up, honest Gospel talk. Every chapter points back to Jesus and how the Gospel actually matters pertaining to whatever subject Joe is dealing with.
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Format: Paperback
Feelings are like rollercoasters. We feel up, down, upside down, or all twisted up. Within the span of a few moments, depending on our circumstances, our feelings can span nearly the entire range of human emotion. And for some, feelings can be very strong. Indeed so strong that we have the tendency, at times, to embrace a self-constructed view of reality based on what we feel at a given moment. This can be especially true within the Christian life. As Christians, we often fall into the deceitful trap of our own feelings; coming to the false conclusion that our standing before God, or God's perception of us, is based on how we feel at a particular point in time.

Thankfully, every so often a voice is raised calling us away from the instability of our feelings and emotions to the solid and stable ground of God's written Word. Deitrich Bonheoffer was one such voice. In his classic, Life Together, published in 1954, Bonhoeffer wrote:

the Christian is the man who no longer seeks his salvation, his deliverance, his justification in himself, but in Jesus Christ alone. He knows that God's Word in Jesus Christ pronounces him guilty, even when he does not feel his guilt, and God's Word in Jesus Christ pronounces him not guilty and righteous, even when he does not feel that he is righteous at all. The Christian no longer lives of himself, by his own claims and his own justification, but by God's claims and God's justification. He lives wholly by God's Word pronounced upon him, whether that Word declares him guilty or innocent. (p. 22)

In the next decade, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones followed with his classic, Spiritual Depression, writing:

Feelings must be engaged. They are meant to be involved.
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Format: Paperback
We hear that we should be preaching the gospel to ourselves, but you don't find many resources on how to do it. In Note To Self, Joe Thorn, founding pastor of Redeemer Fellowship, serves us well by demonstrating in this small but powerful book how we should preach the gospel to ourselves. This discipline of preaching the gospel to yourself has become a popular phrase, but actually doing it hasn't caught on so quickly. Thankfully, Thorn demonstrates in his book what it actually means and what it looks like to preach the gospel to yourself, so that, through this discipline you may grow in intimacy with Christ and conformity to Christ.

In Note To Self, Thorn begins by introducing us to the idea that it is not just the gospel that we must preach to ourselves, but law and gospel. Thorn states that "just as the lost cannot come to know Christ apart from an understanding of law and gospel, neither will the believer grow in grace apart from the preaching of both law and gospel." Therefore, Thorn identifies and defines that "preaching to ourselves is the personal act of applying the law and the gospel to our own lives with the aim of experiencing the transforming grace of God." This is where Thorn begins laying a foundation for us as the practical guide for thinking through the Christian life. He points us in a direction of gospel proclamation and application. And then what I love most is that Thorn doesn't allow the reader any time to assume what is law and gospel, but rather he goes straight into clearly and biblically defining what they mean. It is through the preaching of both the law and gospel to yourself that you begin to grow in truth.
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