Friday, May 18, 2012

The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself

This week I finished reading, Note To Self: The Discipline Of Preaching To Yourself, by Joe Thorn. Thorn wrote the book to help others develop a theological understanding and real-life practice of the discipline of preaching to ourselves.

This book is a short read that is made up of three parts: the gospel and God, the gospel and others, and the gospel and you. The three parts consist of 48 chapters that read like letters to your self, each starting with a truth from Scripture and then proceeding with "Dear Self." 

This is a book that I highly recommend to anyone who is a follower of Christ as preaching the gospel to yourself is a discipline that we all need to practice more, which is exactly what "Note to Self," helps one do. There were parts of this short book that caused me to be convicted in areas that I did not even realize I needed to practice repentance and apply the gospel in my life.

Here is a few of the noteworthy quotes just to give you a small taste:

It is only when our thoughts are challenged and conformed to the principles of God's Word and our hearts are energized to make choices consistent with God's revealed will that a human being is transformed. (12)

In others words, for the Bible to be of value to us it must actually function to shape how we think, feel, and act, as well as what we believe, value, and teach. (12)

Many who value the preaching of Scripture by pastors and teachers are not benefiting from the kind of preaching that should be most consisten and personal-preaching to ourselves. (22)

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 leading to ongoing faith, repentance, and greater godliness. (23)

At its core, the gospel if Jesus as the substitue for sinners. (29)

When we get to the business of preaching this good news to ourselves, we are essentially denying self and resting in the grace of Christ in his life, death, and resurrection. (30)

Therefore preaching to ourselves puts us into a cycle of law and gospel where we move from our guilt and need to God's grace and provision and then back to the law as joyful and free obedience. (31)

To preach to yourself is to challenge yourself, push yourself, and point yourself to the truth. It is not so much uncovering new truth as much as it is reminding yourself of the truth you tend to forget. (32)

You must learn, relearn, and remember your Savior's love and sacrifice for the wicked, the rebellious, the black-hearted-for the people like you. And when you see the Holy One's sacrificial love for you, you not only see what love looks life, but also you find strength and power to love like him. (35)

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