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Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself
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Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  1,299 ratings  ·  116 reviews
We need good preaching--preaching that challenges us by God's Word and brings the comfort that comes from God's promises. Yet many of us rely solely on others to preach to us and are not benefitting from the kind of preaching that should be most consistent and personal--preaching to ourselves.

Note to Self is a practical introduction to this daily discipline. Pastor Joe Tho
Paperback, 137 pages
Published April 7th 2011 by Crossway Books (first published April 5th 2011)
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Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Great book divided into short devotions on preaching the gospel to yourself every day...can't get enough of that discipline!
Apr 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The concept of preaching the gospel to yourself is an important one, and one I’ve been hearing articulated a lot more recently. Christians talk a lot about sermons, evangelism, and other important topics relating to communicating the gospel to others, but we also need to remind ourselves of the truths we say we believe regularly. I’m big on saying we shouldn’t “assume the gospel.” We shouldn’t assume people understand the gospel and move onto “more important doctrines,” and I think that concept ...more
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a quick read that was full of heart-searching truth. The author is really honest about his own sin, and I could identitify with all of it to some degree.

Below are a few quotes of many that struck me as I read:
“Jesus is enough, but only when we understand our greatest needs to be redemption and restoration. God in Christ has reconciled us to himself, is renewing our minds, and promises to raise us from the dead, and we will dwell in righteousness and peace forever. If you have this, what
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was so good. I especially loved the chapter on how devotions should only be the start of private worship.
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I've ever read, and much better than I had hoped. The book is small and very readable, I read it in just under three hours, in one sitting (and I am a slow reader).

The foreword lays down how important it is to read Scripture and believe it, and apply it to yourself, laying the foundation for what the book does later.

After the foreword comes the introduction, which lays out and defines a few terms and concepts--Preaching to oneself, the Gospel, the Law, and how you c
Maui Rochell
I always engage myself in self-talk. I write notetoself stuff and oftentimes, I am my own critic and encourager. I first saw this book from my accountability partner filled with highlighted statements from page to page and so it piqued my interest. A month later I bought myself a copy of this book and haven't read it immediately. I was stuck in the foreword I don't know why. But the right time has come and to my surprise, I finished it in one sitting.

It was worth it.

The idea of preaching to yo
Graham Heslop
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Like the Israel of old, you tend to forget the most basic of things. Important things. You need constant reminders, and what you have been gleaning from others [I assume Thorn would include his own work here] is not enough. You need to find ways to remind yourself about the things that matter, because when you aren't intentionally setting the truth before yourself you forget."

Having read through this book slowly I am both grateful and indebted to Joe Thorn for practising what we writes of. For
Andrew Hoffman
Sep 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Each chapter begins with the phrase "Dear Self" and then proceeds to bring Scripture to bear on a specific area of discipleship that we tend to neglect. Forgetting and remembering are big themes. I could see reading one chapter a day and taking some time to ponder or journal. This is for the Christian who wants to keep growing. I found the balance between theology and practice to be very good and often very penetrating as regards to the typical struggles we all face. The chapters entitled "Remem ...more
Aug 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Thorn makes a point to say in the beginning of the book that this is not just an exercise in "preaching the gospel to yourself." He makes a distinction between preaching law and preaching gospel, and this book contains many exhortations that press the imperatives of the Bible to the reader. These exhortations are not absent of grace, but they focus on what must be done as a follower of Christ.

This is a small book, with 48 short entries. I found it most helpful to read one or two each morning in
CJ Bowen
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, challenging book. We used it for family worship, and found the short chapters to be just the right length for our family. The strength of the book comes in its direct address. Many devotional books give pious thoughts that everyone nods in agreement, but I've found few books that are as provocative and challenging. The book makes direct, forceful statements about the state of your mind and heart, and because they are rooted in Scripture, the arrows hit home. Don't despair; grace is in ...more
Ashley Glassick
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. At first put off by the simplicity of it, but I actually appreciated the two page chapters. This is something you can pick up on a Sunday and quickly scan the chapter on worship or pride to remind yourself of the biblical truths behind these topics. Because we are so prone to think untrue things, it helpful to replace those thoughts with truth. This is essentially what Joe Thorn is doing here. I also liked that the book was written at a level a new believer could understand, ...more
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Note to Self is a fantastic collection of bite-sized notes focused on bringing Biblical truths in an applicable way. The book is structured more like a devotional, which is both a blessing and a curse. Though I appreciated the brevity of each "chapter", I do wish that some could have gone deeper. Overall, it's a fantastic book that's meant to be read slowly and provoke you ponder the promises of God, holy living, and ultimately, the Gospel.
Amy Kannel
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I don't do well with "devotional" format books (which is why it's taken me over two years to finish this one)...but this little book is really excellent. Pointed enough to make you squirm at times, yet brimming with joy and hope, it's a wonderful, useful collection of 48 little exhortations to remember what's true and live like it. I should immediately start back at the beginning.
Alan Rathbun
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Solid book with a two page per day devotional format. I thought some days were excellent and others were average. For a book that is focused on preaching the gospel to yourself, my personal opinion is that it could have felt a little more grace-filled. All in all, a solid book and I’m glad I read it.
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity
Short & to the point, this little book delivers a potent shot in the arm. I not only appreciate Mr. Thorns writing style, but the manner in which he delivers his points is powerful. There's something for everyone in this book & from start to finish this work is a home run! ...more
Matt Pitts
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Looking for a good devotional read that's theological but packs a practical punch? Look no further. This is the perfect book for the theology lover who needs to be reminded regularly to put their theology to work.
Dec 17, 2011 rated it liked it

Not sure I understand the subtle difference between being preached at and preaching to self. The author covers many areas of the Christian life
Shadelva Recio
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
THIS IS PERFECT TO READ EVERYDAY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! I recommend this book to everyone especially those who preach the word to others.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity, ebook
Good with lots of ups and downs. It took me almost 2 years to finish this. I read one devotional per day for a week or two, then I'd have to stop. This book is all about preaching the gospel to yourself, but some days really beat me up and made me feel pretty bad about myself. It usually wasn't the convicting type of feeling, but more of the feeling that I feel trashy and unworthy. Many of these feelings were just due to my mindset at various times reading it. Gospel and law can be pretty tricky ...more
Bryan Kuranaga
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is very good. We all need to practice the discipline of preaching to ourselves and this book will provide ample examples of doing just that. What's implicit in these examples is a deep knowledge of Scripture. May God give us wisdom to know how to apply such timeless truths in timely ways!
Bret James Stewart
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book of its type. It is essentially a daily devotional designed to allow Christians to preach to themselves. It is, as might be expected, application-oriented, and uses everyday language and ideas to convey to oneself and live out the gospel message. This is possible through Jesus, who allows us, through proxy, to live righteously. According to Thorn, the idea of preaching to ourselves "is the personal act of applying the law and the gospel to our own lives with the aim of experi ...more
Jun 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book ask you questions about what you believe and challenges you to know what you believe and how you live what you believe. It starts with a verse and then writes a note to self by asking question and digging deeper into truth about what that means to you and your relationship with the Lord. It reveals your heart and brings your heart to the word. However, not just your heart but your mind as well as you think about these truths and how they apply to your life. The Christian life is intent ...more
Mandy J. Hoffman

I have now read a stack of books on the topic of grace and this one has found it's place close to the top. It is a simple summery of how God's grace functions in the Believer's life followed by a wide range of "Notes" about grace in a specific area of our lives.

Note To Self is a relatively short read all the while being a deep and thought-provoking book on grace in the every-day moments of life. It covers worship, laziness, fear, suffering, relationships, and much more in an easy-to-r
Jan 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Excellent. I read a chapter a day (the chapters are only a few pages), and used it like a devotional. If you have allergies like me, there is no flowery, fragrant smell to be found, but only sound doctrine and biblical advice. It's a series of small, topical notes written to the reader. Here's a sample: Dear Self, You are proud, and what makes this so dangerous is that you don't realize how proud you are. Thorn's style continuously pushes you back to the cross for the source of encouragement. Ma ...more
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My full review can be read at

These days a lot of folks are talking about the need to preach the gospel to yourself. This is a good and important thing indeed. We do need to be preaching the gospel to ourselves on a regular basis. But something that I’ve noticed is there aren’t a lot of folks talking about what that actually looks like. Joe Thorn’s noticed this, too. So he decided to do something about it by writing Note to Self: The Discipline of Preachin
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In the last 25 books I’ve read on Christianity this is one of the best. I am the type of reader that likes to highlight the good parts of a book. After about 10 chapters of Note to Self I decided highlighting was pointless because of how much I was marking. When I first started this book I thought this would be good for anyone because it was so simple and the chapters were so short but as I got into it every chapter go deeper and deeper and more convicting. I have never been able to find a daily ...more
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Introduction explains Gospel and Law and why the truth of these need to be preached to oneself often. The remaining section of book is divided into three parts: The Gospel and God, The Gospel and You, The Gospel and Others. Read in a daily format as if it's a letter that one wrote to oneself.

Simplistic. May be a great first-step for a new/young believer who is learning how Gospel and Law go hand in hand. I don't prefer the "Dear Self" approach.

I much prefer the Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent b
Otis Kopp
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Broken up into 3 parts, each containing chapters with multiple areas in which we can preach to ourselves, this book was masterfully written to encourage the practice of self preaching. In preaching the gospel to ourselves, we are not merely reciting the good news of Christ saving sinners, but how to apply this life changing reality to every area of our life. In doing so, we are reminded of what God has required of us in His law, how we have all failed to keep that law, and the need for us to rec ...more
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
We often rely heavily on others (pastors, celebrity Christians, our communities) to edify us. Yet, we spend more time with ourselves than anyone else. We should take the lead in our spiritual edification which involves a consistent preaching of Biblical truths that we already know. This book is broken into short, 2-4 page chapters with a "note to self". Makes a great devotional. Obviously, the book does not contain all the truths there are for a follower of Jesus to proclaim to himself but it's ...more
Catherine Mullaney
This is a book that I purchased on Kindle. Dan and I read it out loud to each other. We need the Gospel every day. The GOOD NEWS wouldn't be very GOOD if we only needed to hear it a few times during our new birth or as the first words we heard as a new born. THE GOOD NEWS was never meant to be only for the yet to be born Christians. We who have been adopted into God's family need to hear it again and again. This book is designed to help us preach the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ to ourselves everyd ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Joe is the founding and Lead Pastor of Redeemer Fellowship in St. Charles, IL, and the author of Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself (Crossway/ReLit). He was a contributor to The Story ESV Bible and The Mission of God Study Bible. Joe is a graduate of Moody Bible Inst. (BA) and The Southern Bap

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“You live recklessly when you do not take God's law seriously or respond to the gospel properly. Reckless living can look like laziness and apathy. When you simply aren't motivated and tell yourself that God has forgiven you in Jesus, so you're not going to fight temptation and sin - that is reckless living, and it's far more dangerous than you realize.” 4 likes
“But when you doubt that you have anything to offer, you question God's ability to use you beyond your own weakness. Your usefulness in the lives of others is not dependent on your own intellectual or creative abilities, though God will use your talents whatever they are. Your usefulness to God and his people is connected with your dependence on God and his Word and your love for his people.” 2 likes
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