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Preaching to Yourself

John Piper does a great job (via D.Martyn Lloyd-Jones) helping us understand and then demonstrating how to speak (or preach) to yourself.

Here is a slightly longer version of the D.Martyn Lloyd-Jones quote that is used above.  (The quote is taken from Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure)

The main trouble in this whole matter of spiritual depression in a sense is this, that we allow our self to talk to us instead of talking to our self. Am I just trying to be deliberately paradoxical? Far from it. This is the very essence of wisdom in this matter. Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problem of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment was this; instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself, ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul?’ he asks. His soul had been repressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: ‘Self, listen for a moment, I will speak to you’. Do you know what I mean? If you do not, you have but little experience.

The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. You must say to your soul: ‘Why art thou cast down’–what business have you to be disquieted? You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself: ‘Hope thou in God’–instead of muttering in this depressed, unhappy way. And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do. Then having done that, end on this great note: defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil and the whole world, and say with this man: ‘I shall yet priase Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God’.


  • The verse he referes to is Psalm 42:5
  • At the end when John Piper says “Psalm 8” he means Romans 8
  • You can find the full sermon here

Random Things: 5.13.2011

1. The Gospel and the Ordinary (Bill Streger from Lead ’10)

How does the Gospel fit into our ordinary lives? How does the Gospel impact our enjoyment of the gifts of God? This is a great sermon and well worth your time. (Thanks to Jared Wilson for the heads up)

audio8.mp3 Listen on Posterous

2. Christians and Politics

Christians and Politics generally annoy me, but I think this book is probably worth a read. Here is the introduction by Tim Keller to City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era.The last paragraph stood out to me, enough so that I’ll probably buy this and give it a read.

What does this mean? It means that any simplistic Christian response to politics—the claim that we shouldn’t be involved in politics, or that we should “take back our country for Jesus”—is inadequate. In each society, time, and place, the form of political involvement has to be worked out differently, with the utmost faithfulness to the Scripture, but also the greatest sensitivity to culture, time, and place. This book is a great beginning.


3. 400 Years of Kings James

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the King James Version. 


4. Reading the classics together

Sometimes it is easier to read with a group.  Tim Challies is bringing back “Reading the Classics Together“.  The book is Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen.  

From the Amazon summary:

Machens classic defense of orthodox Christianity established the importance of scriptural doctrine and contrasts the teachings of liberalism and orthodoxy on God and man, the Bible, Christ, salvation, and the church. Though originally published nearly seventy years ago, the book maintains its relevance today. It was named one of the top 100 books of the millennium by World magazine and one of the top 100 books of the century by Christianity Today.







Book Review: Note To Self by Joe Thorn

Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself (Joe Thorn)

Summary: This is a short book that helps practically apply scripture to our lives.

I like to read. Lately, I’ve found myself developing bad habit. I’ll find myself looking at the price of a book and the at the amount of pages. In my mind a calculation takes place where I compare the amount of pages to price. As a result of this mental calculation, I almost skipped this book. I was intrigued by the title and the reviews but at 144 pages it seemed short. However, after spending some time with this book, I’m glad that I purchased it.

Continue reading

Spurgeon: The Lord Gives

The following is an excerpt from a sermon on Job 1:20-22 preached by Charles H. Spurgeon. 

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:20-22) 

But now, thirdly, and perhaps the most blessed thing, is what Job said concerning THE HAND OF GOD IN ALL THINGS: “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

I am so pleased to think that Job recognized the hand of God everywhere giving. He said, “The Lord gave.” He did not say, “I earned it all.” He did not say, “There are all my hard-earned savings gone.” “Ah, me!” he might have said, “all the care for those sheep, and the dreadful expense of those camels, and the trouble that I have been at with those oxen; and now they are all gone, it does seem hard.” He does not put it so, but he says, “The Lord gave them to me; they were a gift, and though they are gone, they were a gift from him who had a right to take them back, for all he gives is only lent. ‘A loan should go laughing home;’ and if God lent me these things, and now has called them back, I will bless his name for having let me have them so long.”

Spurgeon: Job’s Resignation

Going Deeper (King’s Cross)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about contenment and what that means for me.  The quote below grabbed me this morning and I’ve been thinking about it most of the day.  It’s taken from Tim Keller’s book King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus.  

In Chapter 3 he is writing about Jesus’ healing of a paralized man, specifically a man who was lowered through a ceiling to Jesus because there was no other way to get close.  Jesus doesn’t heal the man right away. He simply says, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” This must have been a shock because the expectation was that Jesus would heal this man, no one was even thinking about sin.  Jesus, however, sees right through this man’s desires to what his heart desperatly needed.  I need to be reminded of this on a regular basis. 

The Bible says that our real problem is that every one of us is building our identity on something besides Jesus.  Whether it’s to succeed in our chosen field or to have a certian relationship – or even to get up and walk – we’re saying, “If I have that, if I get my deepest wish, then everything will be okay.” You’re looking to that thing to save you from oblivion, from disillusionment, from mediocrity.  You’ve made that wish into a savior. You never use that term, of course – but that’s what happening. And if you never quite get it, you’re angry, unhappy, empty. But if you do get it, you ultimately feel more empty, more unhappy. You’ve disorted your deepest wish by trying to make it inoto your savior, and now that you finally have it, it’s turned on you.

Jesus says, “You see, if you have me, I will actually fulfill you, and if you fail me, I will always forgive you.  I’m the only savior who can do that.” But it is hard to figure that out. Many of us first start going to God, going to church, because we have problems, and we’re asking god to give us a little boost over the hump so that we can get back to saving ourselvs, back to pursuing our deepest wish. the problem is that we’re looking to something besides Jesus as savior. Almost always when we first go to Jesus saying, “This is my deepest wish,” his response is that we need to go a lot deeper than that.

The New Puppy

The Faithfulness of God

What a consolation it is that our God never changes! What he was yesterday he is today. What we find him today we shall find him for ever. Are you struggling against sin? Don’t struggle in your own strength: it is God who performeth all things for you. Victories over sin are only sham victories unless we overcome through the blood of the Lamb, and through the power of divine grace. I am afraid of backsliding, but I think I am more afraid still of growing in sanctification apparently in my own strength. It is a dreadful thing for the grey hairs to appear here and there; but it is worse still for the hair to appear to be of raven hue when the man is weak. Only the indication is changed, but not the state itself. May we have really what we think we have–no surface work, but deep, inner, spiritual life, wrought in us from God–yea, every good spiritual thing from him, who performeth all things for us; and, I say, whatever struggles may come, whatever vehement temptations assail, or whatever thunder-clouds may burst over your heads, you shall not be deserted, much less destroyed. In spiritual things it is God who performeth all things for you. Rest in him then. It is no work of yours to save your own soul; Christ is the Saviour. If he cannot save you, you certainly cannot save yourself. Why rest you your hopes where hopes never ought to be rested? Or let me change the question. Why do you fear where you never ought to have hoped? Instead of fearing that you cannot hold on, despair of holding on yourself, and never look in that direction again. But if the preservation be of God, where is the cause for perturbation with you? In him let your entire reliance be fixed. Cast the burden of your care on him who performeth all things for you.

C.H. Spurgeon (Strong Faith in a Faithful God)