“Does gratitude characterize your thoughts of God? Thankfulness is a good test of your faith. Its absence demonstrates that your faith is more lip service than experiential knowledge. Your days, whether easy or difficult, should be filled with thanksgiving because while life changes drastically, your God remains the same forever. He is constant — constantly good, loving, and faithful.”
—Joe Thorn, “Thanksgiving,” Note to Self, p. 44.
From Note to Self:
“The bigger and more biblical your understanding of who Jesus is, the more likely he is to be such an object of love and adoration that the idols that aim at capturing your attention and swaying your allegiance will lose their power. This is why you sometimes lack earnestness for the kingdom and the glory of God while you overflow with passion concerning temporal things. Instead of making a joyful noise and singing earnestly for the victory Christ has over sin and death, you express a dispassionate approval and mouth the words to the songs sung in worship. But there is often fire in your belly and shouts of joy when your favorite college football team is victorious over the competition. This is probably why the church is shrinking in North America—because small Jesus does not inspire awe, command respond, lead to worship, or compel us to talk of him (much less suffer for him). And small Jesus is too little to arrest the attention of the world.
So please remember—Jesus is bigger than you tend to think. He is the perfect revelation of God, the radiance of his glory, the exact imprint of his nature; he is the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists. Everything belongs to him and exists for him. He is the author of your salvation, the perfecter of your faith, and the only one in whom you can find life.”
—Joe Thorn, Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself, pp. 47-48.