by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. —Romans 12:1, 2
Even so, Madame, consider, I beseech you, if hitherto you have taken pains to serve and honor so good a master, how you can strive more earnestly than ever to arm yourself against opposition, to take courage against all difficulties "in order to surmount them; for, since the worldly often manifest invincible constancy in the pursuit of their vanities, patiently enduring so many labors, troubles, and dangers, it would be too shameful if we were to grow weary in the way of salvation; although this is by no means all that is required of us, that we show ourselves steadfast in the midst of persecutions; for, even if there were no enemies to make open war upon us, we find enough of aversion and indisposedness in ourselves and all around to hinder us in making our calling sure, which all those who have a true zeal to devote themselves to God experience more fully than anyone could tell them.
Inasmuch, then, as I hold you to be of the number, I entreat you to exercise yourself continually in the doctrine of renouncing the world yet more and more, in order to come nearer to our Lord Jesus, who has once for all purchased us to separate us unto himself. I mean the world, such as we carry it within ourselves, before we are made again after his likeness.
And seeing that our whole nature, inasmuch as by the corruption of the plague it has been depraved, is enmity against God, the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ cannot be duly established, until all which is ours has been beaten down; and not only the open vices which are condemned of men, but also our own reason and wisdom.
I am aware that I do not speak to you of any new thing, and that by the grace of God you have long ago begun to follow in the way of the holy heavenly calling. But the study of holiness is one of which we must avail ourselves even to the end. —Correspondence
John Calvin was the premier theologian of the Reformation, but also a pious and godly Christian pastor who endeavored throughout his life to point men and women to Christ. We are grateful to Reformation Heritage Books for permission to use John Calvin's Thine Is My Heart as our daily devotional for 2013 on the OPC Web site. You can currently obtain a printed copy of that book from Reformation Heritage Books.
Dr. Joel Beeke, who is editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, has this to say:
"Calvin shows us the piety of a Reformed theologian who speaks from the heart. Having tasted the goodness and grace of God in Jesus Christ, he pursued piety by seeking to know and do God’s will every day. He communed with Christ, practicing repentance, self-denial, and cross-bearing. Moreover, his theology worked itself out in heart-felt, Christ-honoring piety. The selections of this devotional bear this out, and hopefully will be used by God to direct pious hearts in our own day."
These devotional readings from John Calvin were compiled by John H. Kromminga. Be sure to read his "Introduction" to John Calvin's Thine Is My Heart.