Daily Devotional

February 22

Thine Is My Heart: Devotional Readings from the Writings of John Calvin

by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)

Bible Text:

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. —Isaiah 53:4, 5

Devotional:

So then it is impossible that God should have mercy on us and that we should be assured of finding favour before him until the correction be made. Not that God demands vengeance in the same way as men. A man who is angry will want reparation made for the injury and some amends, and punishment meted out, so that he may be avenged. God has not passions like these. But all the same, in order that we may be the more horrified by our sins and that we may learn to detest them, he wishes us to be aware of his righteousness and the severity of his judgment.

If God pardoned us without Jesus Christ interceding for us and being made our pledge, we should think nothing of it. We should all shrug our shoulders and make it an opportunity for giving ourselves greater license. But when we see that God did not spare his only Son, but treated him with such an extreme severity that in his body he underwent all the sorrows that it would be possible to suffer and that even in his soul he was afflicted to the limit, to the point of crying out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"—when we hear all this, it is impossible for us, unless we are harder than stone, not to shudder and be filled with such a fear and amazement as will utterly put us to confusion; impossible not to detest our offences and iniquities seeing that they provoke the anger of God against us in this way.

This, then, is why it was necessary for all the correction of our peace to be laid upon Jesus Christ that we might find grace before God his Father; that is to say, that we might have a settlement with him, so that we today may have boldness and liberty to call upon God as our Father, although with good cause he is our enemy and abhors us so far as our nature is concerned. So now we see what the Prophet means by saying that our Lord Jesus Christ was afflicted by the hand of God, that he was disfigured, that everyone turned his back on him and did not condescend to look upon him, because he was without beauty. —Sermons— ment meted out, so that he may be avenged. God has not passions like these. But all the same, in order that we may be the more horrified by our sins and that we may learn to detest them, he wishes us to be aware of his righteousness and the severity of his judgment. If God pardoned us without Jesus Christ interceding for us and being made our pledge, we should think nothing of it. We should all shrug our shoulders and make it an opportunity for giving ourselves greater license. But when we see that God did not spare his only Son, but treated him with such an extreme severity that in his body he underwent all the sorrows that it would be possible to suffer and that even in his soul he was afHicted to the limit, to the point of crying out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"&mdaash;when we hear all this, it is impossible for us,' unless we are harder than stone, not to shudder and be filled with such a fear and amazement as will utterly put us to confusion; impossible not to detest our offences and iniquities seeing that they provoke the anger of God against us in this way. This, then, is why it was necessary for all the correction of our peace to be laid upon Jesus Christ that we might find grace before God his Father; that is to say, that we might have a settlement with him, so that we today may have boldness and liberty to call upon God as our Father, although with good cause he is our enemy and abhors us so far as our nature is concerned. So now we see what the Prophet means by saying that our Lord Jesus Christ was afflicted by the hand of God, that he was disfigured, that everyone turned his back on him and did not condescend to look upon him, because he was without beauty. —Sermons


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.

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