by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already 'because ye do not lay it to heart. —Malachi 3:2
We see then that the prophet shows how God had a just cause for severely punishing them; for it was an impiety not to be borne when he could obtain no hearing from men. But the prophet shows at the same time what it is to hear God; he therefore adds the latter clause as a definition or an explanation of the former; for God is not heard if we receive his words with levity, so that they soon vanish away; but we hear them when we lay them on the heart, or as the Latins say, when we apply the mind to them.
There is then required a serious attention, otherwise it will be the same as if our ears were closed against God.
Let us further learn from this passage that obedience is of so much account with God that he considers nothing worse than a contempt of his word or a careless attention to it, as though we regarded not its authority.
We must also notice that our guilt before God is increased when he recalls us to the right way and seeks to promote our welfare by warning and exhorting us. When therefore God is thus kindly careful for our salvation, we are doubly inexcusable if we perversely reject his teachings, warnings, counsels, and other remedies which he may apply. —Commentaries
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.