by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to he called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. —Hebrews 11: 24–26
You have already felt, as I think, that the sharpest and most difficult assault is that of those who under color of friendship, with insinuating arts, seek to make you swerve from the right way. Those persons are never unprovided with plausible pretexts and allurements; so much the more then you have need to put in practice the doctrine of the apostle, to take good heed and to steel yourself against flatteries as well as fears.
It was the resolution of Moses, who, having it in his power to be great at the court of Egypt, preferred the reproach of Christ to all the pomps and perishing delights which would have cost him too dear, had he allowed himself to be detained. Now the apostle shows whence he derived this courage; it was in hardening himself by looking upon God.
Thus, Monseigneur, elevating your thoughts, learn to stop your ears against all the blasts of Satan, which strive only to overthrow your salvation, by shaking the constancy of your faith. Learn to shut your eyes to all distractions that would tend to turn you aside, aware that they are but so many deceits of our mortal enemy. And by whatever wiles they engage you to purchase your own safety in breaking the faith pledged to the Son of God, let this saying be deeply stamped on your memory, that he will be confessed by you on pain of your being disavowed and renounced by him.
Many, indeed, nowadays, think they have but to wipe their mouth, after it has denied the truth; but for all that the confession thereof is too precious to God to be so lightly esteemed. And though it seems lost pains to bear witness to the gospel among those who are rebels to it, or even that such witnessing gives rise but to derision and reproach; yet, since it is a sacrifice well pleasing to God, let us content ourselves with being approved by him. One thing is certain; he will cause our simplicity to bring forth more fruits than we imagine, provided only we observe what he commands. —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.