by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: —II Timothy 2:11
While we live in this world, our life is hidden, even as the life of trees is hidden in winter. Behold, trees are dry, we see no strength in them, a man would think it were but dead wood; but yet their strength shows itself in the springtime. Even so it is with the faithful. For while they are in this world, their life is shut up in hope. Now that which we hope for is not seen, the eye of man cannot attain unto it.
It follows, then, that in dying we must live; not only with one kind of death, but we must die daily, we must decay, as touching the outward man; as he says, sickness, poverty, shame, and such things, serve us to renounce this world and feel that our life is but a shadow, that it is nothing, yes, and that we receive so many messages of death when things do not go as we would have them.
And therefore let us note well that Paul meant here not simply that we must die once, and then live; but while we live that we are daily buried as it were; that we see death present as it were; that we are like sheep that have the knife at their throats. For it is not enough for us to die so, but we must follow the standard of the Son of God and look to his resurrection, which is sufficient to make the bitterness of death sweet to us. —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.