by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. —Job 1:1
It is true that we may withhold ourselves from evildoing, and that we may have a fair reputation before men; but that will amount to nothing if we are hypocrites at heart or misrepresent our actions before God, who sees the heart.
What must we do then? We must begin with the heart. And then to have perfect soundness, it is proper that our eyes, our hands, our feet, our arms, our legs, be conformed to this standard; so that in our whole life we may show that it is our desire to serve God, and that this is a sincere desire and not a mere pretense.
And that is also why Saint Paul exhorts the Galatians to walk by the Spirit if they live in the Spirit; as if he should say, "Verily it behooves us to have the Spirit of God living in us." For it is to no purpose to have a gay life that pleases men and is held in high estimation, unless we are renewed by the grace of God. But what then? We must walk, that is to say, we must show in fact, and by our works, that the Spirit of God reigns in our souls.
For if our hands are stained with robbery, with cruelty, or with any other vices; if the eyes are carried away with lewd and unchaste looks, with coveting other men's goods, with pride or with vanity; or if the feet, as the Scripture says, are swift to do evil; thereby we will declare that our heart is full of wickedness and corruption. For there are neither feet, nor hands, nor eyes, which are led by themselves; the leading comes from the Spirit and the heart.
Therefore let us endeavor to have the consistency which the Scripture shows us, when it is said that Job, having this soundness and integrity, also lived uprightly, that is to say, conversed with his neighbors without injury, without annoying them, without seeking his own profit, but kept equity with all the world. —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.