Thine Is My Heart: Devotional Readings from the Writings of John Calvin
by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will he enter with thee into judgment? —Job 22:4
It is true that men make great noise when they conspire together. And especially if kings and princes conspire together against the living God, and the people also agree with them, they make much ado. And yet all this takes place here beneath, and they are like grasshoppers. Grasshoppers have such long legs that they can leap; but they must fall down again after a while. So then they may make a great stir here, but can they leap above the clouds? Certainly not.
However he that dwells in the high places will laugh them to scorn. This serves to show us where God's throne is, namely above the clouds, so that men can never reach unto him. He shall, from his resting place above, laugh them to scorn, while they make great noise here on earth.
And so let us learn, when God summons us, and lays something to our charge, it is not that we shall be able to hurt him, or for any respect that he has for himself that he checks us, lest we should take the initiative away from him and do him harm. Certainly that is not the reason.
What then? It is to make us feel the evil that is in us, that we may be led to seek some remedy, and be stirred up to come to him with true repentance, and be governed by his will. God, then, in punishing men, procures their salvation; in condemning them, he wishes to absolve them; or better, when they are chastised, he intends to ratify and confirm his justice, to show that no evil shall remain unpunished. And at the same time he wishes to abate men's pride, which leads them to delight and glory in their sins. God will bring down all those things when he brings them to judgment.
And so let us learn to cease flattering ourselves; whenever we shall have some remorse within, and are condemned by the Word of God, and men show us our faults, and rub salt in our wounds, it is for our good. Let us learn, I say, no longer to use excuses, for we shall do nothing else than increase our guilt.
And let us know that God is not afraid of us, lest we should do him some damage; but he invites us to be aware of our faults so that we may be displeased with them; and by this means he extends his hand to us to lead us to salvation. —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.