by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: —John 17:1
"And lifted up his eyes to heaven." Yet if we desire actually to imitate Christ, we must take care that outward gestures do not express more than is in our mind, but that the inward feelings shall direct the eyes, the hands, the tongue, and everything about us. We are told, indeed, that the publican, with downcast eyes, prayed aright to God (Luke 18:13) but that is not inconsistent with what has now been stated; for, though he was confused and humbled on account of his sins, still this self-abasement did not prevent him from seeking pardon with full confidence.
But it was proper that Christ should pray in a different manner, for he had nothing about him of which he ought to be ashamed; and it is certain that David himself prayed sometimes in one attitude and sometimes in another, according to the circumstances in which he was placed. —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.