by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps? —Job 31:4
Let us note the style that Job uses; which is that God marks his ways and steps and keeps a reckoning of them. This serves to indicate that God does not see them from a distance, nor does he see these things alone which are evident on the surface; but he looks closely at all our works and carefully notes every one of them.
His sight is not dim, nor does he look at random, but he counts and numbers all things, so that nothing escapes him or is forgotten by him. Now then, I ask you, have we not good cause to consider our own ways and count our own steps when we see that all of them come forth before God?
Why is it that men scarcely know the hundredth part of their sins? Some even commit the same sin a hundred times a day, and yet hardly think about it once. Why is this? It is because we do not think that God watches us, nor that we are so observed by him that nothing escapes his vision and nothing is forgotten by him.
Therefore let us weigh well what is said here, that God knows our ways and counts our steps, that is to say, that the number of them is set down before him, and that every deed, from the first to the last, must come to account. You can see how much they will gain who have hidden their evil deeds with lying and flattery; for all must come to light.
What remains, then? To watch ourselves more closely than we have been accustomed to do, and to be continually careful lest we be taken unawares by the snares that are laid for us on all sides. And seeing we are in danger from so many vices with which our nature is filled, let us examine them well, that we may be sorry for them and plead guilty before God; and while we mourn for them, let us still confess with David that it is impossible for us to know all our faults.
And therefore let us pray the good God that when he has looked upon the faults and sins which we ourselves cannot see, it may please him to blot them out; that thereby we may come to repose our trust for our welfare and salvation in nothing else than in his receiving us in mercy for Jesus Christ's sake; and also in our having the washing with which he has cleansed us, that is to say, the blood which he has shed for our redemption. —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.