by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. —Luke 11:9
The saints have an excellent stimulus to calling upon God when their necessities and perplexities harass and disquiet them, and they are almost despairing in themselves, till faith opportunely relieves them. Because, amidst such troubles, the goodness of God is so glorious in their view, that though they groan under the pressure of present calamities, and are likewise tormented with the fear of greater in the future, yet a reliance on it relieves the difficulty of bearing them, and encourages a hope of deliverance.
The prayers of a pious man, therefore, must proceed from both these dispositions, and must also contain and discover them both. Though he groan under present evils, and is anxiously afraid of new ones, yet at the same time he must resort for refuge to God, not doubting his readiness to extend the assistance of his hand. For God is highly incensed by our distrust, if we supplicate him for blessings which we have no expectation of receiving. There is nothing, therefore, more suitable to the nature of prayers, than that they be conformed to this rule—not to rush forward with temerity, but to follow the steps of faith. —Institutes, III, xx, xi
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.