by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. —I Timothy 6:9
We must aspire to this everlasting life, as Paul says, to conclude the matter. And when we are so minded, it is certain that riches can hinder us no more to turn to God. Yes, that is to say, they will be good aids and means for us, to set us forward to our salvation; for, for this cause and for this purpose God gave them to us.
Why does God give men more of the world's goods than they need? He wishes to test their charity, whether they be courteous or not, when he has given them material with which to do good. And when the faithful are rich, they have wherewith to go forward; for they are stirred up to thank God, knowing that he has showed himself so bountiful to them. Moreover they have to fight against pride, against the pomp and vanity of this world, and when they resist them through the virtue of the Holy Spirit, this is another advancement for them.
And again, they consider this with themselves; I have wherewith to help my neighbors, if there be any that want; I am bound to do them good. This is another witness for us.
And thus we see how by all means riches are to better the children of God, and to make them draw near to the heavenly inheritance. And therefore they that aim at everlasting life will beware that they be not held or entangled in this world's goods; they will not turn to their confusion what God has given them for their 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.