by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. —Isaiah 53:10
But now we are spared. Consider Jesus Christ the only Son of God: he was imprisoned and we are released; he was condemned and we are acquitted; he was exposed to utter disgrace and we are set up in honour; he descended into the depths of hell and to us the kingdom of Heaven is opened. When we hear all these things, should we still stay asleep, pleasing and flattering ourselves in our vices?
So let us carefully notice the purpose of the Holy Spirit and always ponder this word—that it was God who wished to afflict him. It is as if he said that we should not think that our Lord Jesus was put by chance into a position where the wicked could torture him as they liked; for they could do nothing outside the counsel of God; just as St. Peter says in the Acts: "God has done what his hand and his counsel had determined."
So, then, not without cause does the Prophet always lead us back to this, that we must raise our senses to God, and know that, inasmuch as he is the Judge of the world, he wished to take satisfaction of our sins and offences in the person of his only Son that we might be acquitted of them; and that not in vain was Jesus Christ thus harshly smitten that we might walk with uplifted heads.
And we must understand that God did not wish to remember all our crimes, which makes us detestable before him. When we have learnt that, we shall have profited greatly, not only for one day, but for the whole of our lives. For, in truth, this is a doctrine to which we must so apply ourselves that, although it seems as if we know it well, we never cease to take pains to conform ourselves to it more and more. —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.