by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall he heirs of salvation? —Hebrews 1:14
We shall happily avoid error if we consider why God is accustomed to provide for the safety of the faithful, and to communicate the gifts of his generosity by means of angels, rather than by himself to manifest his own power without their intervention. He certainly does this not from necessity, as though he were unable to do without them; for whenever he pleases, he passes them by, and performs his work. with a mere nod of his power; so far is he from being indebted to their assistance for relieving him in any difficulty.
This, therefore, conduces to the consolation of our feebleness, that we may want nothing that can either raise our minds to a good hope, or confirm them in security. This one thing, indeed, ought to be more than sufficient for us, that the Lord declares himself to be our Protector.
But while we see ourselves encompassed by so many dangers, so many annoyances, such various kinds of enemies—such is our weakness and frailty, that we may sometimes be filled with terror, or fall into despair, unless the Lord enables us, according to our capacity, to discover the presence of his grace. For this reason he promises not only that he will take care of us himself, but also that we shall have innumerable lifeguards, to whom he has committed the charge of our safety; and that, as long as we are surrounded by their superintendence and protection, whatever danger may threaten, we are placed beyond the utmost reach of evil.
I confess, indeed, that it is wrong for us, after that simple promise of the protection of God alone, still to be looking around to see from what quarter our aid may come. But since the Lord, in his infinite clemency and goodness, is pleased to assist this our weakness, there is no reason why we should neglect this great favor which he shows us. —Institutes, I, xiv, 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.