by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. —John 15:13
"Greater love hath no man than this." Christ sometimes proclaims the greatness of his love to us, that he may more fully confirm our confidence in our salvation; but now he proceeds further, in order to inflame us by his example, to love the brethren. Yet he joins both together; for he means that we should taste by faith how inestimably delightful his goodness is, and next he allures us in this way to cultivate brotherly love.
Thus Paul writes, "Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and sacrifice to God of a sweet-smelling savor" (Eph. 5:2). God might have redeemed us by a single word, or by a mere act of his will, if he had not thought it better to do otherwise for our own benefit, that, by not sparing his own well-beloved Son, he might testify in his person how much he cares for our salvation.
But now our hearts, if they are not softened by the inestimable sweetness of Divine love, must be harder than stone or iron. —Commentaries
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.