by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. —Zechariah 4:13
This is the reason why the angel replies, "Dost thou not know what these things mean?" For he does not upbraid Zechariah with ignorance, but rather reminds all the faithful that they ought to quicken themselves and to exert all their ardor to learn, lest sloth should close up the way against them. This reply, then, of the angel no doubt belongs to us all, "Dost thou not know what these mean?"
We ought to remember that the things we esteem as common far exceed our thoughts. It indeed often happens that one runs over many parts of Scripture and thinks that he reads nothing but what is clear and well known, while yet experience teaches us that we are inflated with too much self-confidence; for we look down, as it were from on high, on that doctrine which ought, on the contrary, to be reverently adored by us.
Then let every one of us, being warned by this sentence of the angel, acknowledge that he as yet cleaves to the first principles, or at least does not comprehend all those things which are necessary to be known; and that therefore progress is to be made to the very end of life; for this is our wisdom, to be learners to the end. —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.