by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. —Philippians 2:3, 4
Let this, then, be our rule for benignity and beneficence—that whatever God has conferred on us, which enables us to assist our neighbor, we are the stewards of it, and must one day render an account of our stewardship; and that the only right dispensation of what has been committed to us, is that which is regulated by the law of love. Thus we shall not only always connect this study to promote the advantage of others with a concern for our own private interests, but shall prefer the good of others to our own.
To teach us that the dispensation of the gifts we receive from heaven ought to be regulated by this law, God anciently enjoined the same even in regard to the smallest bounties of his liberality. For he commanded the people to offer to him the first-fruits of the corn, as a solemn avowal that it was unlawful for them to enjoy any blessings not previously consecrated to him.
And if the gifts of God are not sanctified to us till after we have with our own hands dedicated them to their Author, that must evidently be a sinful abuse which is unconnected with such a dedication. —Institutes, III, vii, v
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.