by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; —II Timothy 2:25
And therefore Saint Paul says precisely, If at any time God should give them repentance. As if he should say, My friends, it is a very grievous and hard matter to bear with men that resist God and set themselves against his grace and cannot at the first hear the good doctrine that is for their salvation.
Men fret against them, and so they cast them off. But what? For all that we must be gentle in this behalf and though we see men lewd for a season, if there be no obstinate malice in them, if they are not deliberately rebellious against God, so that they seem past all correction, we must labor to mortify and tame them; for they are, says he, in God's hand.
On the one hand he says, If at any time; showing that if the conversion of unbelievers should not come so soon as we would wish, we must not leave them for all that. For God has them in his hands.
And again he adds, if a man be stubborn today, we do not know what he will be tomorrow. And why so? For the conversion of men does not come from themselves nor of their own strength, nor of their own moving; it is God that reforms them, that makes them new creatures. And shall we hinder God to work in a marvelous way and such as passes all our senses? So then let us wait for more at God's gracious goodness than we can think of. —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.