by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: —Philippians 3:8
On the other hand, we know not what it is to part with everything for the love of him, until he has brought us to the test. True it is, that he who has taken off his affection from the goods of this world has already sold all, and has made himself poor, so far as depends on himself; but the fruit and the proof of this spiritual poverty are, patiently to endure the loss of worldly goods, and without any regret, when it pleases our heavenly Father that we should be despoiled of them. I do not set these things before you as to one who is ignorant, or who has need of lengthy remonstrances, but for the love that I bear you, of which God is my witness.
I pray our good Lord that he would so work in you now more powerfully than ever, to make you despise all that is in the world, and to make you breathe upwards direct to him with your whole heart, without being turned aside by anything whatsoever, making you taste what is the worth of the hope which he reserves for us in heaven; and that it may please him to lighten your burden as regards the body, in order that you may be all the better disposed well to meditate upon the favors he has bestowed on you, and to take delight in them, acknowledging the love which he has shown you.
Whatsoever may happen, if we have the patience to hearken to our Saviour, he will always give us wherewithal to rejoice our spirits, and will make us taste and feel, in a lively way, that it is not in vain that he has promised to make us unconquerable in tribulations.
Now, then, learn in reality what that beautiful promise is worth, that we are indeed happy, when all the world shall speak ill of us, and shall hate us, and shall persecute us for his name's sake. Therefore it is, that he has prepared you, long before exposing you to danger. —Correspondence
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.