by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. —I Corinthians 1:21
Philosophy is, consequently, the noble gift of God, and those learned men who have striven hard after it in all ages have been incited thereto by God himself, that they might enlighten the world in the knowledge of the truth. But there is a wide difference between the writings of these men and those truths which God, of his own pleasure, delivered to guilty men for their sanctification.
In the former, you may fall in with a small particle of truth, of which you can get only a taste, sufficient to make you feel how pleasant and sweet it is; but in the latter, you may obtain in rich abundance that which can refresh the soul to the full.
In the one, a shadow and an image is placed before the eyes which can only excite in you a love of the object, without admitting you to a familiar intercourse with it; in the other, the solid substance stands before you, with which you may not only become intimately acquainted, but may also, in some measure, handle it.
In the one, the seed is in a manner choked; in the other, you may possess the fruit in its very maturity. There, in short, only a few small sparks break forth, which so point out the path that they fail in the middle of the journey—and can only restrain the traveller from going further astray; but here, the Spirit of God, like a brilliant torch, or rather like the sun itself, shines in full splendor, not only to guide the course of your life, even to its final goal, but also to conduct you to a blessed immortality.
Draw then from this source, wherever you may wander, and as soon as he finds you a settled abode, you ought to make that your place of rest. —Letter to Martin Bucer
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.