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Daily Devotional

July 20

Thine Is My Heart: Devotional Readings from the Writings of John Calvin

by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)

Bible Text:

Then the angel of the Lord answered and said, O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? —Zechariah 1:12


Why does Scripture testify that angels supplicate God for us? Is it that each of us may flee to them? By no means; but that being assured of God's paternal love, we may entertain more hope and confidence; yea, that we may courageously fight, being certain of victory, since celestial hosts contend for us, according to what appears from many examples.

For when the servant of Elisha saw not the chariots flying in the air, he became almost lost in despair; but his despair was instantly removed when he saw so many angels ready at hand for help; so whenever God declares that angels are ministers for our safety, he means to animate our faith; at the same time he does not send us to angels; but this one thing is sufficient for us, that when God is propitious to us, all the angels have a care for our salvation.

And we must further notice what is said by Christ, "hereafter ye shall see angels ascending and descending" (John 1:51), which means that when we are joined to the head, there will thence proceed a sacred union between us and angels; for Christ, we know, is equally Lord over all.

When therefore we are united to the body of Christ, it is certain that angels are united to us, but only through Christ. All this favor then depends on the one true Mediator. Far then is it from being the case that Scripture represents angels as patrons to whom we may pray. The meaning then is this, when Zechariah says that the angels thus prayed, "0 Jehovah of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah?" —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.