by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. —Psalm 127:2
It is not surprising to find those growing rich in a short time who spare no exertion, but consume night and day in plying their occupations and allow themselves only scanty fare from the product of their labor. Solomon, however, affirms that neither living at small expense, nor diligence in business will by themselves profit anything at all.
Not that he forbids us to practise temperance in our diet and to rise early to engage in our worldly business; but to stir us up to prayer, and to calling upon God, and also to recommend gratitude for the divine blessings, he brings to nought whatever would obscure the grace of God.
Consequently, we shall then enter upon our worldly avocations in a right way when our hope depends exclusively upon God, and our success in that case will correspond to our wishes. But if a man, taking no account of God, eagerly makes haste, he will bring ruin upon himself by his too precipitate course.
It is not, therefore, the design of the Prophet to encourage men to give way to sloth, so that they should think upon nothing all their life long, but fall asleep and abandon themselves to idleness; but his meaning is rather that in executing what God has enjoined upon them, they should always begin with prayer and calling upon his name, offering to him their labors that he may bless them. —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.