by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
I will praise thee, 0 Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works. —Psalm 9:1
Even irreligious men, I admit, when they have obtained some memorable victory, are ashamed to defraud God of the praise which is due to him; but we see that as soon as they have uttered a single expression in acknowledgment of the assistance God has afforded them, they immediately begin to boast loudly, and to sing triumphs in honor of their own valor, as if they were under no obligations whatsoever to God.
In short, it is a piece of pure mockery when they profess that their exploits have been done by the help of God; for, after having made oblation to him, they sacrifice to their own counsels, skill, courage, and resources. Observe how the prophet Habakkuk, under the person of one presumptuous king, wisely reproves the ambition which is common to all (Hab. 1:16).
David, therefore, with good reason, affirms that he is unlike the children of this world, whose hypocrisy or fraud is discovered by the wicked and dishonest distribution which they make between God and themselves, arrogating to themselves the greater part of the praise which they pretended to ascribe to God. He praised God with his whole heart, which they did not; for certainly it is not praising God with the whole heart when mortal man dares to appropriate the smallest portion of the glory which God claims for himself.
God cannot bear with seeing his glory appropriated by the creature in even the smallest degree, so intolerable to him is the sacrilegious arrogance of those who, by praising themselves, obscure his glory as far as they can. —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.