by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. —II Corinthians 4:7
In the next place, I have something about which I wish to admonish yourself. For I understand the length of your discourses has furnished the ground of complaint to many. You have frequently confessed to us that you were aware of this defect, and that you were endeavoring to correct it.
But if private grumblings are disregarded because they do not in the meanwhile give trouble, they may, nevertheless, one day break forth into seditious clamors. I beg and beseech of you to strive to restrain yourself, that you may not afford Satan an opportunity, which we see he is so earnestly desiring.
You know that while we are not called upon to show too much indulgence to the foolish, we are nevertheless bound to give them something to allure them. And you are well enough aware that you have to do with the morose and choleric; and in truth their aversion arises simply from too much pride on their part.
Yet, since the Lord commands us to ascend the pulpit, not for our own edification, but for that of the people, you should so regulate the matter of your teaching, that the word may not be brought into contempt by your tediousness. It is more appropriate also for us to lengthen our prayers in private, than when we offer them in the name of the whole Church. You are mistaken if you expect from all an ardor equal to your own. —Letter to Farel
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.