by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. —Psalm 27:4
Call to mind, I beseech you, the continual sighs you have been heaving for so long a time. Although you had many kinds of grief, I doubt not that your chief regret was that of not being permitted to devote yourself entirely to the service of God.
Consider well, whether you have not vowed daily before God, that you wished for nothing but the means of getting rid of the servitude in which you were held. Now that your wish is granted, rely upon it that God holds you to your promise.
It is for you to anticipate him, even as your conscience prompts you, without incitements from without. And yet further, call to remembrance that Saint Paul, in saying that married persons are as it were divided, but that widows have nothing to do but to apply themselves entirely to God, takes away from you the excuse which you have hitherto alleged.
It is certain that nothing whatever ought to hinder us from the discharge of what is due our heavenly Father, and to that kind Redeemer whom he has sent to us; but the better the opportunity of each, so much the more guilty does he become if he does not the more readily discharge his duty.
I am well aware that you have regard to your children, and I do not say but that this is right, provided that the sovereign Father of both you and them is not left out. But consider that the greatest benefit which you can confer on them is to show them the way to follow God. —Letter to Madame De Pons
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.