by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. —Zechariah 1:3
"Return unto me and I will return unto you." It must be noticed that we cannot enjoy the favor of God even when he kindly offers to be reconciled to us, except we from the heart repent. However graciously, then, God may invite us to himself, and be ready to remit our sins, we yet cannot embrace his offered favor except our sins become hateful to us; for God ceases not to be our judge, except we anticipate him, and condemn ourselves, and deprecate the punishment of our sins.
Hence we then pacify God when real grief wounds us, and we thus really turn to God, without falsehood. Now the experience of God's wrath ought to lead us to this; for extremely heedless are they who, having found God to be a judge, do carelessly disregard his wrath, which ought to have filled their hearts with fear.
"Let no one deceive you with vain words," says Paul, "for on account of these things comes the wrath of God on the children of unbelief," or on all the unbelieving. Paul bids us to consider all the evidences which God gives of his wrath in the world, that they may instruct us as to the fear of God; how much more then should domestic examples be noticed by us? For the prophet speaks not here of foreign nations; but he says, "God has been angry with anger against your fathers."
Since, then, it appeared evident that God had not spared even his chosen people, they ought, unless they were extremely stubborn, to have carefully continued in obedience to the law. Hence the prophet here condemns their tardiness, inasmuch as they had made so little progress under the chastisements of God. —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.