by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. —II Timothy 2:22
"Flee the lusts of youth." It is not as though he were a young man of twenty years, for he had been exercised in preaching the word of God now a good while; he was a doctor, not only of one church, but of the country round about him; as we know that Saint Paul had appointed him not only to preach in one place, but also to have an eye afar off, to warn the bishops and all that were in like charge as he was. So then he was a man of some maturity and ripe years; on the other hand, God chose him from among others; yes, and he had received singular gifts; there was not only doctrine and prophecy in him, but his life was of like quality and he had great zeal to advance the honor of God.
In short, he was an example to all men. Yet he has need to be humbled and to have some warning from Paul to the end that he not allow himself at some time to stray from the path and show the follies of youth. At what age? He must have been more than thirty years old.
But the Spirit of God by the mouth of Paul would show us here in the person of one man, though we have profited in God's school, and are governed by his Holy Spirit, and have taken pains a long time to do so, that we are still not perfectly framed and polished. Yes, and when we are come to the age of forty years, do we show that we are become men? You shall see us ready to resist whatsoever is taught us, especially if the question be of serving God, there will always be smoke and storming.
And therefore we begin to decline, we shall still be rude and ill favored without any improvement in us; God must always be mending us, and give us now and then a blow with the hammer, and take pains to polish us, or else there will always be something wrong with us. —Sermons
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.