by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, —Psalm 40:7
"Then said I, Lo! I come." Here David indicates his readiness to yield obedience, as well as the cordial affection of his heart and persevering resolution. His language implies that he cordially preferred the service of God to every other desire and care, and had not only yielded a willing subjection, but also embraced the rule of a pious and holy life, with a fixed and steady purpose of adhering to it. This he confirms when he says that the Law of God was deeply fixed in the midst of his bowels.
It follows from this, first, that however beautiful and splendid the works of men appear, yet unless they spring from the living root of the heart, they are nothing better than a mere pretence; and, secondly, that it is to no purpose that the feet, and hands, and eyes, are framed for keeping the Law unless obedience begin at the heart.
Moreover, it appears from other places of Scripture, that it is the peculiar office of the Holy Spirit to engrave the Law of God on our hearts. God, it is true, does not perform his work in us as if we were stocks or stones, drawing us to himself without the feeling or inward moving of our hearts towards him. But as there is in us naturally a will, which, however, is depraved by the corruption of our nature, so that it always inclines us to sin, God changes it for the better, and thus leads us cordially to seek after righteousness, to which our hearts were previously altogether averse.
Hence arises that true freedom which we obtain when God frames our hearts, which before were in thraldom to sin, unto obedience to himself. —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.