by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. —Matt. 7:21
It is easy to perceive what we are to learn from the law; namely, that God, as he is our Creator, justly sustains towards us the character of a Father and a Lord; and that on this account we owe to him glory and reverence, love and fear. Moreover, that we are not at liberty to follow everything to which the violence of our passions may incite us; but that we ought to be attentive to his will, and to practise nothing but what is pleasing to him.
In the next place, that righteousness and rectitude are a delight, but iniquity an abomination to him; and that, therefore, unless we will with impious ingratitude rebel against our Maker, we must necessarily spend our whole lives in the practice of righteousness. For if we manifest a becoming reverence toward him only when we prefer his will to our own, it follows that there is no other legitimate worship of him but the observance of righteousness, sanctity, and purity.
Nor can we pretend to excuse ourselves by a want of ability, like insolvent debtors. For it is improper for us to measure the glory of God by our ability; for whatever may be our characters, he ever remains like himself, the friend of righteousness, the enemy of iniquity. Whatever he requires of us, since he can require nothing but what is right, we are under a natural obligation to obey. But our inability is our own fault. —Institutes, II, viii, i
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.