by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. —Matthew 11:28
So we see that our Lord Jesus Christ only calls those who are "heavy laden and travail." Therefore, he excludes all those who slumber in their iniquities, who flatter themselves, or hurl themselves without any fear of God into reckless living. Those who have burst out into evil cannot approach our Lord Jesus; that is certain. For what will bring us to him save the voice by which he invites us?
It is certain that the door is shut to as many as blind themselves with their pride and presumption, who make themselves believe they are righteous in themselves; they cannot hope that our Lord Jesus Christ will bring them any comfort. And why? "Come unto me," he says. But who? "All the world?" It is true that he calls all the world; but yet He makes a distinction: "You who are heavy laden and travail." When he has called all who need his help, he shows that none can have a share in it save him who is heavy laden and labours. So when we feel our burden and groan beneath it, knowing that we can do no other, the road is prepared and opened up for us to come to our Lord Jesus Christ, for he has his arms outstretched to receive us.
Hereafter we shall see also that he was sent to preach to the afflicted in heart. So we must be sacrificed like this, if we are to be conformed to our Lord Jesus Christ. Truly, the sacrifice he offered is our full hope—that is to say, we must not presume to add anything of our own. Jesus Christ has fully won salvation for us by being sacrificed to God his Father; but all the same we must be menaced by the judgment of God, that we may learn what an enormity it is that we poor worms of the earth should come to rise up against the majesty of him who created us, that we should violate his justice; especially bearing in mind that we are in this world to serve and honour him.
Let us, then, feel that vividly, so that we may come to our Lord Jesus Christ. —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.