Saturday, October 31, 2009

11/1- All Saints and the Beatitudes

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

11/1- All Saints Day

He said:
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

John Calvin- sermons on the Beatitudes: “How, indeed, can we explain our soul’s salvation except in terms of God’s good pleasure, and his free gift of mercy? For if we think that we are better than others whom he has passed over or abandoned, we simply demean God’s unconditional kindness through which we obtain salvation. And this we do every time we seek to gain a measure of importance or esteem in men’s eyes. Every mouth must of necessity be shut. We must learn that God has chosen us, not because he saw something good in us, or found us, more amenable than in those whom he rejects, but simply that he might reveal the full splendor of his generosity.” (Banner of Truth 2006).

Thoughts: John Calvin really began his career when he helped Nicolas Cop write a sermon on the Beatitudes. His last series of sermons were on the Beatitudes as well ending in 1564 with his ill health. When Calvin and Cop spoke on the Beatitudes (especially “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit”) All Saints Day to the University of Paris, they aroused such opposition by saying we are saved by grace not by works, that they had to flee the country. Calvin escaped the chief of police by some friends delaying them downstairs while he went out a back window using a rope made of bedclothes! The Beatitudes are reminders of God’s grace and love, which we need every day.

Prayer: Help me, O Lord, to cling to your grace and mercy- as the saints before me have done.

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