Thursday, December 31, 2009

12/31/09 Colossians 3:17- End of Calvin's 500th year devotional

(The older and respected Calvin in Geneva)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

12/31- Col. 3:17 Calvin’s Life- summary

17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Calvin abridged: This passage is similar to one in Ephesians (5:20). Life should be lived in such a way that whatever we say or do may be wholly governed by the authority of Christ, and may have an eye to his glory as the target. We may gain two things from this: 1) that all our goals may set out with prayer to Christ, and may be subservient to his glory; and 2) From this prayer comes God’s blessing, which supplies us with the basis for thanksgiving. It should also be observed that we must give thanks to the Father through Christ, as we obtain through him every good thing that God confers upon us.

Thoughts: Looking back on Calvin’s life (on this 500th anniversary year), we can see a life well lived. It was not that Calvin was perfect by any means- he would readily admit his sin and failures. He often is over-blamed by those who would like to criticize him (for example with Servetus- though he was not in control of the councils of Geneva that put him to death- his enemies were; or some interpret him as a puritan, when he was more flexible- for example sailing on Sundays on Lake Geneva). Calvin truly did some remarkable things- tremendously influencing democracy and added energy to the decline of feudalism by his idea of a representative government in church and town; influencing capitalism with his looser ideas on loaning money and time (think Swiss clocks and banks); his continual concern to make the world and society a better place as part of the Christian life (for example starting Geneva University and seminary, the hospital in Geneva, his sheltering exiles, and concern for the poor). Certainly Calvin provided the intellectual basis for the reformation. His thoughts on the third use of the law, providence, predestination and the ordering of church life have not been exceeded. He was tireless in his writing yet deep in his thinking- often considered the most brilliant mind of his day.
So this brings in our passage of the day. As we end a year and end this year of daily study with Calvin, it is important that we see his target (or mark). The target or aim of our life should be outside of ourselves, or even outside this passing world. There is no greater aim than the glory of God. We can look back on the past year with regret and readily see our own failures. While it is important to confess and forgive these, it is also very important to ask-“How have I honored God this year?” Then, we should seek to glorify God in our words, and our deeds in 2010.
This is the end of my blog on Calvin’s 500th year. I will be doing another daily devotional blog with the same format- scripture, even briefer comment from Calvin (or sometimes another source- a little more flexibility- as Calvin does not always comment on every passage), my thoughts trying to apply scripture to today and a prayer. The blogspot is . Thank you to all who have read this devotion. May God bless you with a great heart.

Prayer (From Calvin’s motto): “I offer you my heart, Lord, promptly and sincerely.”


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