Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven,hallowed be your name. Matthew 6:9
There is in each of us an envy; O how hard a matter it is to rejoice in the gifts, graces, and labours of others, and be content in circumstances, when God casts us by as unworthy, and uses others to glorify his name! We are troubled if others glorify God, and not us, or more than us, or if they are more holy, more useful, or more serious; self will not yield to this. Now by putting up this prayer to God, we leave it to him to choose the instrument that he will employ. We should be content to be abased and obscure provided Christ is honoured and exalted. Many times we must be content, not only to be active instruments but passive objects of his glory. If God will glorify himself by our poverty, or our disgrace, our pain and sickness, we must be content. We need to deal with God seriously about this matter that we may submit to the Lord’s will as Jesus: “Save me from this hour; but for this cause came I unto this hour: Father, glorify they name’ (John 12:27-28). This was the humble submission of Christ Jesus, and it should be in us. The martyrs were contented to be bound to the stake, if that way God might use them for his glory. ‘My earnest expectation and hope . . . Christ . . . exalted in my body, whether by life or by death’ (Phil 1:20). We need to deal with God that we may have the end, and leave the means to his own choosing; that God may be glorified in our condition, whatever it is. If he wills for us to be rich and full, that he might be glorified in our bounty; if he wills for us to be poor and low, that he may be glorified in our patience; if he will have us healthy, that he may be glorified in our labour; if he will have us sick, that he may be glorified in our pain; if he will have us live, that he may be glorified in our lives; if he will have us die, that he may be glorified in our deaths. (Rom. 14:8).
In this classic devotional, John Calvin urges readers to apply the Christian life in a balanced way to mind, heart, and hand. Rather than focusing on contemplative otherworldliness, the book stresses the importance of a devotedly active Christian life. In style and spirit, this book is much like Augustine’s Confessions, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, or Thomas à Kempis’s Imitation of Christ. However, its intense practicality sets it apart, making it easily accessible for any reader seeking to carry out Christian values in everyday life. Chapter themes include obedience, self-denial, the significance of the cross, and how we should live our lives today.