Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. 1 Peter 1:8
The glorious riches of Christ’s love cannot be expressed but in the language of paradise; it cannot be understood but by a transported soul, a spirit caught up to the third heaven. The expressions, which the Spirit uses for us to understand, are such that we realize we cannot fully apprehend them. He tells us of joy unspeakable (1 Peter 1:8), peace passing understanding (Phil. 4:7), love passing knowledge (Eph. 3:19), and riches unsearchable (Eph. 3:8). These streams are drops of love – Christ is the foundation, the ocean; these are sparks – he has given us the Sun. His love gives us an interest in the glorious Trinity. The holy and uncreated Spirit is ours, his graces and comforts are ours. The Father also is ours; all that he is, all glorious attributes, his all-sufficiency, wisdom, power, mercy, justice, truth, and faithfulness. His decrees are the spring of our happiness (Eph. 1:4-5). His providence carries us with full sail into the ocean of glory. Heaven is our home, and earth is our inn, to accommodate us in our pilgrimage, and angels, they are our guard (Matt. 4:6). And now, what is there in heaven and earth that the love of Christ has not made ours? There is nothing left but himself. And, alas, what would all these things profit, if we lack him? Without Christ, earth would be hell, and heaven would not be heaven. He is the hope of earth, and the glory of heaven. See here the height of his love; he has given us himself, an all with himself. His love would let nothing be withheld from us: not his life – he gave his life a ransom for us; not his blood – he washed us in his blood; not his glory – ‘The glory that you have given me I have given unto them’ (John 17:22). O boundless love! O searchable riches of Christ’s love! O happy souls that have an interest in his love, and these riches!
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.