February 12

 

Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.    Hebrews 13:21

 

Satan is a troubler of our souls.  He will test you as to your fear of the future:  ‘What will become of you of God should bring you into such and such affliction or trial, when you must burn at the stake or deny the Lord, or when all your outward estate is torn from you and there is no money in your purse?  Do you dare to think that your faith will hold out in such an hour of temptation?  He is tossing you a snare.  He is seeking by the fear of future troubles to get you to neglect your present duty, and then be unprepared for your future trials when they come.  If a man has a great amount of business to do the next day, he needs to put it out of his mind the night before, to get the rest he needs to be prepared for the next day.  The less rest the soul has in God now, the less strength it will find to bear trials when the pinch comes.  Comfort your soul with three plain conclusions: (1.) Every event is the product of God’s providence; not a sparrow, much less a saint falls to the ground by poverty, sickness, or persecution, but the hand of God is in it.  (2.) God has promised, ‘I will never leave you, not forsake you’ (Heb.13:5).  God will teach his servants all they need to know.  At the first moments of your spiritual life, suffering grace was infused into you as well as praying grace.  (3.) God in wisdom conceals the comforts he intends to give you at the various stages of your life, so that he may encourage your heart to full dependence upon faithful promises now.  Thus, to try the metal of Abraham’s faith, he let him go on, until his hand was stretched forth to slay Isaac, and then he came to the rescue.  Christ sent his disciples to sea, but stayed behind himself, with the design to test their faith, and show his love.  Comfort yourself with this: though you do not see God in the way, yet you will find him in the end.

 

Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life

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.

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