How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? John 5:44
There seems to be a secret opposition between our name and the name of God. When we come to pray, we should distinctly remember whose name is to be glorified, so that God may be at the end of every request. We beg of God many times, but we think of ourselves; our hearts run upon our own name, and upon our own esteem. How often do we come to him with a selfish aim, as if we would draw God into our own designs an purposes! None are so unfit to glorify God, and so unwelcome to him, as those that are so wedded and vehemently addicted to their own honour and esteem in the world. Therefore Christ, by way of distinction, by way of opposition to this innate disposition that is in us, taught us to pray; ‘Hallowed by your name.’ That which gives the most honour to God is believing. Abraham ‘grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God’ (Rom. 4:19-20). Desire of vain-glory or splendor of our own name is an attitude inconsistent with faith. Faith fives honour to God. When we hunt after respect from men, and make that the chief scope of our actions, God’s glory will certainly lie in the dust. The great sin of the old world was this: ‘let us make a name for ourselves’ (Gen. 11:4). How badly they plan, who make plans without God! Those who are so about their own name, how soon will God blast them! When in any action we do not seek glory to God, but ourselves, this is the quickest way to be destroyed. Nebuchadnezzar said: ‘Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?’ (Dan. 4:30)? How did God disappoint him and turn him out among the beasts! Thus we are sure to be disappointed and blasted, when our hearts run altogether upon our own name.
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.