A Profound Quote from Calvin

January 20, 2011 at 11:13 am | Posted in Devotional thoughts, God's Love | 3 Comments

John Calvin said that most of our problems stem from the fact we don’t know God well enough.  Either we don’t know how holy he is and thus how sinful we are, or we don’t know how gracious he is and how much he loves us in spite of our sin.  Most our spiritual and psychological problems come from this misunderstanding.  In his pastoral counseling, Calvin would direct people in his congregation to the Psalms.  There they could learn more of both his holiness and love.

I have found in my pastoral experiences that his statement is true.  This isn’t meant to be simplistic; I know some people have trouble believing what they read about God because of the baggage of past experiences, but I still believe the more his word penetrates our minds and spirits, the more his character will become real to us.

In that light, I read a profound comment from Calvin in my studies this week and just had to post it.  This comes from his commentary on Psalm 145:8, 9, which reads, “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.  The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”

Calvin comments:  “No small part of the grace of God is seen in his alluring us to himself by such titles as these (gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, rich in love, and good to all). Accordingly, the more nearly that a person feels himself drawn to God, the more he has advanced in the knowledge of him.”

God’s great compassion is such that if we know him, we are drawn to him.  There is great healing in that thought!



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  1. Thank you Pastor Glenn–right on point, right on point. Blessings.

  2. Thanks Donna,
    Sometimes it is hard for us to believe who he is: that he loves us dearly and is ultimately, though not always immediately, the answer to all our longings. Saturate your mind and heart with his Word.

  3. Fantastic thoughts! I can make excuses all day on why I’m not closer to God but the simple fact is that I don’t know him well enough. It’s such a simple answer to excuses we try to make so complex. The more you get to know someone, the stronger your feelings become towards them. A resource for Grace that I’ve found very helpful is Andy Stanley’s new book, The Grace of God http://bit.ly/97gsL6 It outlines several examples of God’s Grace throughout the Old and New Testament.

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