by William Hill | Mar 20, 2023 | Daily Prayers
Prayer: Grant, Almighty God, that as you shine on us by your word, we may not be blind at mid-day nor wilfully seek darkness, and thus lull our minds asleep. May we be roused daily by your words, and may we stir up ourselves more and more to fear your name and thus present ourselves and all our pursuits as a sacrifice to you, that you may peaceably rule, and perpetually dwell in us, until you gather us to your celestial habitation, where there is reserved for us eternal rest and glory through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
(Devotions and Prayer of John Calvin, 21)
Scripture Mediation: 2 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 4:12-13
by William Hill | Mar 13, 2023 | Daily Prayers
Prayer: Grant, Almighty God, that as we enjoy the light of the sun by day and of the moon by night, we may learn to raise our eyes higher and not be like the unbelieving, who have this benefit in common with us, but may we look forward in hope of our eternal salvation.
Nor let us doubt but that as you set before our eyes a proof of your immovable constancy in these created things, so also secure and certain shall be our salvation, which is founded on your most certain truth, which renders sure all things, until at length we come into that blessed kingdom that has been ordained for us by the blood of your only begotten Son. Amen
(Lifting up our Hearts, 135)
Scripture Meditation: Psa. 19
by William Hill | Mar 6, 2023 | Daily Prayers
Prayer: O Lord, you who are the fountain of all wisdom and learning, illumine my understanding, which of itself is blind, so that it may grasp the teaching that will be given to me; please strengthen my memory to be able to remember well, dispose my heart to receive what is taught willingly and with due eagerness, so that the opportunity you present to me may not be lost because of my ingratitude.
To do this, please pour out your Holy Spirit on me, the Spirit of all intelligence, truth, judgment, prudence, and teaching.
Grant that I may direct my study to the true purpose, which is to know you in our Lord Jesus Christ, to have full confidence of salvation and life in your grace alone, and to serve you rightly and purely, according to your pleasure.
Hear me, merciful Father, by our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
John Calvin: Writings on Pastoral Piety, 212-13
Scripture Meditation: 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16-17; Jn. 14:25-26
by William Hill | Feb 6, 2023 | Daily Prayers
Prayer: Grant, Almighty God, since you have reconciled us to yourself by the precious blood of your Son, that we may not be our own, but devoted to you in perfect obedience, may we consecrate ourselves entirely to you. May we offer our bodies and souls in sacrifice, and may we be prepared to suffer a hundred deaths [rather] than to turn from your true and sincere worship. Grant us, especially, to exercise ourselves in prayer, to fly to you every moment and to commit ourselves to your fatherly care, that your Spirit may govern us to the end. Defend and sustain us, until we are collected into that heavenly kingdom your only begotten Son has prepared for us by his blood. Amen (Lifting Up Our Hearts, p. 255).
Scripture Meditation: 1 Thess. 5:17; Rom. 12:1-2
by William Hill | Dec 23, 2022 | Blog
A few years ago, one of my professors at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary encouraged us to pick a theologian of the past and get to know him very well. So, believing it to be wise counsel, the pursuit of who to choose started. I landed on Calvin because I already knew something about him and had read enough to know that I would benefit significantly from consuming as much material from him and about him throughout my ministerial life.
The Institutes of the Christian Religion is the magnum opus work of Calvin. Yet, few in the modern church have read it. I suspect several reasons why that is the case. One of them being its length (over 1500 pages). Another may be its level of difficulty. It is not the most straightforward reading, mainly because of the depth contained in the material as well as the language. The English editions of the Institutes are translated from Latin (one publication is a translation of the French edition). The writing is wonderfully done but difficult for modern readers to follow. The material is profound, and Calvin does not hesitate to look under every stone and rock to uncover the deep truths of God’s Word. For these reasons, I suspect many either start and give up or never bother.
Therefore, I have developed a reading plan that, if followed, will take you through the entire Institutes in 18 weeks (reading five days per week). Combined with the reading are three secondary volumes carefully paralleled with the section of the Institutes assigned. Those secondary sources will help the reader of the Institutes understand the bulk of Calvin’s thoughts.
You can download the reading plan here.