Time for a Change

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Daily Reformation, Acts 9:1-18

About the Reformer

[John] Knox first publicly professed the Protestant faith about the end of 1545. His mind had in all probability been directed to that faith for some time before the change was avowed. According to Calderwood, Thomas Guillaume, a native of East Lothian, the order of Blackfriars and for a short time chaplain to the Regent Arran in 1543, was the first “to give Mr. Knox a taste of the truth.” Beza attributes his original change of opinion to the study in early manhood, as already stated, of Augustine and Jerome. But the immediate instrument, probably, of his actual conversion was the learned and amiable George Wishart who, after a period of banishment, returned to his native country in 1544, to perish, within two years, at the stake, as the last and most illustrious of the victims of Cardinal Beaton. Among other places where he preached the Reformed doctrines Wishart had come to East Lothian in December 1545, and there made Knox’s acquaintance. The attachment which the latter formed for the person as well as for the doctrine of Wishart, must be described as of the nature of a youthful enthusiasm. Knox followed the Reformer everywhere, and constituted himself his body-guard, bearing, it is said, a two-edged sword, that he might be prepared to defend him against the cardinal’s emissaries, who were known to be seeking Wishart’s life. And, on the night of the latter’s apprehension, Knox was hardly restrained from sharing his captivity, and consequently, in all probability, his fate. The words of Wishart’s remonstrance are well known: “Nay, return to your bairns [pupils]. One is sufficient for a sacrifice.”

Knox was first called to the Protestant ministry at St. Andrews, which was throughout his life intimately associated with the Reformer’s career. There appears to have been no regular ordination. Of course, he had been already ordained as a priest in the Church of Rome. But imposition of hands and other forms were not regarded by Knox as of more than secondary importance. A graphic account of the whole proceedings connected with his call to the ministry, together with a report of the first sermon he delivered in St. Andrews, will be found in his History of the Reformation.

—Philip Schaff, The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge

Pulling It Together

Often what you plan for your life—what you always thought was right and righteous—is not what God wants for you, nor what he considers to be correct. It is time for a change. Some are willing to change but some are not. They are blinded to the call of God on their lives and choose to remain blind for the discomfort of a healing—for the embarrassment of admitting their wrong and joining that very cause they once cursed. Paul was willing, as were Bullinger, Calvin, Knox, Beza, Luther, Melancthon, and others. Are you willing? What does God wish to convert in you?

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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