3 JANUARY 365 Days with Calvin

Holy Work

And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Genesis 2:15

suggested further reading: Matthew 25:14–30

Moses now says that the earth was given to man with the condition that he cultivate it. It follows, then, that man was created to employ himself in work and not to lie down in idleness. Labor, truly, was created pleasant and full of delight, entirely exempt from all trouble and weariness. Since God ordained that man should cultivate the ground, he also condemned all indolent repose. Nothing is more contrary to the order of nature than to spend life eating, drinking, and sleeping while having no work to do. Moses says Adam was given the custody of the garden. That shows us that we possess the things that God has given to us on the condition that we be content with a frugal and moderate use of them and that we also take care of what remains.

Let him who possesses a field so partake of its yearly fruits that he does not suffer the ground to be injured by his negligence. Let him labor to hand it down to posterity, either as he received it or even better cultivated. Let him so feed on its fruits that he neither dissipates it by luxury nor permits it to be marred or ruined by neglect. Moreover, so that economy and diligence with those good things which God has given us to enjoy may flourish among us, let every one regard himself as the steward of God in all things that he possesses. Then he will neither conduct himself dissolutely nor corrupt by abuse those things which God requires to be preserved.

for meditation: Hard work is a gift from God, not a curse of sin; therefore, let us joy in work well done. Diligent and conscientious work brings glory to our Creator as we fulfill an important aspect of his will for humanity. Do you work “as unto God” or “as unto men”?[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 21). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

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