10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
We wait expectantly for the Lord in this season of Advent. He will come again. In light of the coming “day of the Lord,” what sort of people are we to be? For starters, we know better than to think our words and actions will go unnoticed. Our lives are open books before God, and our work will be exposed for all time. Why? Because on the final day everything will be refined as if by fire—“burned up and dissolved” [v.10]. What will remain? Will our works reveal holiness? That is the question and the legacy which defines us as people who have heard the Lord’s promise to return.
This legacy seems contradictory—we are called to wait for the coming of the day of God and to hasten its coming, to hurry it up. We are called to bring it on! “Awaiting and hastening” describes one of the paradoxes of Christian life.
We are called to embrace both waiting and hastening by living lives of holiness. That means devoting our time and energy to legacies defined not by worldly terms, but by godliness. Our legacy will be measured not by financial gains or career ladders, but by the encouraging words we have spoken, the hands we have held, the help we have given, the truth we have told, the justice for which we have worked, and the love we have shared. Those legacies grow moment-by-moment, every day, no matter what else is happening around us.
Each task done in service to the Lord—products built and services rendered according to God’s greater purposes—will withstand God’s refining fire and hasten His promised return. Words and deeds flowing from a pure heart build a legacy that will stand on the final day and not be consumed when earth and sky dissolve to reveal the new heaven and new earth [v. 13].
That is the legacy we are invited to create! Thank God for the relationships and challenges of business that create opportunities every day to build a real legacy that won’t be forgotten or diminished.
© Bruce D. Baker, 2013