2 Peter 3:11-12 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.
You have to wonder, reading verses 10 through 13, what sort of revelation Peter had been given about the end of the world as we know it. It seems remarkably specific, and in keeping with something on the order of a major meteorite strike. It certainly brings to mind one of the prophecies that was put to music in Handel’s Messiah. “But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears?” (Malachi 3:2) Putting all that aside, the rhetorical question Peter asks here is a very important one. Since everything we see is temporary, what implication does that have for our daily lives? Peter’s answer to his question is entirely logical. Rather than fixating on the temporary stuff, we need to be focused on the eternal, that is, God, and how He wants us to live. If that is our focus, we can indeed “look forward” to the destruction of everything material. At this point Peter says something that is a mystery to this day, hotly debated in various theological circles. How can we “speed” the day of the Lord? The most common, and to me logical, answer goes back to something Jesus said about the Last Days. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) Since we are the ones who preach, we are an integral part in God’s plan for the End Times. We need to be earnest in communicating the Good News of the kingdom to everyone, one person at a time.
In a sense I have been involved in this my whole life, since I am a missionary and a child of missionaries. However, as I seek to share the Gospel with others, I certainly must not neglect how I live my own life. I too must live a holy and Godly life! I too am easily distracted by the material. As a geek, I delight in machines and tools of all sorts. As a photographer, I delight to record the beauties of God’s creation. Those aren’t bad in themselves, but my focus must first and foremost be on God, with gratitude for all that He provides but not valuing the gift above the Giver. And of course, my highest task is speaking God’s truth in love so that as many as will may repent and believe, for their salvation and the glory of God.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You that the pressures leading up to Christmas are past. Thank You that I go back to the doctor today about my vocal cords. Thank You for the reminder that every part of my body is temporary, too. Help me indeed make the use that You intend, not only of every part of my body but also of everything else You place in my hands, as a faithful steward, for Your pleasure and glory. Thank You. Praise God!