February 27, 2016

The End of Work: Purifying Fire

2 Peter 3:8-13

The earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

—  2 Peter 3:10

We’ve spent this month looking at work in the scope of God’s ultimate purpose for creation. We observed that God’s first command to human beings was to work. Our daily work is our part in God’s work of cultivating the raw material of his creation. 

There is much that is imperfect in our work. Our sin and human sinfulness so often corrupt the work of our hands. We may serve as public officials, but our efforts can bear the marks of self-interest rather than righteousness. We may manage a farm or another business, but in doing so we can neglect to care for God’s creation. The fingerprints of our sinfulness mar every human endeavor.

Peter points to a day in which the presence of our Lord Jesus will cleanse and purify everything in creation. Fire can be incredibly destructive, but it can also strip away impurities. As Peter describes “the day of the Lord,” he depicts a fire that will burn away everything that is sinful, imperfect, and unholy. When God’s purifying fire has done its work, the new heaven and the new earth will remain.

As we labor today, we may be well aware of the imperfection in our work. Yet Peter urges us to continue to work as holy and godly people, hoping for the day when the labor of our hands will be cleansed from all sin.

Holy God, we confess that our work bears the stain of sin. We look forward to the day when imperfections will be destroyed and we can live in full fellowship with you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Rob Toornstra

Rob Toornstra has served as pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, since 2006. When not busy with pastoral duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

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