In a world where things are prefabricated and mass produced, craftsmanship is an under-appreciated and, in some cases, nearly lost art. Here in the Portland, OR area there is a place called Pittock Mansion. It was built in 1914 for the Pittock Family by local craftsmen and artisans using all Northwest materials. There are some incredible examples of craftsmanship in this house. In some rooms, the flooring is made of curved strips of wood that were steamed and bent into the desired shapes. In 1962, four years after the family had left the house, the Columbus Day Storm did serious damage to the house, including some of the curved wood flooring. No one knew how to repair the floor because no one knew how to do this anymore. Well, almost no one. Some of the original craftsman were still alive and still in the area. They were able to repair and restore the floor so that it could be appreciated once again.
Have you ever thought of yourself as God’s craftsmanship? That’s exactly what the Bible says you are:
“For we are his craftsmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
According to Ephesians 2:4-10, God, motivated by His love for you, even while you were dead in your sin, made you alive again with Jesus. He raised you from the dead with Jesus and seated you in the heavenly places in Christ! Why did He do that? In order to show you off as an example of the overflowing wealth of His grace displayed in His acts of kindness toward you. You didn’t and couldn’t save yourself. Your salvation was completely God’s doing. Because your salvation was completely His work, He is the one who get’s to the credit for what He has done in and through you. In reality, you are His craftsmanship. He carefully, thoughtfully, and intentionally crafted you to be things and do things that He intentionally crafted for you to be and do.
How does that make you feel? I like to think of this passage as the great equalizer. If you’ve been feeling overly confident in your life and ministry, or felt entitled and proud, these truths should humble you and inspire repentance. Anything that is good in you comes from the Lord and is for His His glory, yours.
On the other hand, if you’ve felt depressed in life or ministry, or felt useless and abandoned, these things should bring you up to a place of honor and restoration.
God is holding you in His hands, showing you off to a lost, hurting, and dying world, and saying, “Look at what I made!” You are His craftsmanship, created in Him image. You have been and continue to be molded into a masterpiece He wants to use to demonstrate what He can do through His love in people’s lives. In Christ we shouldn’t be proud, and we don’t need to be embarrassed; We just be what He is making us to be- His.