Before the University system really began to take hold, the way that one was “certified” to work in a certain field was through apprenticeship. In order to learn a trade and to gain the credentials necessary to work in that trade, one had to seek out a master that would be willing to train them and vouch for them at the end of the apprenticeship.
That master was called a “craftsman”… A workman so skilled in a particular trade that their work was considered to be on the level of fine art. In fact, another word for craftsman is “artisan”.
The truth that we are going to tell ourselves today comes from this passage:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV)
in verse 10, the word “workmanship” echoes back to the days of the Artisan. The product that a Master Craftsman produced was called his “workmanship”. Some thing special, rare and expensive. Something that has not been mass produced but custom built for a specific purpose.
It is important to understand that we are not God’s apprentices. We re not learning the ropes until we can handle life on our own. If we think of ourselves as an apprentice, than eventually we will begin to take some credit for what we produce. No, the truth is that the physical life we have was given to us by God, and the spiritual life we have was given to us by God in Christ Jesus… We are his workmanship from start to finish. We are that which is formed by the masters hand. The artisan deserves all the credit for what he has made in all it’s beauty and performance...
Oh, but what a beautiful thing he has made in you… And what beautiful plans he has for the beautiful things that he has made!
God made you exactly the way he wanted you. Then, Christian, he pursued you while you were still wandering, far away in the far country of your sin. He came to get you and breathed life into you again, this time the spiritual life that comes only by the Holy Spirit through the sacrifice of Christ. And he is shaping and forming you like a master Craftsman for all of the good works that he has made you to be able to accomplish...
So get out there and do those good works today, that were “prepared beforehand” that you should walk in them. God’s give you everything you need for today’s good works… And if you look ahead to tomorrows good works, and they look like too much for you to handle… Don’t worry. He’s the master craftsman. He formed the good works AND he is forming you to be able to accomplish them. He will give you exactly what you need to accomplish exactly what he wants you to accomplish… And he will give it to you at exactly the right time.
I am praying for you today!