God’s Word states in Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (NIV). The word handiwork is defined as “work done personally and intentionally by the hands.” When we receive Christ as our Savior, our life is not ending, but really just beginning. We are part of God’s new creation, according to 2 Corinthians 5:17 which states: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; the old has gone, the new is here!” (NIV). We can know by reading these scriptures that God has personally created us by His own hand, and He continues the process of making us into the creation He wants us to be.
Have you ever seen a piece of jewelry called a cameo? A cameo is a gemstone usually made of onyx, sardonyx, or agate. Shells are also used for cameos and generally yield the most delicate pieces. The most common expression of the cameo, which you probably have seen, is a profile or portrait of a woman’s head. Cameos are most often worn as jewelry and are usually set in gold or silver and worn as a brooch or necklace. When a cameo is created, there are layers of different colors. The carving is set upon the contrasting type of material, which provides a background of another color to set off the figure. Therefore, in a cameo, there is an ability to see the figure, which has been carved. The light, in contrast to the dark, enables the piece to showcase its distinguishing beauty.
In the Bible passage of John 17, John writes of how Jesus prays that His followers will be set apart and sanctified from the rest of the darkness of the world. What Jesus prays in this prayer relates to us today as His followers. He shows us by His words that His chief concern is that we live a life that glorifies God. In our life experience, there are many entanglements that try to influence and grab us, but one of the messages in this passage is how to overcome or stand out from the world. In verses 13-19, the Lord prays for our sanctification. He gives us the gift of His Word to enable us to walk in the way of holiness. Verse 17 states: “Sanctify them by the truth; your Word is truth” (NIV). Because God is truth, He is true and faithful in all that He says and does. Therefore, His words are truth. He can use the truth to sanctify us and to set us apart for holy living. Just as the wire carries electricity to the light bulb, God’s truth carries God’s power to our lives. We are sanctified in and through God’s truth.
Just as the face of each cameo is unique and the jewels are different, so are you different from anyone else. Just as the cameo is cut away from the plane surface, likewise, God cuts away those things, situations, or attitudes that no longer need to be part of your life. As this happens, it can seem difficult or painful, but ultimately, a more beautiful, holy woman of God emerges. As a woman of God, you are in the lifelong process of sanctification, and it happens in your intimate journey with the Lord as your jeweler. You are truly His own beautiful handiwork – a masterpiece of His own making.
“I am coming to You now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them Your Word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth. As You sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify Myself, that they too may be truly sanctified” (John 17:13-19 NIV).