We all know the test of loyalty to the Lord in this world. The world is reaching out a hand, as it were, to come and interfere with our loyalty to the Lord Jesus; just not to let it be known that we belong to Him. Such are the standards today, the mental standards of life, that it is so widely thought to be an unmanly, unwomanly thing to be a Christian. It is not robust, it is not strong, you must be of an inferior kind if you are a Christian. That is how it is, we know it quite well. This world despises Christians, and the temptation to all Christians is in some way to be Christians without “giving it away”, without letting it be too obvious, and so we hide behind quite a lot of things. “We do not want to make a show of religion”; “we do not want to thrust religion down people’s throats”; “we do not want to offend people and upset our chances of influencing them by giving it away too soon”. All sorts of things like that, hiding round corners, thinking we are going to get a better advantage; we are really going to serve the Lord’s interests much better by going carefully, going slowly, and all the time taking cover and camouflaging.
We belong to the Lord; we are glad that we belong to the Lord; we are very glad to call Him “Master”; we have no compromise over that. We belong to the Lord and we tell Him that, and we will tell every other Christian that, but is it only in the realm where we are accepted, where we know we are accepted, where we know it is quite safe and quite comfortable to let it be known? What about this world? The marks of His ownership. Remember Paul and that shipwreck. How outstanding he was! He warned them, and then the time came when they were at their wit’s end, and he came up to the Master of the ship and he said, “Be of good cheer. The Lord, Whose I am, and Whom I serve…” There is no covering there. He let it be known. I do not think I need try to drive that home. That lies here, right at the beginning, the marks of faithfulness and loyalty in our allegiance to Him, Whom we are glad to call Master and Lord; to Whom we really do owe everything. Is it not just a little unfair, to say the least of it, when we are prepared in secret with Him to acknowledge that we owe Him everything, to be ashamed to let it be known out in the world Whose we are?