I remember one day many years ago, when I was only a lad, a deep impression that was made upon me. I was in a shop; it was commercial travelers’ day in that shop and two commercial travelers came in. One came in, looked all round to see who was in the shop, saw some people there, so stepped over into the corner and waited. Then he proceeded to his business in a sort of way that suggested to my youthful mind that he was ashamed to be doing business; that he did not want people to know what he was. It was all so under cover. Perhaps I should not have noticed it so much had it not been for the next episode. The door opened, and in came a fine, big fellow, a strapping young man. He saw the manager “Good-morning, Mr. So-and-so. I have a splendid line for you today”, and started right away. Everybody in the shop heard all about it. He went straight at it and captured the business, he got it forthwith. He was bent on business. It made a tremendous impression on me. As we came out of the shop, someone who was with me said, “That is the way to do business”. Forgive me if that seems to be coming on to a very low level. I do feel that there is a great deal in being open and letting it be known where you stand. No hiding the brand.
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…” That’s it – 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?
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