Monday, November 7, 2016

His Master's Voice


“Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.”

John 13:13

The RCA logo of “His Master’s Voice” has long been one of my favorite images.

In 1899, the then named Gramaphone Company acquired the image, originally from a painting done by the English artist, Francis Barraud.

According to publicity information, the dog, Nipper, once belonged to Barraud’s brother Mark. When Mark died, Francis inherited Nipper; he also acquires a cylinder phonograph, with numerous recordings of Mark’s voice. Nipper, apparently, was quite interested in these recordings, responding to his master’s voice. Hence, the image of the adorable fox terrier cocking his ear to the phonograph’s speaker was captured on canvas and then later adapted in RCA logo form.

“Master.” It’s a hot button word. What do we think of when we hear it? Is it an oppressive association or a positive one? According to its definition, it means…

somebody or something controlling or influencing events or other things.”

Yeah, that definition doesn’t seem to make us jump up and down with enthusiasm, does it?

And, let’s be honest, if we’re Christians, we struggle with obedience to the spiritual law. Let’s face it, no matter how long we’ve accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, no matter how much we’ve read the Bible or have gone to church, we still want to run the show- our way. We may say we follow Jesus, in theory, but, with regard to our feelings about the issue, we want to be our own masters.

“Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.”

Matthew 23:10

And that thinking usually gets us into trouble. Addictions, compulsions, vices and bad decisions are usually some products of that independent declaration.

We get confused and distracted. We start depending on and exalting our way of living. We get enticed by it. And yes, that usually produces sin. And sin kills.

“But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

James 1:14-15

It may not seem obvious at first. In fact, we may even think our way is working. We have everything handled. We found our coping strategy, our identity, our solution our answer in whatever we’ve chosen to focus on.

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

Matthew 6:24

But God remembers “we are but dust” (Psalms 103:14). We need Jesus as our Master, not because He wants to boss us around, but rather because He knows, left to ourselves, we will only head toward destruction.

Deciding on and living out the commitment to follow Jesus and make Him our Master is a challenge. There are so many distractions competing for our attention; they’re often alluring and have loud voices, trying to reach our ears and hearts.

Like it or not, we need a Master and a Savior; we need Jesus. We cannot save ourselves. If we could have, we would have done so by now.

God is our first love; He’s programmed in every heart. However, life often distracts us and causes us to listen to other things.

Let’s respond, like Nipper. Let’s choose to turn to Jesus, be led by Him and live for Him. No matter how far away we may have strayed, we can turn back to Him.


Copyright © 2016 by Sheryle Cruse


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