Yesterday I saw a bald eagle. Today I drove up on two wild turkeys (male and female). I think they were wild, but they had very light plumage. As I approached a favorite spot on a reservoir to read, these two turkeys ran...not away, but toward me! I turned off the car engine and the male stayed within 5 feet of the car with his eye on me. The hen ranged just beyond her partner. As magnificent and noble as the bald eagle was yesterday, the male turkey was ungainly and ugly...all wrinkles and loose flesh around the head. But there was something touching about the way this "tom" turkey protected his partner (and possibly some young turkeys nearby). He wasn't about to be intimidated by this large and noisy vehicle that had invaded his territory. If I was going to harm his family, I'd have to go through him. Loyalty is a quality that can help us (with the turkeys) to display courage and pay any price to protect and defend that which we hold dear. We are loyal to ourselves, our families, our country...and we need to be loyal to our Lord. He spared Himself no pain and allowed nothing to deter Him from rescuing us from sin. He gave us new life and liberated us from the short term satisfactions of this temporal life. Loyalty to Jesus, at times, calls for a defense of His territory. We must not deny Him or allow His new creation within to be invaded by attitudes and actions that would darken or diminish His work in us. We may be turkeys, at times, but we need to be loyal ones; loyal to the One who has set us free forever!
1 Kings 8:60-61 "that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other. Let your heart therefore be loyal to the LORD our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day."