Unspotted from the World
I have read that there is a small, unique animal that lives in the forests of northern Europe and Asia. It is called the ermine. In the wintertime, the ermine's fur turns white as snow. It instinctively protects its coat against anything that would soil it, going to great lengths to keep its fur spotless.

Fur hunters deviously take advantage of this unusual trait. Instead of setting a trap to catch the ermine, they smear the entrance of its home with grime. When the ermine sees its burrow covered in filth it will not enter-- even if it is being chased by dogs! Amazingly, the ermine's instinct to preserve the purity of its coat is so strong that it would rather die than defile its beautiful fur!

Dear friends, God requires that those who would be righteous pursue purity in every aspect of life. Our words, deeds, and thoughts must remain clean (like the ermine's fur) if we are to be pure and holy.

Under the Old Law, the people of God were told to - "Make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for Your God" (Num. 15:38-40). When a Hebrew saw the blue cord on his clothes, he was to remember the holy purpose for his life and the need to keep himself pure from sin.

Under the New Covenant, the vile sinner becomes clean when he puts on the Lord Jesus Christ in baptism (cf. Gal. 3:27; Acts 22:16). The redeemed will one day wear white robes that have been washed in the blood of the Lamb (cf. Rev. 7:14). Christians are to be pure, even as God is pure (cf. I John 3:3). We are called upon as followers of Christ to "come out from among them [i.e., the world] and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you" (II Cor. 6:17).

Tragically, it is often difficult to tell the difference between a Christian and a worldly sinner. There are many things that reflect upon our purity (or lack thereof): (1) Our manner of dress, (2) Our speech, (3) Our choice of entertainment, etc. Although it is true that we are in the world, we are not to be of the world. A properly built ship floats on the water, but it will sink if water starts coming inside. Similarly, a child of God can only stay pure to the extent that he floats on top of worldliness, so to speak, and does not allow it to seep into his life. We must strive "to keep [ourselves] unspotted from the world" (James 1:27). The instinct of the ermine is to die rather than defile its beautiful coat. Does this describe your commitment to purity? May all followers of Christ pray for the spiritual strength and courage to maintain their purity, even at the cost of their lives! "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matt. 16:25).