A Lesson From the Ermine…
Several years ago, Our Daily Bread carried an insightful illustration on purity as expressed through the habit of the ermine. In the forests of northern Europe and Asia lives a little animal called the ermine, known for his snow-white fur in winter. He instinctively protects his white coat against anything that would soil it.
Fur hunters take advantage of this unusual trait of the ermine. They don't set a snare to catch him, but instead, they find his home, which is usually a cleft in a rock or a hollow in an old tree. They smear the entrance and interior with grime. Then the hunters set their dogs loose to find and chase the ermine. The frightened animal flees toward home but doesn't enter because of the filth. Rather than soil his white coat, he is trapped by the dogs and captured while preserving his purity. For the ermine, purity is more precious than life.
We would do well to learn this valuable lesson from the ermine about pursuing and protecting purity in our lives. Especially given that the Bible tells us we are to be holy in character and action. Holiness is not only something to practice, it is also something to protect. Recently I read a small old classic book, Holiness, by the godly English Bishop of Liverpool in the late 1800’s, J.C. Ryle.
In it, Bishop Ryle urges our pursuit of holiness when he writes… “Let us aim at eminent holiness. Let us labor to be unmistakable Christians. Let us so live that all may see that to us the things of God are the first things, and the glory of God the first aim in our lives—to follow Christ our grand object in time present—to be with Christ our grand desire in time to come.”
The scripture says in Hebrews 12:14, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Jesus has made us righteous before God, but the pursuit of holiness should characterize our existence in Christ here and now. Let us go on to holy living that the glory of God would be expressed through our lives until the time that we are with Him in His glory.
Foundations… is our Sunday evening series and it continues tonight. We are studying who we are as a Church and how God’s purpose is demonstrated through our existence. Join us at 6:00 PM.
Lord’s Supper… this morning. If you are a born-again believer in Christ feel free to partake of this most significant memorial meal and join us in remembering the sacrifice that Jesus made for each of us.
Guests… we are so glad you are with us today. Please be sure to complete the small tear-off panel in your worship folder and take it to our Welcome Center following the service for a special gift bag designed to provide you with information about Ridgecrest as well as a hot and cold mug along with a sample pack of freshly ground coffee to take with you and brew later.
VBS… is only a few days away. Will you pray for the hundreds of children that will attend? Pray that many come to understand their Savior and their salvation. Also, pray for the many workers that will assist us. Thank you for your labor of love for Christ and for the children!
And remember, God is always trying to take us someplace new. I love being your Pastor!!!
For God’s Glory Alone,