Cleanse

Take the Levites from among all the Israelites and make them ceremonially clean. Numbers 8:6

The importance of keeping brushes clean when using acrylics cannot be overemphasized for several reasons. Changing pigments requires thorough rinsing of the brush between color applications. Otherwise, undesirable hues smudge the canvas. For example, if traces of red paint remain on the brush and then it’s dipped in blue, purple appears. “Muddy” water also creates adverse colors.

As inconvenient as unfavorable hues may be, improper brush care can result in a more serious problem: residue buildup on the bristles. Although acrylics are water-based, the paint hardens and becomes virtually impenetrable when it dries. Eventually, the bristles become stiff, and the brush is ruined. At that point, nothing can be done to restore the tool.

Thorough scrubbing with warm, soapy water—giving special attention to the base of the bristles—immediately after each painting session is the most important aspect of brush care.

A quality brush, well cared for, serves the painter for a lifetime.

The Creator in Us

God expects a lifetime of service from us as well. In preparation of the priests’ service, God commanded, Take the Levites from among all the Israelites and make them ceremonially clean. He specifically ordered the Levites to wash and shave their entire bodies to show obedience and service to God as a sanctified people before they entered the priesthood. These demands physically illustrate the emphasis God places on the renewing of our minds.

Purifying our thoughts is no easy task. From our exposure to sin in this world, we run the risk of a residue of ungodliness coating our thoughts like the buildup of paint on a brush. As we cleave to our immoral desires and ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit to repent, the residue compounds. The more we resist His nudging, the harder our hearts become toward the teachings of Christ. We can become so hard-hearted that we are of no use to the Lord.

Unlike stiffened brushes, we have hope. Instead of discarding us, God offers the solution. We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so we can discern what is good and pleasing to Him (see Romans 12:2). He promises to cleanse us when we confess our sins. In doing so, we allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse our immoral thoughts.

Immoral thoughts sneak into our minds in subtle ways. I remember when swearing and bedroom scenes were banned on TV. Slowly, filmmakers slipped in a little obscenity here, sexual innuendos there. As a result, people started to become desensitized, including me.

When writing forced me to turn off the TV, my sensitivity to indecent movies was reactivated. But in this world of mass communication, it’s next to impossible to completely avert obscenity. To guard against ungodliness, I’m trying to make more time for meditating on God’s Word.

How can you guard against the buildup of ungodliness in your life?

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Your Turn

Join the conversation by adding your comments below.

Think of one step to guard against ungodliness?


By Brenda K. Hendricks

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Brenda K. Hendricks is an artist who has experimented with her gift of painting most of her life. She enjoys imparting artistic skills, as well as knowledge of the Creator, to participants at art parties, retreats, and other Christian events. In addition to her love of painting, she has discovered a passion for writing. When not creating, Brenda hops on the seat behind her husband, Gene, to zoom over hill and dale on their Harley, admiring the wonders of nature in Central Pennsylvania where they live. The couple has been blessed with two daughters, seven grandchildren, and a psycho Airedale terrier named Hunter.

About Be the Light Editor

Martin Wiles is a minister, author, freelance editor, and English teacher who lives in Greenwood, SC. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and is the author of Grits & Grace and God and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church. He serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions (www.christiandevotions.us) and Assistant Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three.