Okay, so here is a view of my neighborhood that I grew up in...literally a few feet out my front (or back) door...I was surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay. This is the view from Bayfront Rd., one street over from our house. My sister's reception was right on Bayfront Rd., so Dustin took these pictures... while at my sister's wedding reception. When I was a kid I had my windows open at night many times while I slept and I could hear the sounds of the bay, and of Bethlehem Steel (pictured here) across the bay. Wow, this brought up a lot of memories while I was at my sister's wedding reception, being that my old house was just one street over.
Well, we're back now! After getting up and spending some time with my in laws this morning, we flew back. It was sad to say goodbye again but here we are.
On the way home I was just reading and studying the Word some more and right now I'm reading Galatians in my devotions. I came across a passage that describes PERFECTLY what I've been mulling over about Christianity without Christ.
Galatians 1:6-7 "You are already following a different way that pretends to be the good news but it is not the good news at all. You are being fooled by those who twist and change the truth concerning Christ." You know, in many ways I have good memories of growing up, but much of it was steeped in legalism and many things in the name of Christ but actually having little to do with Christ. All that comes rushing back whenever I spend time with certain people because unfortunately they are still steeped in it, while I have been set free. It's difficult to be around it and I can only be in small doses quite honestly. One minute there is strict legalism, the next something crazy like racism or...immorality, without repentance or process of discipline or restoration. I have seen that my whole life so it's something I'm used to, yet never truly "used to." How can one whose heart is tender toward God truly ever get "used to" seeing this?
Paul goes on to say in verse 8: "Let God's curse fall on anyone including myself who preaches any other message than the one we told you about." Well, I guess that is self explanatory and God will have to judge and deal with things. I only ask Him to help me handle it while I'm around it, and have wisdom on what to say, what to do.
Recently I read a quote by James Kent that said, "Nothing is so potent as the silent influence of a good example." I can only hope that is what I am. I try my best in the face of things like this to hold my head up, remember who I am in Christ, be confident and represent Jesus to the best of my ability. I believe that's all He asks of me.