See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. Christian Images
Jesus knew the heart and since He is God, He knows the thoughts and motives of every human heart for He is also the Creator.  God looked at the religious leaders and knew that they were hypocrites because they taught one thing but did another as Jesus said “on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness” (Matt 23:28).  They liked to be seen and wanted others to think highly of them but Jesus knew that inwardly they were as dead as could be and were full of all sorts of evil and uncleanliness.  It is never what others think about us that’s important; it is only what God knows about us that counts.  We might be able to fool others but we can never fool God because “Lord, you know everyone’s heart” (Acts 1:24) “for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed” (1 Sam 2:3). Scripture Images

Sadly, many people will look at us and judge us by appearances and as we’ve already read, they can miss-read us because they don’t see what’s on the inside which is what is of ultimate importance.  Jesus said “You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one” (John 8:15).  Every time that someone looks at us and they judge us by appearances, they are judging us by human standards and very likely miss-judging us.  What they can’t see is what is most important anyway.  The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were only concerned with what people saw them doing but God knew their hearts and saw that they were inwardly full of sin. Scripture Images


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In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. ... Christian Images

While many white musicians gravitated toward country, folk, and old-timey music to express their spirituality outside of traditional Christian hymns, Black Gospel music drew heavily upon the traditional spirituals that had been passed down from the days of slavery, picking up its more driving rhythmic emphasis from blues and early jazz. Composer and singer Thomas A. Dorsey crystallized the style in 1932 with his epochal "Take My Hand, Precious Lord," and went on to compose a great many songs that later became standards. When performed in the churches, the music was traditionally sung by a choir, with individual soloists sometimes taking the spotlight; this often happened in a form known as "call and response," in which either the choir or the soloist would repeat and/or answer the lyric which had just been sung by the other, with the soloist improvising embellishments of the melody for greater emphasis. As the music developed, these soloists became more and more virtuosic, performing with wild emotion (and, in the South, physicality) in order to properly express the spiritual ecstasy the music was meant to evoke. The music was quite egalitarian in terms of gender, as both male and female performers -- Brother Joe May, Rev. James Cleveland, Mahalia Jackson, the Clara Ward Singers, etc. -- gained wide renown among both black and white audiences. The small-group format was also prevalent, with major figures including the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, the Soul Stirrers, the Swan Silvertones, and the Dixie Hummingbirds; in general, these groups placed a greater premium on smooth vocal harmonies, although some performances could approach the raucous energy (if not quite the huge sound) of a choir-with-soloist group. As the years progressed, black gospel and black popular music influenced and borrowed from one another, reflecting the gradual change of emphasis toward R&B; black gospel also had an enormous impact on the development of soul music, which directed gospel's spiritual intensity into more secular concerns, and included a great many performers whose musical skills were developed in the church. As a recognizable style unto itself, black gospel music largely ceased to develop around the 1970s; progressing racial attitudes had helped black popular music reach wider audiences (and become more lucrative) than ever before, and tastes had turned towards the earthy hedonism of funk and the highly arranged, sophisticated Philly soul sound. The former wasn't quite appropriate for worship, and it wasn't all that practical to duplicate the latter in church services. However, the traditional black gospel sound survived intact and was eventually augmented by contemporary gospel (an '80s/'90s variation strongly influenced by latter-day urban R&B); plus, singers like Whitney Houston continued to develop within its ranks. Christian Images


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Jack Wellman is a father and grandfather and a Christian author, freelance writer, and Prison Minister. Graduate work at Moody Bible Institute. His books are inexpensive paperbacks that are theological in nature: “Teaching Children The Gospel/How to Raise Godly Children,“ “Do Babies Go To Heaven?/Why Does God Allow Suffering?,“ "The Great Omission; Reaching the Lost for Christ," and “Blind Chance or Intelligent Design?, Empirical Methodologies & the Bible." Biblical Verses Image
How true this is.  You can put lipstick and earrings on a pig but inwardly they’re still a pig so Peter writes that “the hidden person of the heart” is precious to God and the “imperishable beauty of a gentle and quite spirit” to God is “very precious” and that’s all that matters eternally.  We’ll all get new bodies someday anyway and so why should we be so preoccupied with what we look like when God only cares about what we are like on the inside? Christian Wall Art
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