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).
GoodNews, the Shop@Christ Church is a mission of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) at Christ Church. We proudly feature books, cards, candles, lotions, jewelry, handbags, decorative pillows, baby and children gifts, tabletop accessories, men's accessories, crosses, paper products, linens, food items, and kitchen accessories. We offer free gift wrapping too! Please think of us first when you shop for gifts for all occasions. Christian Wall Art
With a five-octave vocal range, Earnest Pugh is a powerhouse singer. He's appeared on networks like the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and Black Entertainment Television (BET) as well as on stage, acting in major plays such as "Love the One You’re With," "Secret Lover" (Michael Matthews), "Crazy Love" (D'Atra Hicks) and "Real Men Pray" (Angela Barrow and Lizzie Berry). Biblical Verses Image
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.
God has made us exactly the way that it pleased Him and we all must remember that God has chosen the weak and the base of the world (1 Cor 1:27) and what the world considers despised and lowly (1 Cor 1:28) is important to God and that’s all that matters, isn’t it? He looks at the inward parts of the human heart, not the outward appearance, so don’t worry about what the body looks like, be concerned with the things that God sees because in the end, that’s all that’s important and that’s all that really matters. What others think is nothing…what God knows is everything. Biblical Verses Image
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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. Biblical Verses Image
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Scripture Images
Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it'; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. "Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return." Christian Images
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Biblical Verses Image
I think many of us struggle with the way we look. If we only understood that God made us the way we are we might think that other’s expectations and our own isn’t important. The way that God sees us is the most important thing of all because God doesn’t look at the outward appearance the way that we or others tend to do. Many people judge us from our outward appearance and not by what is inside. What is inside is what really counts in God’s eyes and in God’s eyes it’s the only thing that’s important. The outward man or woman is not of eternal importance…it is what is inside as Jesus once said “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person” (Matt 15:11) so we must keep our focus on what really defiles a person and it’s not what’s outside that does it but what comes out of the person’s mouth for that reveals what’s in our hearts.
When Samuel was seeking who would be the king of Israel, He had all of Jesse’s sons pass before him and time after time, Samuel thought that surely one of these young men would be the next king. Some were tall and muscular but that was not God’s standard. Jesse didn’t call David who was what we might call the “runt of the litter” but God said that He looks not on the outward appearance but what is inside. He doesn’t have regard for what a person’s looks are like but He looks at the heart because the most important attributes of a person are never what we see but the things we don’t see and what we cannot see, God can. That’s all that really matters.
But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Christian Wall Art
And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. ...
And it will come about in that day, that every place where there used to be a thousand vines, valued at a thousand shekels of silver, will become briars and thorns. People will come there with bows and arrows because all the land will be briars and thorns. As for all the hills which used to be cultivated with the hoe, you will not go there for fear of briars and thorns; but they will become a place for pasturing oxen and for sheep to trample. Christian Wall Art