George Whitefield: The Event Horizon

December 31st  

“Do not waver, but give him that which he desires, your hearts; it is the heart the Lord Jesus Christ wanteth; and when you have an inward principle wrought in your hearts by this same Jesus, then you will feel the sweetness and the pleasure of communion with God.”

~ George Whitefield

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 space 4

       The Event Horizon

       The point of no return

       Matter no longer exists

        All that’s left behind, it’s gravity

       A warping of space and time                   space 2

      The point of no return found in…

      The sphere of the Event Horizon

                             ~ Sean Gutteridge

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There is a phenomenon that happens in space where matter of one celestial object presses in on matter of another celestial object and creates a sphere of energy, heat and light that is self-contained within itself between both celestial objects. Gravity is a warping of space and time, and eventually as matter presses in on matter, one object begins to dominate the other. The more resistance grows between matter, the rate of friction rises creating more energy and heat. Soon, the stronger celestial body of matter begins to draw into itself the weaker body of matter with its gravitational pull but as the weaker body resists, the power from its resistance continues to create more and more energy but eventually, the stronger body of matter will prevail. Matter begins to press in on itself even as it resists the pull from the gravitational pull, until finally, collapsing in on itself, matter no longer exists leaving nothing but it’s gravity. Because of the energy created and two separate pulls of gravity, a sphere between the two forms of matter has now been created with the gravitational pull much greater then that if earth. This sphere is called the point of no return. The new body of matter is called a black hole. And this process or phenomenon is called The Event Horizon. Black holes have that sphere around them now which, aptly called the point of no return, pulls stars, gases and other particles in space into it. Each galaxy is said to have a black hole at its center and in theory, every galaxy is literally pulling against each other competing to draw the other into itself. In other words, galaxies are constantly trying to consume one another and at some point, eventually the stronger galaxies will consume the weaker ones. Well… that’s as best as I could understand it, at least. It doesn’t completely make sense as it is a bit beyond my total understanding…

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I don’t know why this fascinates me so. I’m not an expert on space and stars and black holes and stuff like that. But this “Event Horizon” is very compelling to me for some reason. The very idea that one body of matter pulls another into it and makes it part of itself; that gravity is a warping of space and time… these ideas intrigue me. I think on my relationship with God and wonder if the Event Horizon of my heart happens as God’s heart with it’s irresistible force is pulling mine into His. Eventually, my heart will collapse as it presses in on itself, even while resisting that Pull from God. Sin is the point of no return, like two magnates pushing against one another, creating a force keeping God’s heart from completely consuming mine. But as my heart collapses in the presence of Christ, it gives way passing through the point of no return and at last I am consumed completely by the Grace and presence of God. I am no longer recognizable. I am consumed. I am now completely apart of Him. The Event Horizon is the consumption of my soul into the great, mysterious unknown yet beautiful presence that is my Lord and Savior.

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If I am consumed by God, it will be evident as I will certainly become an extension of God’s Grace, God’s Compassion and God’s Love. I will begin drawing others to me just as I was drawn to God. The pull of Christ within me will be so strong that others will eventually be caught within His powerful pull. If there isn’t this powerful pull within me, then I have yet to  be fully pulled into God and there are still parts of my own heart resisting Him. That gravitational sphere still exists between us like polarizing magnates and His pull is still in the process of consuming me. When I have given my life to Christ, I have been pulled beyond the point of no return and resisting God’s pull into becomes – thankfully – impossible.

Peace, Sean Gutteridge

“God give me a deep humility, a well-guided zeal, a burning love and a single eye, and then let men or devils do their worst!”   ~ George Whitefield

Today’s Scripture:

Romans 6:1-4

1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?

2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

 

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C. S. Lewis: What God Does In Us

December 30th

“What God does for us, He does in us.” ~ C.S. Lewis

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UPON THAT CROSS

Doomed to shadows in this world of weakness and spiritual sterility

 

Pushed off the road of eternity

Detoured through those false securities

Forgotten is our death in ultimate victory

 

One direction on that cross…

Cannot go back once on that cross…

No more plans upon that cross…

 

First death, now life… upon that Cross!

~ Sean Gutteridge

 

I am made free to serve others in Love. And I really want to do something incredible for someone today, man. The Lord has done so much for me and though at times I feel so much remorse that I haven’t done more for others or for Him with what I’ve been given… today, I don’t dwell on that. Today I approach these early moments with two expectations: one, I expect to feel God with me in each step. Not in spectacular ways, necessarily (although that won’t surprise me either) but just in the simple ways of life and experiences. My other expectation today is to walk with awareness and discernment today. I have no premonition of some great event or moment arriving. I simply desire to see what God will do today and be ready to do the unexpected if called upon to do so.

More then anything else, I am just certain that I am tuned in to His heart today. Not perfectly – just succinctly. I love random acts of kindness. I love watching others be transformed by God’s Grace in the simplest of ways. It’s not anything that I can manufacture… but I can certainly enjoy being present when God moves. And somehow, someway… I expect to witness this today.

Peace, Sean Gutteridge

 

Today’s Scripture:

EZRA 3:11

11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.” And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

D. L. Moody: Threads of Grace

December 29th

“The law tells me how crooked I am.

Grace comes along and straightens me out.”

~ D.L. Moody

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Threads of Grace

Seemingly fragile at first glance

Stronger then any fabric known to man

 

Threads of Grace

Most beautiful indeed

Majestically woven specifically for me

 

Threads of Grace

Carefully stitched into my heart

Covering stains of blood from sin all mine

 

Threads of Grace

Meant for humanity

Most beautiful indeed…

 

Your Threads of Grace…

~ Sean Gutteridge

 

There is nothing more wonderful then Your Grace, Lord. And yet, too seldom do I miss the opportunity to just stop and allow the threads of Your Grace to cover me like a warm blanket. It’s not so difficult to stop and wait and rest in the reflection of who You are and all that You have done. I love You, Lord. I understand what I am but it is Your Grace that would reveal to me who I can be.

Men and Women who serve the world for Your glory are seldom born to their greatness. They are just simply those individuals who fully appreciate who You are and take many moments over the course of their lives to stop and acknowledge Your Grace by abiding within it.

“The voice of sin is loud, but the voice of forgiveness is louder.” ~ D.L. Moody

Hearing Your voice of Grace in our fallen state is what we choose to hear and with minimal effort, it isn’t so difficult to tune out the voice of our sin-filled hearts trying to drag us away from Your Grace and back into the chains of our shame. But the threads of Your Grace hold tight to our hearts and keep ever close to You. Let me always be found there, Lord… trapped and entwined – gloriously – in the strong grip of those threads.

Thank You for this Peace, Lord… Sean Gutteridge

 

Today’s Scripture:

Deuteronomy 4:39

39 Know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.

Micah 7:18

18 Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.

 

George Whitefield: My Work Be Done

December 28th

“We are immortal until our work is done.” ~ George Whitefield 

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I am offering up a little bonus posting, tonight, because I am disturbed – I am tired – and, well… quoting smart people soothes my soul even if I understand that this doesn’t make me smarter nor wiser. Still… I often find great comfort in the words of the saints – ancient, contemporary or other-wise.

I am caught in the vacuum that so many of us find ourselves in each year at this time as the old year fades and the new one approaches. We are saddened, we are relived, we are frustrated and we are filled with both dread and excitement. All these emotions collide together and can often threaten to push us once and for all over the edge of insanity. For some, it proves too much. Others find within themselves the resolve to push on and persevere. And the wisest of all understand that perspective can be found to be the greatest soothing comfort of all, that clear thinking mental apparatus that can save the human soul so close to the precipice of mental disaster.

So take it easy, man. Relax. We can no more deny the failures of the past 12 months then we can afford to ignore each blessing God has made manifest within each failure and success that we’ve endured and experienced. Yes. I am tired and sick of struggles and my insecurities. I am fatigued by the constant fight and internal struggles that I face every day. I am quite literally tired of being a narcoleptic, where sleep comes at me like a demon with relentless energy. I can never quite see and feel any good – every experience seems tainted with chaos and anxiety. My faith stretches to the point of breaking daily. And yet… my work may not yet be done. And so I must continue to search for Joy in every moment, preach my Christ and Savior crucified, do my best to arise (some days, quite literally) EVERY single day, and I must  live as if I am immortal until my days are done, knowing that my work here will be finished NOT when I say it is finished but when the Lord deems it so.

I am far from being transformed to where I think He thinks I should be. Surely, there must still be work to be done – in me as well as through me and for me. But for tonight, I must relax and take a deep breath and understand that… He IS God. He is good. And I will be fine. And in this thinking, perhaps I can find it within me to relax… somewhat… and smile and know that I don’t have to fear sleep. And the promise of tomorrow can actually bring with it a sense not of dread, but of Hope and perhaps, even a bit of excitement as I know that He has some work still yet for my hands to attend to. This isn’t deep. This is just where I find myself tonight as one year fades into the next. May this find you, too, in a state of relaxing even as He is in the fullest process of transforming you. My this find you in the fullest grip of His Grace and Peace.

Blessings in Him, Sean Gutteridge

 

Deuteronomy 30:9

9 The Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hand 

 

 

Jonathan Edwards: God Most Glorified

December 28th

“God is more glorified in allowing man to sin and finding them and restoring them then if man had never sinned at all”

~ Jonathan Edwards

Tozier faith is a gaze

 

“Grace found, so strong yet

seems soft & subtle…

 

A boundless confidence

To the point of wonder and delight

Taken from darkness plunged into light

 

Admiration, fascination, adoration

To be born anew &meant for something

Taken in the final hour as death roars

 

Grace may not be found …

so subtle after all”

~ Sean Gutteridge

 

It glorifies God most when the un-redemptive man falls to his knees, understanding his true filthiness, and at last finds Forgiveness in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son. When the corruptible heart at last opens itself to Christ as Savior, there can be heard such a loud and boisterous ovation of Joy from the Heavens!

God loves a renovation project. I dare say He has His hands full with me! He loves restoring man. It must fulfill Him satisfying and validating His grand design for the human race. For us, to then be a part of His ongoing plan and each renovation project that He sets His eyes on after us is pretty awesome, I believe. Maybe that’s why He has so much grace for the one who has yet to believe and so much patience for the sinner, even once we have been saved. For my restoration only begins at Salvation. Once secured, the real work for His Holy Spirit begins.

Peace, Sean Gutteridge

 

Today’s Scripture:

Daniel 9:18-19

18 O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy.

19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.”

A. W. Tozer: A Resting Soul’s Gaze

December 27th

“Jesus calls us to His rest, and His method is meekness. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort.” ~ A.W. Tozer

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“Faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God” A.W. Tozer said. If ever I questioned whether or not I had Faith, in these words of Tozer I find my answer.

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My soul has gazed upon God, knelt before Him and asked for a forgiveness I knew I did not deserve. And His Grace found me there, lifted me up and thus my Faith was unleashed. It falters. It fades. But always, it remains. And each time my soul gazes upon God, it brightens as that Faith asserts itself anew.

This is the place where I may best rest, no longer concerned with how great I may OR may NOT be. I trust God to renew my soul as it rests in Him… as it gazes, once more, upon His magnificence.

Peace, Sean Gutteridge

Today’s Scripture:

1 Timothy 1:12-14

12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,

13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,

14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Martin Luther: The Sounds That Delight Him

December 26th

“Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.” ~ Martin Luther

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

I feel so lost at times and that seems so… unexplainable to me. I know God, but I don’t really know who God is. It’s my fault, really, and I recognize that. We seek the comfort, wisdom and understanding of One we do not know. Yet, He has made Himself completely accessible to us if we would just take the time to put forth the effort to seek Him.

Over and over in the scriptures, God tells us that He is found by those who seek Him out. Maybe that’s why I love music so much. I feel most able to communicate my heart to Him when I sing to Him. When I praise Him I feel like we’re finally really starting to talk! I’m not singing “I need this, help me with that!”, I’m telling Him in song about His character – His nature – His goodness; my worship of Him is my acknowledgment of who He is and all that He does and is able to do.

Music drives the soul and reveals the heart’s intentions. You can’t run from the melody… and the harmony eventually finds us. You can’t shut your ears but you can shut your heart. Certain secular songs move me because they reveal the state of where my heart and soul are and expose my deepened need for God. The worship song is my admittance to God that I see who He is and my acceptance of His power and my helplessness.

Worship is a journey into the very presence of the Father. We worship God in so many ways: through our obedience; in our giving; when we serve others or serve Him; our kindness and our love become an extension of God’s Grace; our faith, our trust, our perseverance become and expression of our love for Him… and it is this expression which manifests itself fullest in our worship to Him.

When I worship in song, I am on a mission to move into a place where God resides and waits for me to come… when ever I choose to finally do so. The Word says that God is always near; that He never leaves me, never forsakes me; that He seeks me out; yet, in my worship I seek Him out. I am coming to Him, I am entering His House and, going even deeper, I am entering His very presence. When I come to Him, He will consume me with a Holy fire and an overflowing amount of Power and Grace that I will be overcome with awe at His Holiness. Worship grants me an insight to God’s character and it overwhelms me. It’s indescribable. That’s why my greatest desire, after seeing a lost soul saved by Christ’s very Name, is taking people on that awesome journey into God’s presence in worship. I don’t want anyone to miss out on that incredible journey. To see God, to feel His Power, to be filled with His Mercy and restoring Grace… I just don’t want anyone to miss that experience.

Nobody needs me to get there. God doesn’t need me to take anyone there. You can take the journey alone, by yourself. Driving in your car; taking a shower; walking down your street or even working out at the gym. But there is power in the corporate worship setting. Something really special can happen when dozens to hundreds to thousands of God’s children gather together and singularly lift up there voices to praise their God and their Savior and the Almighty Creator. He inhabits our praises, the praises of His people. And that’s why I love to worship God. I love to worship Him in song, all alone, whether I might be practicing or just playing quietly alone simply because I need this for myself. But I love the exhilaration of seeing so many people come to that special, holy place deep inside God’s presence with me. It is a place where healing happens, where restoration and rest take place. Forgiveness is found and received, faith is renewed, courage and boldness replace fear and timidity; and God is found in His most truest form: a God of Love, Power, of incredible Grace; a God greeting everyone who enters with the open arms of One who’s Love truly is unfailing.

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I worship God because it benefits me, not Him. I worship Him because it glorifies God, not me. I worship God because I must, not because I can. And when I lead worship, all that I’m doing is merely holding the door open for you to come with me.

Peace, Sean Gutteridge

 

Today’s Scripture:

Hebrews 12:28-29

28Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire

Oswald Chambers: Preach The Cross

December 25th

“Preach the Cross, and the energy of God is let loose”

~ OZ Chambers

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All things must begin to center around Christ: All reason. All thought. All motive. All desire, conscious and sub – conscious alike. All hope. All purpose. All intentions. All life… period.

It sounds over simplified because it is. That’s because this is all we can handle. Every deep and profound thought (and all the simple ideas and everything in between) must have this at their core. They must originate from this place of reason and meaning.

 

Thinking in this manner will begin to take us beyond what we once were capable of grasping, helping us reach planes of thoughts formerly unattainable while breaking through paradigms of thought once thought out of reach. The Apostle Paul was a brilliant man outside of Christ. Inside Christ, he became far more simple; yet everyone of his Holy Spirit inspired letters had one common theme which he never deviated from: Christ died for Sinners; Christ rose for our sake; Christ has the power to transform, sanctify, redeem and save. It takes all of his letters to explain how this centered truth can, does and will effect the Christ – followers. He implores us not to deviate our thinking from the Cross while centering our lives around Christ and the Truth and Power of His Cross.

Tragedy strikes… Preach the Cross of Christ. Persecution and injustice arise… Preach the Cross. Preach the Cross of Jesus Christ… and watch how prayer without ceasing begins to manifest itself. Someone calls you a fool, an imbecile or even a heretic… Preach the Cross. Preach the Cross of Christ… and suddenly boasting in your accomplishments or worrying whether others value you or not seem infantile and silly. In every and all circumstances, Preaching the Cross of Christ brings weight and gravity into my world, where nothing else matters but preaching this again, and again, and again. The power of God will become uncontainable and unmistakable when we preach the Cross of Christ.

Peace, Sean Gutteridge

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Today’s Scripture:

2 Timothy 3:14-17

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it

15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

C. S. Lewis: His Demanding Attention

December 24th

“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world” ~ C.S. Lewis

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God demands my attention – not for His sake of being attended to but to see me grow and continue moving ever closer to Him. From my prostrated and humbled position I can recognize this fact while asking God to continually reveal Himself to me. It is a scary (and bold) request to make because God WILL accommodate me accordingly. His Word says “You have but to ask in my Name…” and “those who seek me, find me…” and God is always true to His Word.

The consistency I seek in my walk with the Lord stems from a burning desire (when I am of a right spiritual mind… a tenuous state at best) to react, seek and live consistently the same in every season of life regardless of circumstance. That’s not to say I want to be robotic and stiff in my faith. I long to feel and laugh and cry – God wired me this way. But I want to feel and share every one of these experiences with Him, just as I would a very trusted and close friend. I want to vent to Him. I want to listen to Him. I want also to hear Him and ultimately… respond to His compassionate wisdom. I can no more fool God by telling Him everything is fine, that I’m okay when in fact I’m not.

I sometimes wonder if God is hurt by the fact that I don’t share my greatest triumphs with Him FIRST. I may get around to thanking Him, but in celebration, is He the first one I turn to? What about my deepest sorrow and pain? It’s always easier to go to Him in these moments only because it doesn’t take me long to accept that there really is nowhere else to turn. God doesn’t want to be my last option in either case… He wants to be my first option. In fact, He really wants to be my only option – the option that I turn to time and again because I never even consider any OTHER option at all. I think it must surprise Him (or certainly hurts Him) when finally I DO turns to Him, but often in frustration, anger and even a twinge of resentment. My thinking is: if we’re so close and He loves me like He claims, how can this possibly happen? When clarity overcomes the cloudy mists of despair (and foolish thinking) I ashamedly understand that if I knew Him better then I would KNOW better. The hardships serve me far greater then the triumphs ever can. They not only reveal His character, but my own as well. God doesn’t want to simply help me through circumstances – good or bad – He wants to experience them with me. In so doing, we can abide together as He reveals even more about His nature and His deep affection for me, an affection that has been as consistent as the very thing that I certainly hope to have for Him someday.

Peace, Sean Gutteridge

 

Today’s Scripture:

James 4:10

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

 

 

Francis Bacon: The Waiting Game

December 23rd

“Whosoever is out of patience is out of possession of his soul.”

~ Francis Bacon

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I’ve never been the most patient person in the world. I get impatient waiting for my coffee from the Keurig to finish. Standing in any line annoys me. Waiting my turn drives me crazy. I want what I want, I want it now and I want to then be on my way.

We are such an “instant” society – micro waves, toasters and fast internet have destroyed us. In general, as a whole, we hate to wait. But every good thing worth learning or having is worth the wait and everything from God will require it. So while we may hate waiting, rest assured we will need to learn how to become patient and learn how to wait. Because this is one lesson God WILL teach us.

Find rest in the practice of waiting on God. We may find that we learn a great deal even while we are waiting. Sometimes, the Lord’s greatest lessons can be found and discovered in these times. And sometimes, God’s Holy Spirit can do great ministry through us while we wait in the check – out line.

Peace, Sean Gutteridge

 

Today’s Scripture:

Luke 21:19

19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.