Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us.

Ecclesiastes 7:3

 

Perhaps an unusual verse to share as a thought for the week but a profound truth.

 

We would rather be happy than sad, and yet there are times when God allows a sadness to come into our lives. Sometimes that sadness comes and passes  and other times it remains grinding away at our hearts. It’s often something we can’t  share with other people because it’s either too painful or just because no one understands. But God knows, and so through time we learn to lean our weight upon Him and trust Him with the pain of it all.

 

It’s all part of the refining process in a Christian’s life. Christ experienced it. He was known as the ‘man of sorrows and acquainted with grief’.  Why should life be all happy clappy and frivolous for those who truly follow Him?

 

The word says:

‘He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross ...  so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord.’

Malachi 3:3

 

See beyond your sadness to the purposes of God. Look at the work He is doing in your heart. He is bringing you into a place where you shall lean on Him. Take your sadness to Him. Bury yourself deep into the heart of God and find the comfort of His presence with you. Let the wound, the reason for your pain, be uncovered when you are in His presence and remember these reassuring words:

 

‘But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.’Job 23:10

 

Job was also able to say:

‘For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food.’

Job 23:11-12

 

Despite your sadness or difficulties let these words be true for you. Don’t allow the circumstances to alter the course of your life. Stay the path, let sheer determination set in. Our God is able! He sent forth an angel to strengthen the Christ in Gethsemane, He will send you help from His sanctuary just when you need it most. Trust Him.

 

‘He will send help from heaven to rescue me, disgracing those who hound me.  My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.’

Psalm 57:3


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


And I will give you the keys.’

Matt 16:19

 

These words spoken to Peter were words that held tremendous power. The privilege was given to him to open the floodgates of the church on the day of Pentecost; to preach the first sermon amongst the believers and to lead on that occasion over 3,000 souls into the kingdom. (Acts 2).

 

If the Lord Jesus Christ were to give you keys, I wonder what you would want them to open. The heart of a loved one, a new career change or the secret numbers for the lottery each week!

 

If you were to give a set of house keys to someone, for instance, you would make sure that they were a trustworthy and reliable person. You wouldn’t leave them with someone who would treat your possessions badly or leave your place insecure.

 

I do believe there is a place where God entrusts us with spiritual keys. He gives us the ability to unlock the secrets of the heart of God: to win a soul into the deeps;  bring one the beauty of Christ; to lead a soul to the place of cleansing and salvation or into the fire and power of the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

 

What a privilege it would be if He would whisper in our hearts ‘And I will give you the keys.’ What an honour it would be to receive them, to feel the weight of responsibility coming upon us. These spiritual keys are never given casually to anyone.  They require a deep commitment and trust in God.

 

So often in the work of God we try to open doors without keys. We want to speak to a soul, we don’t wait and receive the keys in prayer, we just barge straight in. Sometimes, we try a new venture for God, but unless we wait in prayer first, and are handed the keys, our work will be hard work and fruitless.

 

Let’s learn to wait on Him, to hear His command before we go forward with great gusto. Wait for that wonderful moment when you know He has handed you the mantle, the responsibility, the anointing and whispers ‘now is the time’. How effective the work of God would be! How the church would prosper and how we would be blessed.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” And instantly I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it.

Revelation 4:1-2

 

Does this not appeal to you? An open door and a voice saying ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this’. It seemed to appeal to John for instantly he found himself looking at what was happening through the doorway.

 

It’s the beginning of a new year and in some ways we are standing at an open door. None of us really know what this year holds, but God. Perhaps that’s for the best. It might be a year of tremendous happiness or sadness, health or illness, pleasure or worry, who knows! But what we do know is that for the Christian our life is in the hands of One who knows all things, from the beginning even unto the end. Our life is perfectly mapped out for us and as long as we are willing to place ourselves in His hands and walk with Him we know that nothing we encounter will be too great for us. He knows each day of this year. He knows the grind, the wearisome times and all the pleasures we hope for too. Each day and each moment planned by His hand; perfected with His presence.

 

We can either waste this year or use it for His glory. We can either fritter away our time on meaningless pleasures or use our time for Him. Sometimes hours just go by and we wonder what on earth we’ve done with our time.

 

Let’s take time at the beginning of the year and hand over every moment into His hand and pray that He will make us useful and productive. As we look through that open door we might see days and hours of walking with God, of abiding in His presence, of making the most of each given moment like a precious jewel that will never be given to us again.

 

Abiding in His presence throughout the year will bring us the happiness, the calm and the presence of mind we need. As you look through the open door at 2018, hand the year over to Him, commit it all into His hands and pray that His will in your life shall be done on earth as it is in heaven.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


“I delight to see how orderly you are. “ Col 2:5

 

Yesterday, on the 1st of January, I had to go out in the car and on my short journey, I passed more people walking, jogging and cycling than I’ve seen all year. Folks were obviously trying to begin their new year the way they hoped to continue it!

 

It reminded me of this verse I read in Colossians. Paul delighted in the orderliness and peaceful, godly lives of these Christians. Satan brings chaos, fear and disorder whilst God’s Holy Spirit brings calm, strength, peace and self control.

 

I think most of us long for peace and orderliness in our lives with the odd bit of excitement thrown in.  Satan tries to create chaos all the time so everything we do or experience becomes chaos, a disaster waiting to happen.

 

Take time at the beginning of this New Year to rid yourself of the inward chaos and to fill yourself with the inner peace of Christ. As you declutter your homes after the Christmas season, declutter your minds and spirit too. Make room for the Spirit of God to bring order into your lives.

 

Spend some moments of quiet with Christ at the beginning of each day and commit your life into His hands. Pray for orderliness and quiet calm to face your day. Pray for strength that you will be able to accept all your circumstances.

 

Satan disturbs and upsets bringing worry and anxiety. Christ does the total opposite. He brings peace in every situation, an inner quiet calm and an ability to cope with any difficulty we face.

 

‘For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.’

1 Corinthians 14:33

 

Let’s start 2018 the way we mean to go on with this spiritual practice of orderliness and peace. No matter what age or stage we are at in our walk with God we can seek to bring peace into our chaotic world.


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


‘He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the Cross.’ Col 2:15

No one likes to be made a public spectacle. No one that I know enjoys being humiliated in front of others and we would consider it unkind to laugh at someone else who was publicly humiliated. We would even stifle our smirks and laughter in such a situation!

Christ did something apparently unkind. He made a public spectacle of our enemy, Satan. He did it before the whole world, turning His Cross into a chariot that would lead us into eternal life.

He did it through His poverty stricken birth to a virgin, a stable for a home and a feeding trough for a cot. He did it when He healed the sick, raised the dead and confounded the arrogant with His phenomenonal teaching.

But most of all He did it on the Cross when He disarmed the powers of darkness. Whilst others shook their heads and railed Him as they passed by He was defeating and disarming all the power of the enemy.

He made a public spectacle of Satan who had done his worst, summoned all the powers at his command, rallied every darkness he could muster and was defeated by a single blow from the Son of God.

Christ came forth from the tomb pristine in strength, glorious and powerful.

At His birth:

The Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.‘

John 1:14

Now He is described as one who:

‘Held seven stars in His right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from His mouth. And His face was like the sun in all its brilliance. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if I were dead. But He laid His right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.‘

Revelation 1:16-18

The babe that entered the world to defeat the powers of darkness is now described as being ‘like the sun in all its brilliance.’ The babe that angels heralded, shepherds rushed to visit and astrologers from the east travelled  to worship, is now described as being incredibly powerful. Christ caused John, His beloved disciple, to fall at His feet as one dead. He is  awesome in His majesty.

The fragile babe whom the evil King Herod tried to destroy, whom men took and crucified is now described as  ‘alive forever and ever!’

He has made a public spectacle of Satan. Though our enemy has done his worst yet our Lord has overcome and is now triumphant in the heavens.

As we worship this Christmas let us remember not only the babe in the manger but the power He demonstrated against the devil.  He is now seated at the right hand of the Father on high. We have much to be grateful for!

Wishing all who read these thoughts a very happy and peace filled Christmas. God bless,

Diana


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'I want you to know how much I am struggling ...'  Col 2:1

 

Don't we all struggle from time to time? It's a huge comfort to know that even Paul the greatest apostle struggled. He says:

 

'When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside. But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus.'

2 Corinthians 7:5-6

 

What a description: no rest, conflict in every direction, battles on the outside and fears within. It certainly doesn't describe the life of utter peace and contentment. Did it have something to do with the spiritual forces of Macedonia or perhaps the next breakthrough Paul would have in preaching the gospel? He didn't know and neither do we but what we do know is that 'God encourages the discouraged.'

 

Are you struggling and discouraged? God shall encourage you. He will send someone or something at just the right time to cheer your soul.

 

Don't drown in your struggles. Don't allow Satan to push you under. At just the right moment:

 

'Your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.'

Isaiah 58:8


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.' John 1:5

 

This is a lovely verse in connection with the Christ Child's birth. It explains how light shone from eternity into the darkness of the hearts of men bringing peace and joy. But Christ did so much more than bring us a nice feeling at Christmas time. We read:

 

'In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities.' Colossians 2:15

 

Christ disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities - Satan and his forces. To disarm means to render defenceless. Christ took away Satan's power, He rendered him defenceless or made him powerless. The light from this small infant caused the whole world to be turned round because light could never be extinguished by darkness.

 

No wonder Christmas is such a special time of year for Christians. We not only rejoice in the fact the Son has been given but in the fact He has changed the whole course in the spiritual and physical world. Now we too have the opportunity of allowing light to extinguish our darkness, our confusion, our mess and our sin.

 

'This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.'

Colossians 1:6

 

It is indeed Good News! He is changing lives and wonder of wonders we are included in this greatest story ever told. We are not reading about someone from the past but about someone who is affecting our lives and the choices we are making today. That small infant has brought light into the world that even time cannot extinguish. We cannot truly understand or explain why the birth of an infant born over 2000 years ago should have such a profound effect on our lives today unless there was something special about that little one. His Light has gone on shining and has touched ours!

 

With every Christmas card you write or carol you sing let's give Him praise that His Light can never ever be extinguished, no matter how small the light or how great the darkness.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


‘Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.'  Colossians 2:8

What a practical, down to earth word from Paul.

I sometimes think of the enormous task that faced Paul as he travelled around and presented Christian teachings to people for the first time. I mean, where do you start? And when do you decide they have learned enough and were established enough to carry on without you so you can move on and begin somewhere else. No wonder he wrote so many letters to try and help keep them on the right track.

I think our task today in the church is almost as great. We often speak to people who have grown up with the old old story and they're not interested because they know it all.  What is equally as bad is the empty philosophies and high sounding nonsense that is infiltrating our churches today.

I love the spiritual, mystical world but I also love the down to earth practical reality of the Christian life. Let's not allow ourselves to become fixed with empty philosophies. I used to have an old minister who would say 'If it doesn't work don't do it'. He was a practical man. If, in a small Christian group, singing sounded terrible he would say don't have it! But he was also a man who knew the power of God and saw thousands saved and baptised in the Holy Spirit. There were no empty philosophies! It worked. Lives were changed.

It needs to work for us too. To say we believe in something means we need to see the practical fulfilment of it. If it's just high sounding nonsense it won't have any impact on others’ spiritual lives.

There are two main trains of thought that I know work. These are not empty philosophies or high sounding nonsense.  If you apply them in your life they'll work for you too. They are practical yet spiritual and can lead you into a place of fruitful service to God.

The first: always stay near the Cross; make it central in your Christian experience. Come daily to the Cross for forgiveness and cleansing. Learn to live there committing everything into His hands.

The second: live a clean life, for purity and power go hand in hand. If we lead a pure, holy life at the Cross we will always see fruitfulness in our service to God. This brings us into a depth of satisfaction that is beyond anything earth can give.

Keep to the word of God. You read in this verse that high minded nonsense and empty philosophies come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world. These latter two combined are having a devastating effect on our Christian church.

Satan is out to destroy the Church of Christ. He is using spiritual powers in this world to get into the thinking of men. He is so changing the way we think that we are no longer shocked at sin. There is only one way to combat his influence and that is by holding fast to what we know is true.

Let's not be philosophers, with empty clever words about what we believe. Recognise high minded nonsense for what it is, live in the light of truth and stay true to the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

Ephesians 1:18

It's a lovely thought to be 'flooded with light'.

When a room is flooded with light everything in the room is clearly seen. All the nooks and crannies, all the dust and grime too!

When the Holy Spirit floods us with light then we can see clearly. We begin to understand the purposes of God, verses of the Bible are illumined and sermons are more clearly understood. Light also makes us feel brighter, happier and best of all purer. When light floods into the corners of our life we have no hidden agenda and no secret wrong feelings. Christ has come into every aspect of our lives.

All is clear and out in the open before God and men. This leads us into that 'confident hope' Paul speaks of in this verse.

We meet so many people who are afraid, anxious or worried. This is not God's way. He didn't create us to live under the shadow of fear. He wants to give us confident hope. This happens when we allow His light to flood every part of our being from our mind, emotions, spirit and body. It's a wonderful experience and one to be sought after until it becomes our way of life.

People who do this are described in this verse as being 'rich and glorious'. Does this in anyway describe your spiritual existence? Are you rich and glorious, even sometimes?

Well, it can be yours if you apply the first part of this verse to yourself. Light brings confidence which in turn brings richness. It's your choice! The opposite, darkness brings fear which brings spiritual poverty. I know which one I want!

God bless you in your search to find peace and contentment.


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Phil 4:7

The peace of God is described in two different ways in this verse. Firstly, it is higher than our mind and thoughts, it transcends our thoughts. Secondly, it acts like a guard around our hearts and minds. So, let's look at what these mean in every day life.

To transcend our understanding means to go beyond the limit of our understanding. We are dependent on what we see and hear. Our understanding is limited  but God's is infinite. As Christians, we need to be open to a greater understanding than our human mind can give us; our spirit needs to be open and trust even when we have limited understanding. In other words, there may be a difficult situation, perhaps a job interview ahead of you, but somehow you're filled with an incredible peace. You know you should be anxious about it but somehow you just can't worry. A miracle has taken place and the peace of God has transcended your own thoughts. We need to learn to look for this regularly in our lives, keeping our spirit open to the touch of His spirit, teaching us how to react and respond correctly. When anxiety, fear and worry would normally eat you up and send your blood pressure through the roof, learn to rest in God and trust He will show you the way through. Pray about the difficulty and then leave it with Him. He is big enough to take care of you.

The second part of this verse is linked to the first. The temptation comes to all of us to be afraid and worry about someone. The peace of God acts as a guard around our mind (thoughts) to stop it running away like an out of control express train. It acts as a guard around the thoughts of our hearts by helping us to hand over our affections and our loved ones to God, trusting that He is able to look after them and help them.

When a person is peaceful then they are calm, relaxed and happy. It's what happened to Peter and John when they were in prison. Despite fearful circumstances they were able to sing and praise God. Peace had transcended their minds and hearts, and as a result they were kept in perfect peace.

We may not get thrown into jail this week, at least I hope not, but we have a wonderful opportunity of putting this fabulous verse into practice in our own lives. In the smallest of detail, let Him keep you in perfect peace. When you feel in despair or even slightly anxious about something or someone put God's peace up like a guard around you and feel the strength of Him who could sleep through a storm.

'Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.'

Matthew 8:24


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


Do not be anxious about anything. Phil 4:6

 

What a command! Let's practise it this week.

 

Like the Jews, write this law on your forehead and on your doorposts and practise it throughout the day. Refuse to let anxiety touch your mind or spirit. Why? Not because we bury our head in the sand or ignore our problems and hope they go away but because we choose to face our difficulties with the calmness and strength of Christ knowing that He will provide a way out where there is no way.

 

We are not called into a fairy tale world of pretend glory and happiness but into the reality of the presence of God. It is our inheritance to get to know the One who cares and fully understands  the smallest details of our lives.

 

To ignore problems is only foolish, they won't go away on their own, although they may appear to do so for a while. Face up to the difficulties in life, but without anxiety, that gnawing worry that gets into your mind and prevents you from being relaxed and happy.

 

So today, do not be anxious about ANYTHING! It doesn't matter what it is, how great or small. Trust our great God who is able to undertake for each one of us and sort out every difficulty and problem we meet. Leave all in His hands, knowing that no matter the situation He is able.


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 'I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.' Phil 4: 11

Herein lies the secret to happiness; learning to be content no matter the circumstances in life.

Content means peaceful happiness. It's good for our wellbeing, for our physical and mental health to be content.

Content because we have handed our lives over to God so whatever happens must be for a reason. Content because He can bring something good out of anything bad. Content because we trust Him with our whole lives but also with each minute of it too. Content because we are learning to rest in Christ our Saviour knowing that the changing power belongs to Him.

Learn to be content in the smallest of difficulties so that when big problems come along, you continue to rest in the knowledge that Christ is in control and you can maintain that peaceful happiness.

Content with our home, our family, even the crying baby, our job, our health, our finances, our church, our spiritual life and the list of jobs we have to do today. Content with the small things in life: the roadworks, the frosty mornings when you have to scrape your car, when you sleep in and have to rush to work.

Make choices today. When someone irritates you at work - be content. When someone cuts in front of you when you're driving - be content. By choosing peaceful happiness instead of annoyance, irritation or stress we will learn to abide in His presence. It will force our minds to turn back to Him again and again throughout the day and we will find ourself in a better place spiritually by the end of it.

We don't find this happens for us overnight. Paul said he had learned to be content.  We have to practice it. It's called practising the presence of God. Try it! You'll find a new level of strength in your spirit as you learn to rest content whatever the circumstances.

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 5:25


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 'If there be therefore ...  any comfort of love?'

Phil 2:1

 

Last week my thought was on encouragement, this week, it's on comfort.

 

Comfort means 'ease from physical pain' or 'the alleviation of a person's feelings of grief or distress.'

 

The comfort of God is profoundly perfect. It comes to us at just the right moment of time; He speaks the most perfect words into our soul with just the right intonation in His voice. It relieves our distress immediately.

 

On the other hand, human comfort is not quite so perfect. First of all, it's sporadic and is dependant on the feelings and sympathies of the person giving it! Secondly, people don't always understand how we feel or why we feel that way and the comforting words they offer are sometimes inaccurate. Thirdly, human comfort can have a weakening effect on us. We begin to feel sorry for ourselves because others think we are having a hard time and we agree with them!

 

It's always nice to have people's sympathies rather than their criticisms but when you have experienced the comfort of God there is nothing quite like it.

 

There is a verse in Song of Solomon 5:13:

'His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers; his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.'

 

This suggests something of the beauty of the words of Christ. Words, perfect words, that drop into our soul. Words that calm the storm within our soul, that bring quiet to our anxious thoughts or comfort in our distress.  These words are sweet smelling; like the scent of flowers on a summer evening they are just right. Not an overwhelming perfume that leaves you feeling giddy but a gentle fragrance that has the scent of heaven in it.

 

He is the Word of God; therefore His words are perfect, like sweet flowers.

 

Are you in need of comfort? Do you look for it and find you are disappointed because others just don't quite understand. Turn to that One who is the fairest amongst ten thousand and He will not disappoint in any way. He will speak comforting words into your soul that you will never forget for the rest of your days. They will have a profound affect on you because His love is outstanding. He knows better than any other your thoughts and feelings exactly. His words will bring comfort and delight to the very centre of your being. They will drop right into the aching part within you and ease all your distress.

 

'In the multitude of my thoughts within me, Thy comforts delight my soul.'

Psalm 94:19


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ?'

Philippians 2:1

 

The answer to this question is yes, Yes, YES! All the encouragement we shall ever need is in Him.

 

Then why do Christians become despondent or discouraged? Why does the minister have a long queue of problems on a Sunday or endless phone calls from people needing help?

It's because we don't turn to Christ when we should. In Him is all the fullness of the Godhead; abundant life; peace that passes understanding and courage to face the most horrendous of situations. In fact, in Christ is every answer that is ever required for the human heart. He is perfect in His ability to help us. He understands you better than anyone else ever will, no matter how often you try to explain how you feel.

 

Turn to Him today and find your shadows flee in His light. He will lighten your path and comfort you in the midst of your storm. Then it doesn't matter how difficult things are, you will find encouragement.

 

To be encouraged means to receive confidence, support and hope. Isn't that what we all need? Confidence to face every problem with a quiet calm. Support, knowing that someone is beside you the entire time and you never stand alone. Hope, knowing He can make a way where there is no way.

 

Be encouraged today because He is with you! Let your head be lifted up and let Christ be your glory.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'He hath made us accepted in His Beloved.'

Ephesians 1:6

 

Christ is the most beloved of the Father. There is no one who is loved more than Christ. He is far beyond any in integrity, purity, honesty and power. To know Christ is better than knowing any famous person or even royalty, for He is King of Kings.

 

The mystery that we are accepted in this One is almost too big for our tiny minds to contend with. Not only does He welcome us into His presence but He cares for us and wraps His arms round us in protection. He so envelopes us in Himself that we are secure, safe and yes accepted into Him.

 

You know what it's like when a friend comes to visit you in your home. If they are a very close friend then you accept them. You won't stand on ceremony because they are just part of the family. So it is with us in Christ. He won't hold us at a distance and treat us like a visitor. We are part of the family; accepted and belonging to Him.

 

As you go through your week amidst the business, stress, confusions, bewilderment or even relaxation, remember you are accepted and loved in the Well Beloved. A lovely thought that will hold us close to Him all week.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'But the Lord is my defense, and my God is the rock of my refuge.' Psalm 94:22

 

There are times when things go wrong. There can be a misunderstanding or we feel crushed by circumstances. Each one goes through a range of emotions during such a time from hurt, to fear, losing confidence or even anger. The Psalmist speaks of this:

 

'In the multitude of my thoughts within me...' (v19)

 

There is often a jumble of thoughts and reactions a bit like our weather system; sometimes pouring and next minute sunny! This verse from the Psalms can be very helpful at such a time.

 

Firstly, He is our defence. We don't need to justify or explain ourselves to anyone. We don't need to even justify it to ourselves or mull it over in anger. The situation has happened. You have been judged rightly or wrongly. Words  have been said or action taken that cannot be changed no matter how you feel. But God is our defence. Come and sit behind His wall. It's a place of safety from everyone and everything. There is no need for words to justify or explain, there is no need for the hot indignation that you feel. He is, He understands. He knew it would happen before it did. Even though:

 

'The archers have sorely grieved him (you), and shot at him (you), and hated him (you).' Genesis 49:23

 

It doesn't matter. There is now a solid wall of protection. He is our defence.

 

Secondly, He is our rock. All these turbulent feelings inside are soothed when we rest on Him. Learn to leave the troubling thoughts, feelings and circumstances on the Rock. It's strong enough! You'll feel the benefit of just resting your whole weight on Him and letting Him carry you through the difficulties. They might not change but you will find rest from it all. Like Joseph, despite difficulties you will find your way through. Trust your God He is bigger than the biggest problem.

 

'But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob, from thence is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel, The blessings of thy father have prevailed ...  they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.'  Genesis 49:24,26


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


“The king should know that we went to the construction site of the Temple of the great God in the province of Judah. It is being rebuilt with specially prepared stones, and timber is being laid in its walls. The work is going forward with great energy and success." Ezra 5:8-11

The Temple of the great God is being rebuilt with specially prepared stones. That's you and me! We are like stones that shall be perfect; perfect quality, perfect size, perfect structure and will fit together in perfect unity.

"And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple." 1 Peter 2:5

What a privilege to be part of His great construction work. All over the world the Holy Spirit is constructing the temple of God - the church. He is making her ready. What the Spirit of God is doing in your heart He is doing right now in someone's heart at the opposite end of the world. We are privileged to be part of His great plan.

There were those in Ezra's day who tried to prevent the building of the Temple and today there are those who will try to do the same. They will try and bring about the downfall, create imperfections, leave scars so that God's Temple isn't perfect and strong.

But we have One who watches over us who will ensure the work goes on. Nothing will prevent the building of the church - not persecution or slander. It will steadily grow until all over the world billions of Christians are ready and waiting for the coming of Christ.

When you become discouraged, disillusioned or despondent with your spiritual life look at the bigger picture. When you have no more strength to go on carrying your burdens others will! When you run out of energy others will rise to fill in the gaps. We are to be perfectly set together. All over the world this construction work is going on and you have to be found faithful in your small part until we rise as a mighty host to give glory to our God.

On that day we shall be glad we have been faithful when we see Him face to face.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 'The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain, and the presses will overflow with new wine and olive oil.' Joel 2:24

There are summer seasons of blessing in the Christian experience and winter seasons of barrenness and even blight. Whatever the season for you just now, the promises of God remain intact. He doesn't make false promises and His word never lies! So whether things are frugal or overflowing in abundance for you, stand on the promises of God that will one day be fulfilled.

This verse was a promise I recently received and wasn't fulfilled in the way I expected. However, I've been on the Christian road a long  time and I know when my Lord speaks. He will fulfil His word, possibly in a way I least expect, but it will happen.

Dont we long to see the threshing floor (the church) piled high with grain (souls)? Don't we long for the abundance of a plentiful harvest?

May God grant that we will keep watching, waiting and praying for the rich blessing of His hand and a plentiful harvest once again.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 'Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.'  1 Corinthians 13:7

The kernel of our faith is tied up in this verse and applies to everyone of us who chooses to follow Christ.

'Love never gives up' - we will never throw in the towel. We will never turn round and say 'stuff it!' We must always press on!

'Never lose faith' - never stop believing no matter how difficult the circumstances or trying the situation. We will always choose to believe that somehow God will bring something good out of our situation.

'Always hopeful' - always hoping that our circumstances will improve that they won't be like this forever. Always keeping our eye on the light at the end of the tunnel even when there appears to be no light. Trusting God is in our present situation and knows exactly what's happening.

'Endures through every circumstance.' I think this is the best of all. We have no excuse to fall away or blame another for our bad choices because we are meant to be able to endure through every situation. Endure means to suffer patiently. It's what the early disciples did right up to their last breath. It's what we are called to do.

Therefore pressing on, trusting, believing hoping and enduring needs to become the motto of our lives.

Let us go forward into a new week determined to live and breathe such.  With every step you take and every breath go on trusting hoping believing and enduring.

'“But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold."' Job 23:10


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 'When you hear the blast of the trumpet, rush to wherever it is sounding. Then our God will fight for us!'  Nehemiah 4:20

There are times when the Lord sounds a 'trumpet' in our hearts. Sometimes it's a warning note and other times it can be like an announcement. Whatever the reason for the sound of the trumpet it's to draw our attention and to make us stop what we are doing and listen.

My attention was drawn to this verse by the preacher on Sunday morning. It came in a very positive way to me; a sense of the move of God in a particular locality in which I am involved. I was much encouraged and plan to follow my instinct and get involved in this work. I love when there is the stirring of God. It can be described in different ways, for example in 1 Chronicles 14:15 we read:

'When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the poplar trees, go out and attack! That will be the signal that God is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army.'

Again the alarm is being sounded, God is making an announcement and the people of God have to be ready.

How sad in our day that so many Christians walk around with deaf ears. They aren't switched on enough to hear the sound of the trumpet or the marching of feet. They are so self absorbed that the move of God is of little interest to them. That's why God calls His servants to announce the going of God.

Isaiah 21:6: 'Meanwhile, the Lord said to me, “Put a watchman on the city wall. Let him shout out what he sees."'

This morning I'm shouting to you. I've heard the sound of the going of God. He's on the move and I'm calling to Christians everywhere to wake up and pay attention. Listen for the sound of that trumpet and let's be about our Father's business.