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.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'But because their God was watching over them...' Ezra 5:5

A warming thought: our God is watching over us. It makes us feel safe and secure to know there is One greater and wiser who watches over us all of the time.

This verse comes in the middle of the book of Ezra at a time when the temple was being restored. It depicts what God wants to do in our own lives: to rebuild and restore them, a work the enemy of souls isn't very happy about! There were those who weren't too happy in Ezra's day either:

“Who gave you permission to rebuild this Temple and restore this structure?” Ezra 5:3

The enemy of souls isn't too happy when individuals begin to be rebuilt and restored to what Adam first had with God. He hates to see us living in harmony with our great Creator and will do his utmost to destroy our confidence in our God. Through the work of the Holy Spirit our lives are rebuilt. He teaches us concerning the things of Christ and we become a work under construction. We read in Ezra 5:8:

'The work is going forward with great energy and success.'

Does this describe your growth in your spiritual life? Are you being reconstructed with great energy and success? It takes time to rebuild something and it also takes great energy. If we want to be strong Christians then we need to endeavour to listen, obey and change. Once we are well on the road to being rebuilt and restored then we are able to help others who are seeking the same help. There comes a confidence because like those in Ezra's day we know:

'We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the Temple.' Ezra 5:11

Let's get on with the job at hand! Today, and every day, live life carefully, embracing every opportunity to listen to instruction and change your life. You will then be like that temple of long ago. You will be rebuilt in Christ and live to serve Him.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'The Lord took hold of me.' Ezekiel 37:1

 

There are times in our lives when the Lord takes hold of us. It's as if He grips our spiritual being so we are not free to be ourselves but belong to Him and under His command in a particular way.

 

It's a fearful and wonderful place to be in, when we're held by His power, that's when we see things happen! His anointing is strongly on us and others are affected.

 

'Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley.' Ezekiel 37:7

 

Ezekiel was in that place: gripped by God. He saw the move of God's power right across the valley. It happened without any human effort or strain, just a few words from his lips and WOW, a great rattling of bones coming together and the miraculous happening before his eyes!

 

Don't you long to be gripped by God in this way? Don't you long that with little human effort you shall see the Lord move powerfully through your life and the miraculous happening before you?

What is the answer? How does it happen?

 

Ezekiel was an exile in Babylon. His situation wasn't great but it didn't affect his relationship with God. Despite the fact he had been deported along with thousands of others he held on to his faith and suddenly, in the midst of great difficulties, God was there and laid hold of him.

 

It's the secret to spiritual success, that no matter our circumstances in life, we keep our eyes on Christ, our hearts open to the Spirit of God. Perchance He will lay hold of us.

 

We can't make it happen. We can't make God do anything but we can be willing, open, obedient and faithful. The rest is His to do and ours to receive.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.' 1 Corinthians 4:20

 

It's not a bunch of old wives tales you know! It's the changing power of the Living God. Christianity is based on the words of Jesus Christ.

 

Jesus said, 'Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.' Mark 13:31

 

It's not just a lot of talk!

 

How many words do you know from famous world leaders: Napoleon, Churchill, Hitler to name a few?  Not very many I'm sure, perhaps the odd quote here or there.

 

Yet the words of Christ have been passed down the generations, read by billions of people every day, meditated on, quoted, used in prayer, in songs, read in churches, used on the internet, TV and radio all over the world. They are the subject of politicians today. Even this week I read of a petition wanting to change the words of Christ to make them  more acceptable for certain groups in our liberal society.

 

Yet, it's not just a lot of words! The words of Jesus are only words after all but it's the effect and power of His words.

 

All over the world today there are to date 2.2 billion people who follow the words of Jesus and are discovering not only the truth of what He said but the living power behind the words. 2.2 billion people claiming that Christ has changed their lives!

 

Think on this fact! A man who lived over 2000 years ago, who taught for only 3 years,  who never wrote a book, who never had a microphone to draw big crowds, who never used a national flag for His banner, who never led an army or fought a battle but who died a criminal's death by crucifixion has had a bigger impact on this world by His words than any other individual who has ever lived.

 

He has affected more people than anyone else in any given time. It can't just be a lot of words! It must be real!

 

This week, take time to read His words, to follow what He has said and to live out the reality of this faith. Then you will discover it's not just a lot of talk but the power of the Living God to change even you.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 'Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.' Zechariah 4:10

 

I remember someone giving me this verse at the beginning of the Cumbernauld Church work whilst slipping £100 into my hands. She quoted 'mighty oaks grow from small acorns.'

 

I believed her but more importantly I believed God! I believed He would do it, He would bring souls into our small house group and cause them to belong to our church family.

 

Like David, I can truly say:

“The Lord did it!” David exclaimed. “He burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” 2 Samuel 5:20

 

It's wonderful to acknowledge when God has done something. A bit like last week's story with the ten lepers. He has taken a small house group and turned it into a church in full operation. The Lord has done it!

 

We have another small beginning as we have just bought a building  in Newmains. This time we feel an excitement. We have seen God bursting through in His mighty power already and establishing a church and here we are again. We wait to see what He will do.

 

Have you a small beginning somewhere? Maybe you have a new career that you want to follow; a youth work you run or a small house group.

 

He won't despise your small beginnings even though others might look on and laugh. He won't despise your hopes and plans.  Let your hope be in Him. Confide in Him, tell Him your dreams and hopes, and wait to see what your Father will do as you faithfully endeavour to plant your small acorn.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 'And one of them when he saw that he was healed, turned back and with a loud voice glorified God.' Luke 17:15

Many of us have just returned from several weeks of attending a church conference with around 500 people in attendance. We were blessed by wonderful congregational singing, interesting sermons from a variety of preachers, rich times of ministry and worship and best of all a wonderful overshadowing of the presence of God.

We prayed hard for these conferences, like the lepers in the story:

'And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”' (V13).

Let us make sure we come back to say thank you for all His answers to our prayers.

I think, this is one of the few stories in the Bible where our Lord is disappointed. He was so surprised and let down by the nine who didn't return to say thank you.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, remember to say thank you to our Lord Jesus Christ. No matter how small the issue is or how great your problem has been remember He deserves a thank you. Let us come with loud voices and glorify our God for His goodness to us. In our case 500 people should be coming to say thank you! Perhaps you aren't associated with our fellowship; perhaps you stand alone in service to God or are part of a different group? Whoever you are and wherever you are, come today and give thanks to God and to His Christ for all that He has done.

'And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many... saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength, and honor and glory and blessing!”'  Revelation 5:11-12


Thought for the week by Rev Kenny Borthwick

by Struthers Cumbernauld


It has been a wonderful privilege to preach at Struthers Cumbernauld Church since I had to retire from full time ministry with the Church of Scotland due to health problems. It may interest you to know that from a preacher’s point of view, there are churches that are difficult to preach in and churches that are easy to preach in.  Struthers, in all its branches I am sure, most definitely falls into the latter category.

What makes the difference? Well, in the Old Testament we are told in various places to “wait” for the Lord. One of the words used in the Psalms for waiting actually means “to set an ambush.” The picture being suggested to us, is of trying to attract an animal that we intend to capture. What do you do to ensure that? You either create conditions or seek and search for the conditions that are likely to attract the animal you are seeking and wait there patiently and quietly and with alertness to the slightest sound or sight of the animal you seek approaching. At such a moment, you become extra careful to make sure you do nothing to scare the animal away.

It is a mystery beyond human words or logic, that although God’s presence is by definition everywhere, there are times and places where His Spirit falls, comes down, in a particular way and in unusual measure. God is sovereign, free to do whatever He wants at any time and need give no explanation for granting or withholding His favour, but at the same time in His Word, the Bible, He has made it clear that there are certain scents that attract His attention and draw forth His intended blessing.

I have a few ideas as to what it is about Struthers that attracts God’s attention in a manifest way, but I am too much a new comer, after a long absence, to venture what I think these things are!

Rather I want to just mention one or two things that Scripture makes clear God notices, for you to think about for yourself as an individual believer.

Do you remember the story of the ten lepers who came to Jesus? As they went on their way after meeting Him, they were all healed, but only one, and in a sense the one who would have been least expected to do so, came back to Jesus and gave thanks. Jesus noted that both positively and negatively. Negatively He noticed that nine were missing and commented upon that fact. Positively He commends the one who returned to give thanks and glory to God. God is forever who He has revealed Himself to be in Jesus Christ. He notices thankfulness which we offer Him for His goodness toward us.

There is something else that He seems to notice and be drawn to. It is almost an extension of “Thanksgiving.” You could perhaps call it  “Extreme Thanksgiving.” What do I mean? I mean living for God and thanking Him when as yet no help from heaven seems to have arrived, praising God at times when an onlooker might reasonably suggest to us we have nothing to thank or praise God for. Praise at such a time merits the label “A sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving”. The promise of the Bible is that when we offer that to God, He sees in that a prepared road along which He may travel toward us to help us, save us and deliver us. Psalm 50 verse 23 puts it like this:

“Whoever offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving glorifies me, and prepares his way so that I will show God's salvation to him.”

So let’s try and wait for God in the place of favourable conditions. Let’s offer Thanksgiving and the Sacrifice of Thanksgiving to Him in every changing season we may live through.

God Bless

Kenny Borthwick


Thought for the week by Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 'So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.' Ephesians 1:6

After a very hot and sticky climb yesterday in the Norwegian mountains we were very glad to get to our accommodation for cool showers.

Imagine standing under a shower of glorious grace. We can get very hot and sticky from our spiritual walk and there's always a shower of glorious grace waiting to pour on us if we are willing to come to Him. All we have to do is take time out to receive.

Contained in that shower is 'every spiritual blessing' (v1).

Need I say more? Everything you need is there. Take time this week to stand under the waterfalls of God.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 'Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime.' John 4:6

 

It's a comfort to know that our Lord grew weary too. He had just walked a long way in very hot, dusty conditions and he was more than a little tired.

Have you had a long walk in difficult circumstances? Are you also weary? Then find a well where you can sit and rest. We are not meant to keep going until we are absolutely exhausted and can't cope anymore. God will find somewhere for us to rest.

There will be a well just for you.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 'I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him.' Psalm 62:1

Waiting quietly before God is important and essential . We so often try and take things into our own hands, make things happen, win our battles, change circumstances but the psalmist waits quietly before God.

 

Why? Because he had recognised that victory comes from the very heart of God. God alone can turn impossible circumstances around. All he had to do was wait quietly for it to happen.

 

Learn to wait quietly before God. He knows what you need even before you ask. Wait for victory; wait for circumstances to change; wait quietly; wait confidently; wait patiently.

 

Victory, even now, is on its way to you. So wait on the Lord.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 'Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.”'

Mark 6:31

Find a quiet place this week and rest awhile.

In the gospel we read;

'He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.'

Find time to stop your comings and goings. Find time to rest and to be quiet. The devil makes us busy, the Lord leads us into rest.

'This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved.' Isaiah 30:15

Resting in God means casting every burden, every care upon Him, learning to let go of all our worries and trusting that He can carry everything for you.


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 'I lift up my eyes to the mountains.' Psalm 121:1,2

We are very lucky in Cumbernauld, and in fact across North Lanarkshire, to be able to see the hills from almost anywhere.

I love the hills for lots of reasons: the sense of wide open space, the quietness, being close to nature, the sound of birdsong, being able to see for miles, the feeling of getting away from it all - to name but a few. All of these help to bring me closer to God.

We are all very fortunate to have such a beautiful world at our fingertips. Wherever we look, even in the big city, there are signs of nature all around us. They bring us calm in the midst of chaos; a connection with nature, with the Creator.

All these things help to preserve our inner peace. They bring us closer to our Lord Jesus Christ. He considered the lilies and the sparrow that falls to the ground. If these things spoke to Him of His Heavenly Father and the Kingdom of God then they should also speak to us.

Today, no matter how busy or bored you are. Lift your eyes and find the help you need to abide in Christ.

'Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. V2


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


For God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shown toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

Hebrews 6:10 KJ21

 

A nice verse for a Monday morning after a tiring weekend. May we take refuge in the fact that whatever we have done this weekend for God has been noticed by Him and indeed will not be forgotten.

 

Whether we have been involved in 'important' work like preaching and saving souls, or 'unimportant' work like opening the door to folks and giving out hymn books, we read 'He will not forget your work.' Think of all the times you've pushed yourself to attend a service, smile at someone when you're tired, given a helping hand to another or sang lustily when you would rather be quiet - He has noticed your work and will not forget. It must mount up to a fair bit for some of us who work tirelessly for most of the weekend in the church! There is, I think, one thing that pleases Him more and that is when it becomes a labour of love. We don't attend church for brownie points or turn over the weeds in the church garden to win favour with others, but because of our love for Christ we do these things, to the honour of His name and because we love seeing the church thrive. Do all with a willing heart and a joyful spirit.

 

Remember He will not forget...

 

'"And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”'

Matthew 10:42


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 'Awake, awake, Zion, clothe yourself with strength! Put on your garments of splendour.' Isaiah 52:1

The call to the Christian in these days is to awaken to the reality of the spiritual world.

In practical reality this means that we need to be about our Father's business rather than our own. We get so wrapped up in our own little world that we forget that the harvest is ripening and God's word needs preached.

The call 'awake, awake' comes to us not once but twice. We've not just to lift our sleepy head off the pillow and press the snooze button but to leap out of our warm, comfortable beds and clothe ourselves with the strength of the Lord.

What a glorious call is ours! What a privilege to hear Him speak to us knowing He wants us for His service.

But this whole process is not easy. We've got two major battles on our hands. One with the enemy of souls and the second with ourselves. It goes against the grain to serve our Lord. It costs us dearly and requires sacrificial living on our part. The next verse says:

'Shake off your dust ... Free yourself from the chains on your neck...' V2

We have to work at this. No one is saying it is easy but it's definitely worth it for the satisfaction it will bring you. Take heart and give yourself a good shake to get rid of all the dust that's settled on you. Break the chains/things that hold you back. Awaken and find God's strength to do His will and to live gloriously for Him.


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 'So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.' 1 Thessalonians 5:11

 

This weekend we had a revival prayer meeting on Saturday morning. We set ourselves the task of seeking God for the whole morning for this very special call to prayer and we were richly rewarded.

Many found a deep presence of God and discovered God speaking to them in a new way. Folks seemed in better form on Sunday and there was again that excitement about the work of God. We were encouraged!

 

How easy it is for spiritual life to get choked by the things of this world. Our lives are so busy with work and family matters, our minds so crammed full with social media, entertainment and music that we so quickly find the important things in life are choked out by the unimportant.

 

We need to get into the business of cutting back the briars! They are like the weeds in summertime after a heavy shower of rain - they just seem to spring up everywhere! The thorns and thistles spring up and choke the life of our spirit. When this happens we grow discouraged and we begin to crumble spiritually. We don't even realise what's happening. We just feel far away, distant and cut off somehow.

 

The Church needs to awaken. We need to raise the alarm! Christians all over the world need to recognise what's happening here. We are being invaded by thorns! Our spiritual life is being choked to death. We must fight back to clear a path for the seed to fall into good soil, into clear open spaces so that the Word may grow within us and we may indeed encourage each other and build the Church together.

 

Let's make up our minds to be about our Father's business more than ever and to continue to encourage others and build them up in their faith. Let the Church become strong bearing seed: some thirty, some sixty or some even a hundred times as much as had been planted.