Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 'Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ.' Rom 16:8

 

I read these words recently and was struck by the beauty of them: 'tested and approved.'

 

These words were spoken by Paul, the greatest apostle; the one who had known shipwreck, famine, cold, persecution and numerous other difficulties. He was looking at this younger disciple with approval, as one who had suffered trials, been found faithful and was ready for God.

 

If these words were spoken about one of us we would consider it a great honour. In fact, it's what we hope our Lord thinks about us. We've passed through the fire of affliction and been strengthened; like a polished arrow ready to be used.

 

We read on in the chapter:

 

'Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord.' V12

 

Another commendation! Persis, not only a dear friend but one who has worked VERY hard. Paul is thinking of this one with great affection and admiration; appreciative of all she has done over the years.

 

Have you ever wondered what would be said of Christians today?

 

Greet W, one who has worked hard in the church for many years; or X who has doubted for many years and who has never fulfilled their call; or Y who is up and down in their consistency to God; or Z who is filled with bitterness over the difficulties that they have in their life. The list could be endless!

 

Life is no different today from what is was these many years ago. We face the same trials and tribulations as Appelles. There is as much hard work needing done in the church today as there was when Persis was around. We face the same inner battles that these people faced.

 

Have a reality check and think what Paul would say about you. I hope it would be a worthy comment. Ask God to reveal to you what He would say about you and your level of commitment to Him and to His church. Be honest! Listen to what He says to you and then set yourself, no matter how much you have failed or achieved, to do even better for Him.

 

In the Gospels we read:

 

'And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace.' Matthew 20:3

 

Don't be an idle soul. Do whatever you can for Him whether it be practical or spiritual.

 

Our Lord spoke these words:

 

“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38 

 

That's us friend! Brother or sister in Christ today - we are called to be labourers. Therefore, set yourself the task of doing whatever God requires of you. When the difficulties come remember we are allowed to be tested that we might be approved for His mighty and glorious work.


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

 

There is no blueprint in spiritual matters. There is no subject, problem or circumstance that we deal with exactly the same way.

 

Man likes a blueprint or a pattern; something we can do again and again but the Spirit of God doesn't move that way. If we fall into a pattern or routine in our spiritual lives it becomes a ritual. Then, we are no longer dependant on the Spirit of God, but we are choosing to lean on a routine or ritual.

 

The Spirit of God is described like a breath or wind. We don't know where it comes from or whither it goes. We hear the sound of it; we feel the influence but we cannot make Him follow a pattern or participate in our church customs.

 

Hence the reason why churches are often dry and bereft of the presence of God. They have become dependant on routines and rituals instead of being led by the breath of God.

 

When we fight spiritual battles we need to adopt a flexible position. Sometimes we fight hard and pray hard whilst other times it is as if there is no access to do such and we have to wait on the move of the Spirit.

 

I have recently returned from visiting a lovely church in Malta. There was a battle to fight and a victory to win but it wasn't given to me to pray along those lines. I did what this verse suggests:

'I waited quietly before God.'

He alone could open the door to the access, anointing and presence I desired. When I tried to pray my words fell to the ground and so I waited. I was certainly not disappointed when victory came!

 

The series of meetings that we were involved in got better and better. Victory, wonderful Blood bought victory was given and we entered into the heavenlies seeing lives baptised in the Spirit, deliverance for the captives and alsothe privilege of leading one into the kingdom.

This verse says:

'Our victory comes from Him'.

Not from our prayers or our travailing but from His throne. How wonderful that victory is when it comes. It is better than anything thought of or imagined.

As you walk the Way don't look for any blueprint but look for the Spirit. Wait on Him; don't rush in or look for the old methods but learn to wait for that breath of God that sorts a situation with what seems little effort on His part and sometimes none on ours.

'The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things!' Psalm 118:14-15


Thought for the week by pastor Diana's Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.'

Isaiah 26:3

In our busy stressful lives we often long to be at peace.

I was at the doctors some time ago and the receptionist suddenly raised her hands and cried out 'I'm so stressed'. It was in my mind to say 'You should see a Dr about that', but when I saw the look on her face, I thought my joke wouldn't have gone down very well!

Life seems to get busier all the time and we need that inner peace to keep us from getting too stressed.

This verse talks about our mind being steadfast. That means to be fixed in one particular direction. The direction we should be fixed is in maintaining a relationship with God despite all the difficulties life sends our way.

Whether it be sin or stress we need to be steadfast about maintaining our walk with God. That is of utmost importance. There is nothing greater than this: not life or death; nor job interview or career; not family member or friend. Our relationship with Him is of absolute and vital importance. Lose that and you've lost everything.

I recently read in Rutherford's letters:

'The pleasures of sin are only for a season but to be brought to Christ is like the dawning of an eternal day; it spreads the serenity of heaven over all the days of our pilgrimage.'

Wouldn't you like the 'serenity of heaven' over all your days? Then choose to have a steadfast mind and you will enjoy perfect peace. No matter what life throws at you, you will walk a level, steady path because you have made Him your goal and not life itself.

Isaiah 26:4, 7 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'I will call them my people who are not my people;
And I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one.'

Rom 9:25

What a lovely word for those of us who have chosen to follow Christ! How well we know that we are not by nature the people of God but because He set His love upon us we are.

As we journey through our days we can be conscious, that despite our mistakes, there is One in heaven who loves us and has set His heart upon us. Someone who calls us His loved one.

What confidence it gives in life to know that we are children of the Creator; not because of what we have done but simply because He has chosen to set His love upon us.

Words cannot express the confidence, satisfaction and sense of fulfilment this brings. To know we truly belong to our God brings great joy. No problem is insurmountable with our great God to help.

The Christian need not be the weak, anxious individual he is often depicted to be. He can be strong, joyful and an overcomer in life.

As you begin another new day with its joys and worries go with this confidence that you have a great God and a wonderful Christ to help you, encourage you and take care of you each moment.


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Romans 8:35

The list that follows these words in the book of Romans are not particularly relevant for us here in the UK. However, it is a sad thought that in many countries Christians are persecuted for their faith. Our prayers are with them.

For us at home though, I wonder what can separate us from the Love of God? My list would be very different from Paul's: The busyness of life; social media; a broken relationship.

It's a sad thought to think that many Christians allow themselves to be separated from the Love of God by the pressures of life or by the way they live. We lose a quietness and stillness in our way of life that can make us strong.

How can we be effective in the kingdom of God if we lose our grasp on His strength? If we are perpetually busy in what we do and think this can indeed separate us from the Love of God.

But the verse says 'who'. The truth is, only we can separate ourselves from the Love of God. As we can open the door of our hearts to let Him in so we are the only ones who can close the door.

Sometimes, when we are not careful, it feels like that door swings shut of its own choosing and it takes will and effort to prise it open again. We become aware that our hearts have grown hard and we lack love and warmth to our Saviour. When that happens, stop in your tracks friend! Get away from the busyness of life. Wait in the quietness and silence until your thoughts stop racing and you find your heart begin to open again to that One.

Only then will you know that nothing can separate you from the Love of God.

'For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest shall ye be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength; but ye would not."' Isaiah 30:15


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.' Ephesians 3:16-17

 

Some of us have just returned from an amazing weekend in Neath, South Wales.

 

It's been a weekend of watching the action of God; seeing lives touched, saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. We certainly found His glorious, unlimited resources empowering us and giving us inner strength. However, the part of this verse that touches me the most is this part:

 

'Then Christ will make his home in your hearts.'

 

This sums up in a few words the purpose of any work of God. That Christ may make His home in hearts. Surely this is what our Lord wants for each one, that you will let Christ make His home in your heart.

 

To make your home in something means to live there permanently. This is what He wants for every person who comes to Him.

 

If Christ makes His home within you, you will permanently abide in Christ. You will be the  fruit that remains and have the potential of producing further fruit that will remain. You will not be knocked about by circumstances in your life; disunity within your fellowship or by sin within your heart. You will learn to be a strong, consistent Christian who can become a pillar in your church and local community.

 

Over our weekend we met lots of very nice people. People who were touched by the power of the Holy Spirit in many different ways but whose lives had been robbed by the cruelty of the  enemy. Our prayer is that Christ will take up permanent residence within them. Each one might learn to let His will dominate their lives, His peace control their emotions and that His word will strengthen them and establish them in Christ. Then, as children of God, Satan will no longer rob them of what is rightfully theirs.

 

Hopefully, one day we will meet again and they will be stronger and closer to God as a result of His permanent residency within them.

 

He is sending each one of you out to bear fruit.  Pray that as you learn to be consistent in God so you will bring others into that same place of consistency. Then they too will learn to be empowered by His inner strength on a daily basis and Christ will make His home in their hearts. 

 

'You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit.' John 15:16


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone.'
1 Kings 20:40

When life gets too busy we can become stressed and can lose our inner peace. The difficulty within the church, any church, is there are very few who do so much. Often one of the tricks of the enemy is to make us so busy we have no time to pray and be quiet.

When that happens we discover, like this servant, that Christ has gone or so it appears to us. Then we become downcast and discouraged and feel as if we have failed Him when in fact we started with good intentions. The busy Christian becomes ineffective and empty.

There is only one way to sort this problem and that is never allow yourself to become so busy you don't have time for some thinking, praying quiet time alone with God.

He understands the pressures of life, the jobs that need to get done and our lack of ability to sit still for too long. He is able in 5 minutes or even 5 seconds to do what He can do in 5 hours! He can breathe within you or upon you and fill you with Himself.

Set time aside to be with Him all through the day. Sometimes it's a momentary glance upwards, a longing gaze over a peaceful country scene, a quiet reflection within of a moment when He spoke to you. It is enough to hold on to that presence throughout the day and keep the link with Him.

He said 'abide in Me'. That means that whatever we do and however we do it we must do it with a consciousness of His presence and peace within ourselves. When we begin to lose that or find ourself ruffled with circumstances it's time to quieten ourselves again and to look up once more. Take a deep breath, find the strength of His presence and carry on.

If we practice this presence of God we will find our spiritual lives grow strong and rich. Wisdom becomes our friend for suddenly we know what we ought to do and nothing catches us completely off guard. We become a trusted servant of the King and despite the fact we are busy we shall never turn and discover that He has gone.

'Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength.' Isaiah 41:1


Thought for week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.' Romans 9:16

 

We have just returned from a fabulous meeting in Dublin where we saw 30-40 people (almost half the company) come for prayer. Seven people were baptised in the Holy Spirit and one lad came to Christ.

 

The following morning I read this verse. It made me feel incredibly humbled. It's not simply because we planned these meetings (willeth); or because our Irish friends put in so much energy (runneth) but because God showed us mercy. His grace and favour were upon us.

 

I read on and came across these words:

 

'As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.' Romans 9:25

 

Again, a wonderful word that spoke so deeply to me. He has called our Irish friends His people, who once didn't belong to Him. He has called me His beloved when once I wasn't loved. What an amazing God we have.

 

Whatever you do, no matter how busy you are, never forget to come back to Him at the end of it all. He's there waiting. It may be that you're exhausted or have so much on your plate but He is waiting. Waiting to give you that special intimate word that will strike a beautiful chord of worship in your heart.

 

How often we miss out on these special moments with our Lord because we only come when we have a need, a request or a crisis to bring to Him.

 

He is worthy of our time and thoughts. There is nothing better than returning to the Master at the end of it all.

 

'And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.'

Luke 10:17

 

So come, tired and weary Christian. Come with gratitude in your heart for all that the Lord has done in your life. Come and spend time with Him, and let Him speak tenderly to you.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 'And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, “Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.' Mark 8:34


I don't think there could be a clearer explanation of what is asked of a christian. If we would truly come to know Him we must deny ourselves the right to our own opinions and passions. We must choose to follow in His footsteps living simply and truthfully as He did. We must not entertain any lies, lust or anger in our hearts. These must be crucified. We must choose to nail our reactions to our own personal inner cross and instead choose to put on Christ. In other words our reactions should mirror His.


Even in the face of hatred and slander Christ never reacted. We read: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb before his shearer is dumb, so opened He not His mouth." Acts 8:32


This was a truly remarkable act of self denial especially for One who could have called twelve legions of angels to help Him.


Other harsh words were hailed at Him: 'Save thyself and come down from the cross!' Mark 15:30


These harsh words, filled with hatred, were shouted at Christ as He hung on the Cross; a hatred that came from the enemy of our souls. He did all in his power to destroy Christ because he despised Him. The Cross which was meant to destroy Christ became His chariot and our access to eternity.


And now, Satan hates not only the Christ but the cross too. He hates when a Christian truly picks up the cross and follows Christ because it's then that we become truly effective. If the enemy can cause us to slip out from under its heavy, painful load then he keeps us away from accessing true fellowship and power with the Son of God. Satan presents his case so logically to us: what is being asked of us is so unreasonable. He would have us 'Save ourselves and come down from the cross!'

And how easy it is to listen. Our own flesh feels the same!


It takes a true godly individual to cling to their own personal cross and truly deny themselves, to allow every wrong reaction to die that Christ might live within us.


In my personal readings I have come across a beautiful quote from Samuel Rutherford:


'Give not away your crosses for nothing.'


Let not your logical mind, your friends, family or the enemy of souls take away your cross. It is your highest  privilege to carry your cross for Christ. Let our following of Christ be real. Let us, like Samuel Rutherford who was exiled for his faith, cry: 'Thanks to God for crosses!'


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'But God also arranged for a worm! The next morning at dawn the worm ate through the stem of the plant so that it withered away.'

Jonah 4:7


Sometimes circumstances can be very puzzling or even worse distressing. It seems so in this situation.

First, God provides Jonah with a leafy plant, a place of delightful shade from the scorching heat. Next, God removes the comfort of that shade and leaves Jonah in difficulties again.


'And it came to pass, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, so that he grew faint and wished in himself to die, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”'

Jonah 4:8

What does this story tell us? It tells me that God will never allow circumstances to get too difficult; that at the point we can no longer cope, He will provide a way out, or ease our distress in some way. However, it also tells me that God whilst providing a leafy shade, a rest along the way, does not mean that we take our ease for ever in such a place. Too many of us would just grow comfortable. We've found an oasis in our desert, somewhere where life can just become easier, maybe even too easy. The Lord who watches over us will cause these easy circumstances to change to move us on to the next part of our journey. He never wants His children to become slothful or lazy, to become self centred and at ease for too long.

Therefore, He sends along a worm. It's incredible! Our God who has numbered the hairs on our head, who knows the sparrow that falls to the ground, can send along a worm to change our lives. This could have been something as simple as a caterpillar! Imagine life being transformed by a caterpillar! Surely our Christianity is more stable than that!

God allows our circumstances to change to teach us to become increasingly dependant on Him. As we mature in the things of God, we learn to rely less and less on leafy plants and more and more on the Rock of Ages. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Don't let your boat be rocked today by every passing flurry of wind or every caterpillar that passes by! Rather learn to steer a straight course by leaning on the Master's words and following His perfect example.


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'And the Lord God arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah’s head, shading him from the sun. This eased his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant.'

Jonah 4:6

We forget how our Lord cares for the small details surrounding our lives. Often, we don't hand all the small things over to Him because we think they are too small to bother Him.

This was a small thing God did. It was too hot for Jonah so God provided a leafy plant. It was not just any plant: it was the right plant. It was one that would give enough shade to ease Jonah's discomfort.

It's actually quite a remarkable story. How often have we been too hot, too cold, too overwhelmed, too stressed, too depressed or too irritable to deal with something. Let your Lord, the One who has counted the very hairs on your head, send you a leafy plant to cover your head from the sun and ease your discomfort.

He might not choose to change circumstances for you but He will help in the midst of them.

Our duty is to accept the leafy shade and let it bring the relief and ease we need for the next part of the journey.


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, for glory and for beauty... It shall have the two shoulder pieces.'
Exodus 28:2,7

These verses are from the Old Testament and describe the garments the high priest wore when he went into the temple to offer sacrifices. They talk about the stones that were set on the shoulders of the high priest. A later verse describes it like this:

'Take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the tribes of Israel. Six names will be on each stone, arranged in the order of the births of the original sons of Israel.' Exodus 28:9-10

The names of the children of Israel were to be engraved on the stones before they were placed on the shoulders of the high priest. And then:

'Fasten the two stones on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod as a reminder that Aaron represents the people of Israel. Aaron will carry these names on his shoulders as a constant reminder whenever he goes before the Lord.' Exodus 28:12

The names were fastened onto the shoulders of the high priest and he took them everywhere.

Have you taken Christ to be your Saviour? Then you are engraved and fastened on His shoulders. Your name is engraved not only in the palms of His hands but you are carried on His shoulders. Lean all your weight on Him. You cannot carry yourself.

'And when he has found it, (the lost sheep) he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders.' Luke 15:5

I'm sure you can see the link. You and I carried on His shoulders. Not only our names engraved on the stones on His shoulders and borne into the presence of the Almighty God but more than this, He carries us, each one, from wherever we've been and whatever we are into the presence of His Father.

For many a weary, tired traveller this is a wonderful thought to think we are carried on His shoulders.

Make it your thought today. He is as near as that! You are lying on His shoulders. Your name is written on Him. He will carry you into the presence of God. He will do all things well.


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained. So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.'
2 Timothy 2:9-10

Wonderful verses! Paul the greatest apostle was in chains, brought low by the enemy but, as he so wonderfully points out, the word of God CANNOT be chained.

'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.' John 1:1

It doesn't really matter our present circumstances. It doesn't even matter if we are brought low by our enemy the devil at times. It matters only that Christ, the Word of God, CANNOT be chained or brought low. Such was the victory of His death on the Cross and the power of His blood! Furthermore He gave this wonderful command:

'I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.' Matthew 16:18

Paul the apostle claims that the word of God cannot be chained. Christ Jesus takes this further: the Church cannot be chained. It will prevail down through all the ages. Many will come against it, in fact, the gates of hell will come against it, but nothing will prevail or overcome it! Glorious thought and what an amazing prophetic word given by our Lord. Here we are over 2,000 years later living in the fulfilment of that word.

Let it encourage your soul today no matter how you feel, even if you are in chains. Nothing can defeat our Lord or the Church in which He dwells in righteousness.


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.'

Galatians 6:9

If we complete our work as unto the Lord we will have joy. If we do it for ourselves or for another we shall eventually resent what we do.

To always work for the Lord in whatever great or menial task we do in life is the secret to abiding in Christ and being found faithful to Him. It's where we find our joy. It's where we come alive in Him and find the spark we need to live for Christ.

Check yourself today! When you feel yourself becoming fed up or disgruntled with the list of tasks, small or great, turn and do them 'as unto the Lord' and you will find a complete change of heart.

This verse says 'let us not become weary'. It's when we grow weary, we often become fed up or annoyed with something or someone. If we lift our eyes to Him we will be given the strength to do whatever is asked of us, for whosoever, and we will do it with a cheerful spirit.

What must it be for the Lord to look down from heaven and see His people moaning and groaning over their menial tasks; fed up and annoyed over the way life has worked out for them? Instead let us send up to heaven, joy, thankfulness, cheerfulness and worship to our King all day long. Let's look forward to the harvest He has promised to those who don't grow weary. '...even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.' Psalm 65:11


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.'  2 Thes 3:3

 

No matter how strong, brave and courageous we are, we all need the protection from the Lord.

 

There is not one of us that is strong enough to combat the thoughts and insinuations of the enemy no matter how long we have walked with Christ. In fact, the truth is, that the more mature we are in spiritual matters, the more aware we are of our weaknesses and need of protection.

 

It is the Christian's delight to recognise that we can be as little children, nestling in the safety of His great strength. Every responsibility and care removed as we simply learn to relax and lean all of our life on Him. As we let slip every anxious thought, every wild insinuation that comes from hell and simply find that deep, underlying, throbbing power of the heartbeat of God we can be totally and absolutely secure in His perfect love no matter the crisis whirling around us.

 

Let us make the following verse the theme of our week and He will keep us safely.

 

'The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.' Deut 33:12


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'Oh that thou hast hearkened to my commandments! Then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.' Isa 48:18

 

Don't we all want peace like a river? Not just a streambut a wide, free-flowing, glorious, powerful river? There's only one way to find it and that is to listen to what God is saying and do it.

 

The second part of this verse speaks of a river that flows into the sea. It is soon covered and lost in the waves of the ocean.

 

This week, we were fortunate enough to have a day at St Andrews. Watching the waves endlessly lapping up or crashing onto the beach reminded me of this verse. Righteousness that doesn't run out; like the waves of the ocean it goes on relentlessly doing the right thing no matter the weather or difficulties in life.

 

It is all so simple we could miss it! All we have to do is listen first and then do what is asked of us.

 

Take time to wait on God today. Listen in the silence and read His word carefully. Let Him speak to you and, make up your mind, that whatever He says you will do it to the best of your ability. Then peace will flow like a river within you and righteousness will be like the waves of the sea.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


"May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” Ruth 2:12

 

Sometimes in our Christian life we have to do something that can make us feel very uncomfortable or that is costly for us. We do it because we know it's the right thing to do. It might not be what we want but we know it has to be done.

 

When these things happen we need to learn to take refuge under His wings. We often meet puzzled, confused looks from others, or worse still criticism, from those who don't understand our course of action. It's not ours to justify or explain but to hide in Him until the 'indignation be past'. We need to learn to lean hard on Him and trust Him when things are tough.

 

Let us never forget, however, that the Lord sees our efforts and nothing is hidden from Him. He will repay us for the stand we take no matter how uncomfortable it may make us or how sorely criticised and misunderstood we are. More than this, He will richly reward us! Is that not worth all the hardship, criticisms and misunderstandings, to know that our God, our Father in heaven, will reward His children for their obedience to His will?

 

Sometimes we're not too good at receiving rewards.

In spiritual matters we must be able to take the chastising and the blessing. Wait on Him. He will reward you richly for every effort you make to walk in His way. Surely the best reward of all is His wonderful presence. Take refuge under the shelter of His wings and find the nearness and warmth of His presence. Find a total and complete protection from the strife of tongues. In that place of safety we are able to whisper to Him the longings of our hearts, to share with Him our greatest hopes and to trust that in our obedience our lives will fulfil all that He has for us.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 

'And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.' Luke 22:15

 

On a Sunday morning we share the bread and wine as part of our weekly communion service. It is often the richest meeting of the week - quiet, deep and peaceful.

 

Yesterday morning was no exception, and although our time of prayer was shorter than normal, I found there came a very strong sense of the person of Christ with us just at the communion part.

 

In my own personal readings that morning I had come across these words from RM McCheyne:

'If the table has been sweet today what will it be when Jesus comes again to receive us to Himself.'

 

It's a lovely thought. The sweetness of His presence that we knew in those few moments yesterday morning will be as nothing when we see Him face to face. Then, we will not only feel the quiet presence for a moment but for eternity. We will be surrounded by it, enveloped in it and saturated by it. It will be beyond words. What a day that will be!

 

Therefore, until that day comes, let us prepare ourselves and make ourselves ready by the choices that we make and by the way we live our Christian life keeping this hope always before us that one day we will be with Him.

 

'Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.'

1 John 3:2-3


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.' Psalm 7:17

It was my mum's 88th birthday yesterday. She lives down south but is visiting us at the moment so came to church with us yesterday morning. She was overwhelmed with the gifts, cards, flowers and birthday song that greeted her! There's one thing about our Struthers folks - they are generous! There were so many gifts and cards that I'll have a job to follow up with a personal thank you to everyone.

It made me think of our Father and the gifts He showers on us even when it's not our birthday! Do we always remember to come back and say thank you? Even Christ expected the 10 lepers who were healed to come back and give thanks.

This verse says we should give thanks because of His righteousness. That's a wonderful thought! We can give thanks because of who He is, because of His essential being, because there is no wrong within Him. The Bible tells us:

'As for God, his way is perfect.' 2 Samuel 22:31

He is totally perfect without flaw or mistake. We should be in awe of His goodness and perfection.

In other words we don't need to receive something to come back and say thank you. We can say thank you because of who God is. There should always be a gratitude in our hearts towards our Father and towards Christ the Son. It is when we live in the spirit of thankfulness that we find ourselves in the perfect will of our perfect God.

'Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.' 1 Thessalonians 5:18


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


'O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?' Isaiah 40:27

 

We grow disgruntled with troubles because we think God either doesn't see them or doesn't hear us when we pray.

 

How would we feel if one of our own children grew disgruntled because we didn't sort their difficulties? Sometimes, there is a plan, a bigger picture, that we cannot see at present. The faithful child continues to trust the Father and wait for the appointed moment.

 

Even when it appears that God does not answer our prayers we must learn that He hears our cry and understands the unsettledness within us. Take the fear and bring it to Him. Discover the strength of His arms, the safety of that hidden place in Him. Your prayer may well be answered positively, but for now, learn to rest in those strong arms that hold the world together. The sound of the 'heartbeat' of God is enough to still the complaining soul. He is with you. Be not troubled. He understands.

 

'No one can measure the depths of his understanding.' Isaiah 40:28