Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 ‘Let us throw off everything that hinders ... and let us run.’ Heb 12:1


Is this not a good word? I love the last part ‘let us run’. It brings a sense of freedom, of wide open spaces and being like a child again running for the sheer fun of it.


Oh to be like this spiritually: to cast every care aside, throw off everything and just run for the sheer pleasure of running into the freedom and presence of God. We seem to grow more complicated with age. Perhaps that’s why Christ said:


“I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Mark 10:15


We need to forget ‘everything that hinders’.  What is that to you? Work? Finances? Worry about family? Health? Colleagues? Exams? The list is endless! Whatever your ‘everything’ is, throw it off. Yes, this translation says THROW! Don’t tuck it away in a corner for later, just throw it away as if you were putting it in the bin.


Then run! Run into God, into His light, His power, His freedom. Run into His heart. There is a place prepared for you there to enjoy the most exquisite fellowship imaginable.


There is no comparison between our ‘burdens’ and His glory. Once you have seen His glory, heard His voice, felt His touch, smelt His garments and tasted of His sweetness there can never again be anything that can ever stop you from throwing everything aside and running.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 ‘Consider Him ... so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.’ Heb 12: 3


There are times when we all need to draw aside and have special times with family or a close friend. A mother craves the company of her children, even when they are older, those special moments when the busyness of the day ceases and hearts are frank and open. It’s these moments that make us what we are and connect us to each other.


The same rule applies in the spiritual world. If we are to have a unique relationship with our Heavenly Father and with Christ, the Well Beloved of our souls, then we must have special times of being alone to consider Him.


Consider Him doesn’t mean thinking about ourselves or pouring out a list of needs to God. It means reflecting on the kind of person Christ was and is. It means thinking no longer of ‘me’ but of Him. This is not a simple task and requires some amount of concentration and motivation to achieve. We can physically draw aside from the busyness of life but still be busy inside. Consider Him means to stop the actions and the thoughts, the whirl of our minds and allow time for sweet contemplation of our Lord Jesus.


So how do we manage to achieve this? Not on our own that’s for sure, but with the power of the Holy Spirit. For me it works this way. I prepare myself sometimes for days. I encourage a hunger to grow in my heart for that special revelation when I can consider Him. I read material* that draws me closer to Christ. When I find a phrase or a sentence or small portion that speaks to me I concentrate on it. This morsel can last a day, a week or even longer. When something speaks to us like that we shouldn’t just gloss over it and run on for the next crumb. Take time, let the morsel become a meal and the meal a feast. Let Christ step out of the words on the page. Let Him speak to your heart and have those special moments when the busyness of the day ceases and hearts are frank and open. Yes, Christ can be frank and open with you and as you begin to grasp what He is saying you learn to open your own complicated, confused being to His beautiful simplicity. His touch, as we consider His perfection, sorts everything for us. It stills the storm, it helps us to understand where we went wrong, it helps us to face up to our mistakes and we learn to be at peace with ourselves. Our soul is brought into a closeness of fellowship with Christ as is described:


‘the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.’  1 Samuel 18:1b


Our soul is knit with Christ’s and we will learn to experience the love Christ has for us. In return, our heats become soft and open, willing to hear whatever words He wants to drop into our soul.


‘His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely.’

Song of Solomon 5:16a


It doesn’t matter what He says, when we truly consider Him, we can receive it. His words are sweet and bring true life, peace and the abundance of blessing to us.


We will learn a vital lesson, one that every Christian should learn although few truly find their way into the deeps. Our true source of strength is in fellowship totally alone with Christ. We shall not grow weary and lose heart. In fact the opposite will happen for us. We will grow strong and be encouraged, for we have learned how to truly consider Him.


*Reading material that I find helpful might be useful to others.

The Bible of course! The writings of Amy Carmichael, C H Spurgeon and Samuel Rutherford, J Hudson Taylor’s Union and Communion.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 ‘This is my blood ... which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’ Matt 26:28


We are part of the many. There are over 2 billion Christians in the world today as a result of a 3 year ministry of one man, 2,000 years ago, who had neither microphone nor internet. A miraculous achievement brought about by the power of the Holy Spirit.


But just in case you feel a bit lost amongst all those people Jesus makes is personal:


‘This ... blood, which is poured out for you.’  Luke 22:20


Suddenly the crowds disappear and now you are alone with the Lord Jesus. His gentle tones are persuading you to believe and trust, to reach out your hand and take the cup He offers. The Holy Spirit is at work in your heart and suddenly you know that if there was no one else in all the world Christ would have died to save you.


He takes it a step further. Not only is He offering you the cup which speaks of forgiveness for sin and a transformed life; He is saying that although He has to go He will come back again for you:


‘I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am there you may be also.’ John 14:3


This time He is not offering us His blood, which is very precious, He is giving us Himself. He will receive us to Himself. He will welcome us with open arms. He will embrace us. He will make us His prize possession. He will look after us and love us.


First must come the Blood and forgiveness. Secondly comes the intimacy and embrace. How precious! We have passed from being part of a huge crowd of people who follow the Lord to suddenly being the one He speaks to, holds and cherishes. What is wonderful about this, is that everyone of those 2 billion people can have exactly the same sense of belonging individually and sharing intimately with Christ.


No forms of worship are required, no extensive meditation programmes, no praying a certain way or so many times a day as in other religions.


Christianity is simple. Simply turn to the One who speaks, believe, accept, find forgiveness and He, Christ Jesus our Lord, will come and receive you to Himself


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 ‘But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.’  Heb 10:39


People react in many different ways when times are tough. Some people shrink back and withdraw inside themselves, as in the text, whilst others become loud and aggressive in their attitude. Perhaps the first reaction is slightly more Christlike than the second but it can be equally difficult to deal with our natures in tricky situations. I think one of the important things to recognise is whichever way we react in a situation is unimportant in comparison to how long we allow ourselves to be affected by it. Every day we remain withdrawn or aggressive in a situation is a day further away from God. If we continue like this the word says we will be destroyed. Our spirituality will suffer, our walk with Christ will grow more distant until we can hardly hear His voice at all. We can even lose sight of the point we were trying to make and just become lost, like a ship without an anchor.


It takes courage to face up to the fact we have made wrong choices along the way, even if the situation was horrendous. We need to come back to the place we ‘shrank back’ or became angry and defiant and repent. There is no other way forward. You have to return to the place you took the wrong turn.


It doesn’t mean that your feelings are wrong but you’ve dealt with them in a wrong way. You need to bring all your hurt and anger to Christ for we are often angry when we are hurt. We open our hearts to the One who can never hurt us; He who is full of compassion and mercy and give all our tumultuous feelings to Him. We pour all our stormy reactions at the foot of the Cross and discover that to believe, trust and obey brings us peace again.


The verse speaks of believing. We need to believe that He is able to help us, understands our feelings, has suffered in the way we are suffering and that He is able to totally help, support and heal our damaged heart and soul.

Then Satan’s plan to destroy all spiritual life, all goodness within us will be thwarted. Instead, by believing we shall be saved. Not only saved from Hell and from our sin but from ourselves too.


“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 ‘Tell me, my love, where are you leading your flock today?’ Song of Solomon 1:7


It is Christ the Shepherd who leads the flock which is the church; not man or woman, organisation or denomination but Christ. Whether we walk a lonely road or are found amongst the crowds, we need to choose to follow that great Shepherd.


‘My sheep recognize my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.’

John 10:27


This is all that matters that we learn to hear His voice and follow Him. His voice is different from every other. It is not harsh or angry, loud or showy. His voice is full of harmony, persuasion, compassion, tenderness and encouragement. It is the most beautiful voice you will ever hear.


Today, when you ask Him the question: ‘Where are you leading me today?’, let every other voice be still including your own inner voice. Forget every other persuasive thought and let the voice of Love find its way into the quietness of your heart bringing strength and peace, leading you forward into a brand new day.


Today will be different from every other day you’ve ever experienced and will never be given again. It’s so important that we follow the Shepherd all through the day, that our ear is open to His voice at all times and we follow every quiet instruction and nudge He gives us.


Then we shall be blessed. We shall find rest at noon, at the most stressful moments of our day, and best of all we shall not be turned aside from following the Shepherd of our souls.


When all is done, there is only you and Christ. Even in the biggest church there is an aloneness with Christ. The flock may be around you, bumping into you, bleating in your ear, but the only thing that truly matters is the sound of His voice and that you follow as closely as you can.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


‘Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.’

Hebrews 10:26


These words make me shudder! Who amongst us has not at some time or another ‘deliberately sinned’ after we have become a Christian?


What does that even mean to ‘deliberately sin’? Surely it means that when we understand that something is wrong and then we choose to do it, then it becomes deliberate sin. We intentionally and conscientiously choose to do what is wrong.


I am sure if I were to say hands up if you’ve done that, my hand along with millions of others would be raised. So what in fact does this verse mean?


I think it means if we continue in the act of deliberately sinning once we know it’s wrong then we are in grave danger. When we know something is wrong, we should choose not to do it anymore. There may be instances when we fall into sin again but it’s not our choice to do that and therefore that is regarded as accidental sin. I think we’re in danger when we know our attitude or choices are wrong and yet we don’t care and go on choosing the wrong road. We must set ourselves to become victorious in every area of life.


‘Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.’

Philippians 2:12b


We must begin to realise that our salvation is extremely precious. It cost Christ His life so that we might be redeemed. We hold the most beautiful, valuable, precious gift within our grasp, even eternal life.


Let’s not disregard it for any reason. It doesn’t matter how you feel, who has wronged you or what power drives you to choose the wrong. Christ has died to save you. Never take that for granted. Never overlook Him. Never glance at the Cross and go back to sin again, lest we fall into the category ‘that there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.’


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 ‘Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ.’ 1 Timothy 3:13


Serve well dear brother or sister. Serve well in every aspect of your life whether as a parent, working in a busy office, as a driver, teacher, in the church or whatever you do. Do it as unto the Lord.


Regard your duties as your calling - and fulfill them to the best of your ability. Do everything as though He is watching you all the time. Do all those small insignificant tasks with honour and respect. Then we shall gain an excellent standing in Christ.


What does it mean to have an ‘excellent standing’? To me it means that we becomes servants that are trusted and can be given greater responsibilities. Someone of an excellent standing in a household would be one who is seen to carry many responsibilities and can be so trusted that they do not need to be carefully supervised at all times. Their integrity has already been tested and they have come through trials and tribulations with patience and victory. They have been rewarded by the Master of the household. We see this principle in Luke 19:17:


‘And he said unto him, ‘Well done, thou good servant; because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority...’


This week, strive to be counted worthy in the Kingdom of God. This is really what truly matters. Strive to be an honourable and trusted servant in all you do. He will honour those who honour Him. He will establish and strengthen you.


‘But after ye have suffered a while, may the God of all grace, who hath called us into His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.’

1 Peter 5:10


We have much to gain and little to lose as we choose Christ throughout our day. May you find much blessing this week.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 ‘Jesus became a priest ... by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed.’

Hebrews 7:16

Last week’s thought was about coming into the place of safety. There is no safer place than believing and being in Christ, because as the Bible says ‘He can never be destroyed.’

If He could have been destroyed it would have already happened by now. It would have happened at Calvary. As Christ dragged Satan to the Cross, Satan did his worst to destroy Christ. I believe every entity, every power in Hell would have been thrown at Christ; every thought distorted, every feeling and emotion twisted. And yet the Christ remained perfect, the spotless Lamb, undefiled and without blemish. Today we see the worldwide results of His victory at Calvary: billions who have turned to follow the Saviour of mankind.

Through the power of His resurrection, He has overcome all the Satanic hordes, and though Satan attempted his worst, he could not defeat the One who was and is purer than any other. Christ cannot be destroyed, or as the NIV puts it, within Him is ‘indestructible life’.

Think on this thought, as world leaders disagree, as politicians squabble over Brexit, as European law changes over  data handling and as churches argue over Biblical standards. Christ is indestructible! He is the only place of safety, the only One who remains unchangeable, steadier than life itself. No wonder He is referred to as the Rock.

Come and rest in Him. Let the world go by, let it carry on if it must with its arguments and ever changing laws but let you and I find our way into that wonderful place of safety in Christ, the perfect, pure, undefiled Lamb of God.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 ‘Come back to the place of safety.’ Zechariah 9:12


We sometimes wander out of the will of God, sometimes intentionally and at other times, just distracted, we wander off and do our own thing.


It’s not until danger is near or something alarms us or we find our peace disturbed that we realise we are where we shouldn’t be: far from God. Like the child that’s wandered off into the forest collecting flowers suddenly discovers they are far from home.


Our home is in God.


Jesus replied, “We will come and make our home with each of them.”

John 14:23


Home is where we should be most relaxed, most comfortable and at peace. It’s a place of safety. As the word says ‘there will be no dangers there.’ Isaiah 35:9

Our home should be in the presence of God.


Do you find yourself somewhere where you shouldn’t be and you’ve really no idea how you got there? Trace your steps, your attitudes, opinions and choices back to where you went wrong. Remember the days of happiness and safety. Days when you walked with God, heard His voice and found nourishment for your soul. Days when you were happy being alone and didn’t need to keep busy or be with the crowd to be content.


Go back to the place on the path before these distractions came in, before calamity arose. Let go of everything in you that wants to hold on to what you think is right. Let it go at the Cross for here is the place of ultimate safety and peace.


The devil did his worst at the Cross. He flung every wickedness he had at Jesus and yet:


‘In this way, he (Jesus) disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.’

Colossians 2:15


Come back to the place of safety, the Cross of Jesus Christ. Let Him disarm you from all the feistiness within your spirit and bring you back again to that place where you are safe and at peace in your Well-Beloved: at home in and with God.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


‘There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God.’ Hebrews 4:9


God gives rest, quietness, reassurance, tranquillity and peace. Satan brings unrest, restlessness, insecurity, agitation, irritation, distress and conflict.


Our spiritual battle is often to learn to hold on to our peace in difficult circumstances and not allow ourselves to worry and become over anxious.


Our Saviour gives such wise advice:

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”  Matthew 6:34


The battles of today are sufficient. Don’t look ahead and wonder what will happen next. Sometimes things can be so difficult for us that we can only take one moment at a time. Let me give you an illustration of this.


There are many things that I could be worrying about just now. Several situations  that I have to face later in the day that I’m not particularly looking forward to. I can spend these moments of quietness in my own home worrying about them, wondering how I’ll handle them or I can simply relax in this moment in the quietness of God. It’s a choice! At this particular moment in time I don’t have a single worry or care. There is a restfulness in my spirit. I’m not afraid of anything at this moment, I’m not anxious about anything in this moment. I’m not in a rush, I’m not distressed. And so, for this moment I am enjoying a Sabbath-rest. It’s beautiful. I’m gaining strength with every breath. Yes, that unpleasant situation is in front of me but it’s round the corner, right now I’m at peace. This is how we are meant to live. God will give us strength for the next moment when it comes. He will give us the right words to say. He will guide us through troubled waters when they arise but for this beautiful moment I am alone with God, resting in the peace and quietness of His Spirit.


We are so often robbed in this moment because we are so busy thinking of the next. For the Jews there is a great preparation for the Sabbath. All work is done in advance so they may enjoy every moment of their Sabbath with family and in the synagogue.


For us, we can have our Sabbath every moment by learning to abide in the sweetness of fellowship with Christ. Trust Him, learn to relax into Him and He will provide all you need for the next moment. Learn to live every day like this until your journey is over and you are in the Light of the Lamb forever enfolded into His rest.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


2 Timothy 4:18

‘The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.’

 

A perfect promise given for us who follow hard after Christ.


We will be attacked and at times fiercely. Unkind words will be said about us; people who once walked with us will turn against us but He will bring us safely.


There is something beautiful in this verse, something exquisitely intimate if we just take a moment to see it. Like a precious child carried in the arms of Jesus, we are safe and, more than this, deeply loved of God. Let the world do its worst, as long as He brings us safely to the heavenly kingdom.


He will bring us tenderly...


How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! Psalm 139:17


There will never be a moment when He is not there for us.


But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength...

2 Timothy 4:17


Let Him quieten your heart today, no matter the circumstances. Let His quietness strengthen you.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 ‘If we hold on to our courage ...’   Hebrews 3:6

In any battle the commanding officer must hold on to courage and not lose his nerve. If he does he makes rash decisions that are wrong and can cost people their lives.


Spiritually, there are times when we need to hold on to our courage and not lose our nerve. Thankfully, we are not in the position of the commanding officer. We have One who never lost His nerve, even in Gethsemane.  We need to learn to leave everything with God especially during difficult times. The temptation to take matters into our own hands and try and sort problems can at times be overwhelming. We want to clear up misunderstandings, tell others what they have said or done wrong and fix difficulties but the truth is this often just causes more mess.


Learn to live in the place of leaving everything with God. Let hell do its worst whilst the Christian learns to blissfully rest in the Saviour. Think of Christ asleep in the boat whilst the fishermen thought they were going to drown. What a perfect example our Lord set of One who never lost His courage. Soon He was to deal with the man from the Gadarenes who had a legion of demons and yet here He is calmly resting in God (Mark 4:35-5:20). He never lost His courage.


So, my friend, never lose courage in this battle for your soul and the souls of men. As you go through the darkness of doubt, fear of failure or the tumult of temptation remember He is able.  Lean on your commanding officer. It is His work, not yours, and He will never make rash decisions that will cost men and women their spiritual lives.


‘Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house.’ Hebrews 3:6


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 ‘And He will love thee and bless thee.’ Deut 7:13


We all love to be loved. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. There is nothing better in all the world than feeling the love of God, knowing that you are precious to Him.


If you have had a happy childhood then your memories of your parents will probably be more than pleasant. Being loved and cradled as a child can help us to understand something of the amazing love that never fails. However, if you’ve had a difficult or painful childhood you might find this hard to relate to. Here are some thoughts that might help.


The love of God is like the warmth of a big soft cosy warm blanket on a cold winter’s night; like soft feathers that cover you and keep you safe (Psa 91:4). His love is like a safe place far from danger, from people or words that can hurt you. (Psa 91:2/Psa 31:20). His love is unfailing; it will always be there for you no matter what happens. Your Heavenly Father is always the same (Psa 5:7). His love watches over you all the time and protects you from harm. Like a mother watching every step of her child learning to walk, there to support and help, so God watches over us in his tender love (Psa 33:18,19). The love of God is enormous; bigger than anything we can ever imagine, as vast as the heavens, higher than the clouds. (Psa 36:5). The love of God is always available. He is ready to pour it out on us each and every day if we will only be open to receive it.  (Psa 42:8). 


The Psalmist knew the love of God despite mistakes, failures and victories. The love of God is not dependant on us. It will always be there for us. We need to learn to lean on it, to trust in that unfailing love and to draw strength from Him on a daily basis. Then we shall know what it is to be loved and blessed and walk in confidence knowing we don’t go out alone but with our mighty, loving Father. This love will break every fear, insecurity, lack of confidence, arrogant attitude and sinful habit we have.


‘For your love for me is very great. You have rescued me from the depths of death.’

Psalm 86:13


‘Even those who lived among the sheepfolds found treasures— doves with wings of silver and feathers of gold.’

Psalm 68:13


May you find His blessing this week.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 “Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to your name.” John 12:27


This verse speaks for itself. How many of us find from time to time our soul is deeply troubled? Our immediate reaction is to bury our head in the sand or even worse to run away.


He who is perfect held a very full cup of suffering with a steady hand. He never wavered. He knew this was the reason for which he’d come into the world.


As you face your troubles, ask Christ to give you a steady hand, not one that trembles or is jolted in a  moment of anguish. Look to that One who was always serene, who faced death quietly and calmly as the soldiers came to arrest Him in the garden. Draw strength from His strength, calmness from His peace and let His quietness fill your body, mind and spirit. Let the one desire of your heart be for the glory of God so that we might hear


‘A voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.”’

V 28


He has glorified His name before in our lives, He will do it again if we don’t lose our nerve and we wait for the dawn. It will surely come!


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 “Better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind.”

Ecclesiastes 4:6


The beginning of a new week and for many the ‘handful of quietness’ is over. It’s back to the grind! 

How was your weekend? Did you benefit from your own personal handful of quietness or were you so busy you forgot to be quiet? Sometimes we look back over a weekend and wonder what we’ve achieved. Often the things we have achieved, for example, washing the car, food shopping, cleaning the house, will only need done again by next weekend: a bit like chasing the wind!

The most beautiful moments in our lives are those achieved when we train ourselves to be quiet. Those moments of peace over a cup of coffee before your day begins or that precious five minutes with your little one who suddenly wants to cuddle in and be quiet with you. Or that moment when you stop and have a brainwave about a problem you’ve got or a tricky situation that needs sorted. You suddenly know what to do in the midst of a difficulty.

A ‘handful of quietness’ is available to any and all of us at any point in time. We don’t need to be alone to experience it or on some beautiful clifftop somewhere watching the waves of the ocean! It can be in the midst of your busiest times: when you’re under pressure at work or even dealing with a group of small children. Learn to just stop inside yourself. Take a deep breath and let the peace and quietness of Christ settle on you. You will find new strength, a sudden enlightenment, a fresh joy, a wave of new life and then you will know ‘one handful with quietness’ is better ‘than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind.’


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 ‘Once again shepherds will count their flocks in the towns of the hill country and in the foothills of Judah.’

Jeremiah 33:13


This verse speaks of hope after troubled times. The Lord spoke to Jeremiah about restoring the country to its fruitful former times.


The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus came at the end of a time of terrible grief and darkness for the disciples. They had lost all hope. They were full of fear and every belief they had had was smashed to the ground. Suddenly in the midst of their darkness, the glory of the Resurrection morning broke upon them. A beautiful light in place of a horrific hopelessness.


Our Lord is always in the business of making things better.  He comes not to tear down and destroy but to redeem and heal.


Have you been torn down? Has life been difficult for you? Then this verse can give you hope. You haven’t lost everything despite the fact it feels that way. Trust in Him. Make sure within the secret places of your heart there is no rebellion or stubbornness. The Bible tells us that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. God cannot stand stubbornness and he certainly hates witchcraft.


‘Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”’

1 Samuel 15:23


Search the hidden places of your heart for any stubbornness or rebellion. Let the searchlight of His holy presence come upon you. It’s there as you are broken before Him you will find the comfort and healing of a very loving and gracious God.



‘“Nevertheless, the time will come when I will heal Jerusalem’s wounds and give it prosperity and true peace. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and Israel and rebuild their towns. I will cleanse them of their sins against me and forgive all their sins of rebellion.’

Jeremiah 33:6-8


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


‘No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs.’  2 Timothy 2:4


We would do well to obey this teaching. How often as Christians we get distracted from our holy purpose of serving God with natural matters. It can be as simple as ‘he said that’ or ‘she did this’ or it can be much greater issues like marital problems or family affairs. Or it could be practical issues like car problems, buying a new house or finding enough money to pay the bills. Whatever issue it is for you we must learn not to become so involved it affects and drains our spiritual life.


Of course we can’t walk around with our heads in the clouds all day even if we’d like to. That would be easier in some respects. We are still human after all!  We need to learn to abide in Christ when we are dealing with everything.


Our main purpose in life is to serve and follow Christ. This is why we were born. It is why we have breath in our nostrils so that we can glorify God. When you stop glorifying God in whatever you do then you cease from the very purpose for which you were created.


That is why Christ’s teaching can be so tough.


“If any man come to Me and hate not his father and mother, and wife and children, and brethren and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.”

Luke 14:26


‘Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”’

Luke 9:61-62


This teaching seems terribly severe and has puzzled many Christians throughout the years. Surely we are taught to love our families?The Lord Jesus was demonstrating, through the power of words, the level of commitment we are to make as soldiers of the Cross. Nothing, not even our nearest and dearest, is allowed to take us away from our soldierly duties. No civilian affairs, not even the ones that mean the most to us.


Isn’t it true our families are the most important thing to us? If a member of our family suffers we suffer also. Jesus knew that. He took the extremes to show us the extremes He expects from us.


And so this week:


‘Endure thou therefore hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ 2 Timothy 2:3


Set yourself to be wholeheartedly a good soldier, not cutting any corners, or taking the easy road. Be true to your call and Christ will honour you for the choices you make. In the army a good soldier receives the reward of promotion. In God’s spiritual army He honours us by giving us the privilege of carrying more anointing and bearing more responsibility for His glory. May we choose to serve well.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


‘That we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour.’ 1 Timothy 2:2

 

Oh that Christians everywhere would do this! How many problems it would prevent if we obeyed this instruction from Paul.

 

To live a peaceful life means to be at peace with God. The moment we step out of His will and take our own course of action our peace is affected. Sometimes we’re just set on a course that deep down we know is wrong. We know it’s setting us at odds against the rest of the church and yet we continue in it. We don’t listen to that inner peace. We become reckless in our choices and hardened in our conscience. Our inner quietness is affected and we begin to interfere in matters we shouldn’t.

 

Instead we should follow Paul’s instruction:

 

‘I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.’ 2:8

 

What would the church be like if we all behaved like this? How different life would be. How much more wonderful our services would be! What a sense of godliness and harmony we would feel. Instead of hardening our hearts in anger and disagreements, determined to follow our own ways, our hearts would be soft and our eyes Godward.

 

‘A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.’ 2:11

 

Only this weekend, I’ve been dealing with rumours spreading from one to another. One person (outside the church) made a comment to another in the church, who passed it on to another, who passed it on to another, who passed it on to another, who passed it on to me! On this occasion I could trace it to the source; sometimes it’s gone round so many people you don’t know where it’s come from. A rumour that could bring misunderstandings and hurt. Why don’t people close their mouths? Why don’t we take this instruction wholeheartedly? Learn in quietness and mind our own business!

 

Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”

John 21:22

 

Before we pass on something someone else has said think to yourself, ‘What is that to you?’ Jesus was basically telling Peter here to deal with his own heart and what would happen to John was none of his business. It would be good if we made that a principle to live by.

 

Let’s get on with the business of following Christ. If we put all our efforts into doing that, we will be better people. We won’t be distracted by what he or she is doing or saying. The wrong course of another will not affect us and we will follow wholeheartedly.

 

Live quietly, avoiding disputes and gossip. Make it your aim to let your focus be Christ and live peaceful lives. Every day this week take account of how peaceful you’ve been, of the number of disputes and disagreements you’ve had, of how often you’ve been tempted to talk about another when it’s no business of yours. Keep a record each day and look for improvements in your walk with God.

 

It’s as we are obedient to his word that we find our way into a greater place of power with Him.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 ‘Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.’ 1 Corinth 4:2


There are certain requirements needed to be a true Christian and if we don’t fulfil them then we are no better than the salt that’s lost it’s taste or the man who has put his hand to the plough and changed his mind.


We have been given a trust, something that this world cannot give us, the gift of Salvation. Within that gift there is purity and peace. It is perfect. No one can rob us of it, we are the only ones who can lose it or throw it away. It’s a trust, something that’s given to us to carry, and no matter what life throws at us it’s our duty (requirement) to hold on to it. If we find ourselves losing that perfect peace then we need to stop what we are doing and find it. In Christian circles it’s called practicing the presence.


There is a very simple formula to help you keep this trust. If you find yourself doing something, thinking or saying something or going somewhere and that perfect peace is disturbed then stop doing it. If it’s a train of thought that is making you angry, for example, then unless you stop those thoughts you will lose your peace. We need to learn in our busy, pressurised society to become more sensitive to that spiritual part within us. We generally live desensitised lives!


Walk carefully today. Don’t rush on without giving a thought to guarding your spirit. Remember it’s your responsibility! You promised when you chose to follow Christ to live in light, to do what was right and turn away from all that is wrong. You don’t have a choice, it’s required of you , by the standard set in the New Testament, by the command of Christ.


Why? Because it will benefit you more than any other way. There is a reason why God set these requirements. He set them to help us! Peace brings an inner quietness, a trust in God, health and happiness, through all the difficulties of life. We lose our peace when we don’t understand something or we don’t want something to happen. Hand it all over to God and trust Him.


Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Proverbs 3:5,6


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


 ‘And God will provide rest for you.’ 2 Thessalonians 1:7

The UK has just suffered from terrible storms with a blanket of snow covering many parts of the country.

In Cumbernauld, we have been no exception to that, the snow measuring 16 inches on the level with many snow drifts of up to 3 feet round our front door and gardens. It all looks so beautiful from inside but very difficult to walk in and impossible to drive through.

In many ways it brought enforced rest. For the first time that I can remember, church was cancelled for the whole weekend! The snow was too deep to drive through, there was nowhere to park as cars were abandoned everywhere and folks were struggling to get out for even a pint of milk let alone church.

For one who has attended church faithfully for over 40 years it was enforced but very pleasant rest. There was less rush, less stress and those jobs that I was always trying to find time for got done, well at least some of them! But the biggest difference I noticed was the quietness in my spirit. At the end of the Lord’s day, I went to bed singing, something I never do by Sunday night because I am normally so tired. I noticed there was an ease in my spirit, I hadn’t been fighting to bring God’s message to the people or dealing with difficult people or problems. There was a quiet calm which was unusual. It was like the quiet after the storm. It made me realise that what I do brings its own cross. When I could choose to live quietly at home instead I choose to go out and help the people of God. In fact, I had never fully realised what a price is paid being involved in ministry, especially for those of us who have other jobs during the week!

If you read on in this verse you read:

And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels.’

I’m sure I am not the only person in Christendom that felt like this! When we set our hearts to follow Christ, we put our neck on the line. There is a sense in which we are persecuted for our stance. We are noticed in the spiritual world and as we attempt to help others we engage in a battle that is silent but extreme.

There are Christians all around the world who work tirelessly for the Kingdom. Week in week out they play their part, carry out their duties, doing what is asked and expected of them. We all choose to take up our cross, not only those who minister, but each one in turn. One day, we will enter into a complete rest. It won’t be the rest of a snowy weekend but eternal rest, where every battle will have been won and every soul who has decided for Christ will be safe. Until then, let us plod on tirelessly for the Kingdom of God knowing our God will give us seasons of rest until that day when we meet Him in the air or go to be with Him in Heaven.