Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

 ‘Let him show his works out of good conduct and with the meekness of wisdom.’ James 3:13

I’ve been enjoying  studying the letter of James in the New Testament. His thoughts on wisdom are intriguing.

Here he talks about the meekness of wisdom. I take from this there are times it is wise to be meek when we would rather be the opposite! The meaning of meek is quiet, gentle, easy to be forced into doing something or making an unwelcome decision. This surely is the opposite of what most of us want. We would rather be in charge of our own lives.

‘The meekness of wisdom.’

We need wisdom to know when we should submit to a situation and when we shouldn’t. There are times when we can feel resentful about being forced into a corner or made to do something we don’t want to do. It brings an annoyance or irritation out in us when another rules over us and it’s even worse when we feel they are unaware of how much they are imposing on us. We just want to tell them! Sometimes these situations lead to further trouble when our anger rises and then like a damn we burst and say all manner of things we later regret. The meekness of wisdom is an essential quality in such situations.

Christ demonstrated the meekness of wisdom many times but we see it particularly in His death on the Cross. He knew that this unwelcome, painful, horrendous decision made by His enemies would lead to the salvation of billions of people.

Let us learn to follow His example. Demonstrate the meekness of wisdom today. Embrace your Cross when people unnecessarily impose on you or take you for granted. Take a deep breath and do the right thing for Jesus.

When there is no meekness in wisdom then:

‘...where envy and strife are, there is confusion and every evil work.’ (V16)

Choose Christ today. Live peaceably with all men in the meekness of His perfect wisdom.

Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

 ‘And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace.’ James 3:18

Those of us who have chosen to follow Christ desire to have righteousness in our lives. Righteousness means goodness, decency, honesty and worthiness; all noble qualities that any person, Christian or not, should want.

This verse explains that the fruit of righteousness is sown when there is peace. It makes a lot of sense. When we are at peace within ourselves, righteousness can grow and blossom within us. When we are at rest and relaxed the qualities of goodness, honesty and decency are at work in our hearts.

A person who is not at peace with themselves is one who is restless, constantly agitated or annoyed and often causes arguments and difficulties in conversations or circumstances. One who is at peace takes things in their stride and learns to cope in every circumstance no matter how trying they may be.

How can we be at peace with ourselves? By accepting our circumstances and situation as it is and only attempting to change what is necessary without strife; by placing everything that concerns us into the hands of the living God knowing that He is able to take care of it all. Righteousness has a chance to be sown within us when we are at peace. When seed is sown a harvest follows. Imagine a harvest of righteousness!

This is a similar train of thought to last weeks Thought for the Week.  The quality of endurance grows, so righteousness can be sown. Both speak of betterment to our lives; an improvement in our Christian standards. The New Testament encourages us to be always striving to be closer to God and to be more Christlike. Never settle for less! Never accept what you’ve become! Always look for more.

Let’s give righteousness every opportunity to be sown in our hearts this week by living in peace so we may grow in Christ to be mature, good, honest, decent folk who are worthy to carry the name of our Lord Jesus.

Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

 ‘For you know that when your faith is tested.’ James 1:3a

None of us like when our faith is tested, if we did it wouldn’t be a test. A true test of our faith causes us to question what we believe, who we believe in and why we choose to walk this faith road.  But our faith is tested for a very particular reason. So that:

‘your endurance has a chance to grow.’ (V3b)

Did you know endurance is a quality that can grow? It makes sense! An athlete that trains looks to improve their speed and endurance.  As Christians we just try and cope and wish the whole horrible testing of our faith would stop and we could relax and be ourselves once again. But God doesn’t want us to be ourselves! He doesn’t want us to be weak, frail people who just love the comfortable life. He wants us to be strong, so He allows trials to come.

‘So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.’ (V4).

See yourself as one who is being trained to endure with each test for longer periods of time. Observe the changes within yourself as through perseverance and endurance you learn to change and sustain greater trials. Remember He will always be with you. And for our encouragement the next verse says:

‘If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.’ (V5)

How often in the midst of trial you begin to doubt yourself or you doubt if this can really be the right way. Why are you the only one going through these difficulties? Well, James gives us a wonderful word to encourage our souls right in the midst of our trial. Ask for wisdom. Ask God, our generous God, to show you if the trial you are passing through is from Him and is part of His will. Ask Him to be generous in His wisdom because when we understand what’s happening we cope so much better with our problems.

He is training us for greater things. Take courage my friend and let your endurance grow.

Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

 “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”

Song of Solomon 2:1

I didn’t preach this weekend but if I had this was my text.

These are words of Christ, spoken to us through poetic imagery, proclaiming His beauty and glory in the Song of Songs. Self praise is never recommended except from our Lord Jesus.  We wouldn’t know of Him unless He had come and told us about Himself. It’s a very humbling thought to think that everything we know about God, Jesus and spiritual matters has been revealed to us by the Spirit of God. There is nothing we know that we have learned by ourself.

Again and again throughout the New Testament Christ speaks of Himself. I am the way, I am the Bread of Life, I am the Water of Life but Christ is not only bread and water to us. He is much more.

He is not only the necessities of life; that which we need to stay alive, He is luxury itself. He is a Rose which speaks of beauty, a Lily that speaks of purity. He is filled with fragrance that transmits something of the loveliness of heaven to us.

Yes, believe it or not there are luxuries in eternity. They are just waiting to be revealed to us. An indescribable beauty, a fragrance rare, a warmth of love, beauty of incandescent love, fountains of light within light, luxuries from which we shall never tire, all containing the beauty of Christ. 

This is the incredible drawing power of our Lord Jesus Christ. He draws us to Himself.

‘“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.”’

John 12:32

Men aren’t won to God with bullying but by drawing them. Allow something of the loveliness of Christ to be revealed to you.

Think on this, my friend. He wants to fill your life with exquisite spiritual luxury which is not dependent on your natural happiness, mood or circumstances.  All He is asking is that you enjoy Him.

Come and consider that One who can truly say:

“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”

Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

 ‘Our God has brightened our eyes.’ Ezra 9:8

When our eyes are dull our spirits are often low and our hearts burdened with much. Perhaps there are health issues that make our future skies grey or family matters that trouble us.

When we deliberately choose to turn our gaze on our God, He brightens our eyes.  He fills us with His happiness and vitality. It makes all the difference in all the world. It’s why Christ said:

‘“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’  Matthew 11:28

He wants us not only to find rest from our burdens but happiness of heart.

‘I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!’

John 15:11

Today, look for it! Begin your Monday morning with a spring in your step no matter what is before you. Turn your face again and again upwards to the living God and find new strength for each dull task. He will reward you.

Surely this is how we preach the gospel, by allowing our eyes to sparkle, our faces to shine and joy to be ours.

May you be much blessed today.

Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

‘See to it that no-one misses the grace of God.’  Hebrews 12.15

This is some command! It is our duty as Christians to make sure that no one misses the grace of God, so let’s examine what that means.

First of all, what is grace? The Bible describes grace as being undeserved, free, overflowing, glorious and wonderful. It is often linked with peace, kindness, mighty power and mercy. Grace is the favour and kindness of God’s attitude towards us. We read in Ezra Chapter 9 of ‘a brief moment of grace’. We cannot manufacture it, we can only respond to it. We cannot be saved without it. We are dependent on His grace.

However once we have received it the Bible tells us:

‘... my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus.’ 2 Timothy 2:1

The grace of God can help us to grow strong. We learn to put our trust in the One who has looked kindly on us. This will encourage and strengthen us.

‘So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.’

Hebrews 4:16

Grace will help us when we most need it. We cannot do anything of eternal significance without His grace and mercy. It’s free and overflowing and will be readily available to us when we truly need it. All we need do is ask for it!

So to sum up grace is the favour and wonderful, free kindness of God towards us.

Looking now at the original verse: ‘See to it that no-one misses the grace of God.’

We realise that although we cannot force others to receive the grace of God we can choose to demonstrate it by our attitude of kindness. In the same way God has been gracious to us we learn to be gracious to others.

If every Christian was overflowing with grace the world would be a better place! Let’s choose this week to offer others what we have received. It may be that they know nothing of the grace of God but through our witness they can begin to realise that there is something more to life; something wonderful, free, glorious and overflowing with peace and mercy, even the grace of God. Surely then we will fulfil this command and no-one will miss out on His grace.

Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws.’  Psalm 119:59

We all need direction at some point in our lives. When our direction is clear we know where we are going and what we are aiming for. When our direction is not clear then we grow confused, we go round in circles and we become weary.  The Bible very pointedly gives us clear directions, like layers that unfold before us. This is what we should be aiming for:

‘You have come to mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God.’ Heb 12:22

Here is our ultimate destination, the place we aim to spend eternity. Whilst this life is but a breath we will dwell in the heavenly city for ever.

What will it be like there?

‘You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, (v23) to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.’

A joyful assembly of thousands of angels sounds pretty amazing, like the best choir you’ve ever heard. A very happy place to be! But also to a vast number of believers whose names are all written in heaven. Everywhere you turn there will be happiness, joy and salvation.

‘You have come to God, the judge of all men.‘

Here is something that helps us aim high. We have ultimately come to God, the judge of all men. The One who knows everything about us. How fearful it is to be judged and yet what relief to know He knows it all and we need hide nothing from Him anymore. We are accepted into the family of God.

‘To the spirits of righteous men made perfect.’

Not only will we be amongst the believers, good men and women, but amongst those who are made perfect. No more hurt, pain or crying out for justice. No hatred, suspicion, bitterness or cruelty. No secrets or backbiting. Perfect spirits of righteous men with no shadow of sin or evil on any face.

‘To Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkler blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.’ (v24)

And ultimately we come to Christ Himself.  The One who is the very centre of heaven, the fountain of Light, loveliness unknown. We will be perfectly satisfied when we see Him. This is our goal. Here is the place of eternal rest, security and pleasure. Here is the One who gives us direction and purpose.

As you ponder the direction of your life, ponder Christ. Let Him guide you step by step until you follow Him with a new strength and  purpose in a straight and clear direction.

Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

Moses said this about the tribes of Joseph: “May their land be blessed by the Lord with the precious gift of dew from the heavens and water from beneath the earth; with the rich fruit that grows in the sun, and the rich harvest produced each month; with the finest crops of the ancient mountains, and the abundance from the everlasting hills; with the best gifts of the earth and its bounty, and the favor of the one who appeared in the burning bush. May these blessings rest on Joseph’s head, crowning the brow of the prince among his brothers.

Deuteronomy 33:13-16

A lovely blessing, full of richness and fruitfulness. A blessing that we would all want.

Last week we read of Benjamin’s blessing. This week Joseph’s. Both so incredibly rich and full of God. Both speaking of love, provision and rich blessing.

Do you ever wonder what your blessing is? If we were waiting for someone like Moses to speak to us, to lay his hands upon us and give to us a blessing I wonder what he would say. Furthermore what would you like him to say?

What blessing do you seek? Happiness, prosperity, health, a faithful partner? There are many things that we might choose but I wonder what is our blessing.

When I reread Joseph’s blessing I find myself longing for:

‘the finest crops of the ancient mountains, and the abundance from the everlasting hills.’

I love the thought of the provision of the richness of God from of old. Not a new and modern religion that adjusts and changes to encompass all but to hold to the old the holy paths of God. Finest crops from the everlasting mountains sounds perfect. Finest crops within the church. Finest lives that will stand loyal and true and will be rooted and grounded not in the new but the old ways of God. Abundance from the everlasting hills sounds lovely too. The abundance of the presence of God from the eternal everlasting hills.

But the part of Joseph’s blessing that we should all seek whether old or young, modern or traditional is this:

‘the favor of the one who appeared in the burning bush.’

We should seek the favour of God. The blessing which we need more than any other is His approval on our lives. We will find that by living holy lives, by making right choices and following the paths of clean wholesome living, by being upright in all our ways.

I believe anyone can win the favour of God, He has no favourites.  I believe anyone can earn His blessing. Choose Christ the Son and in so doing you will win the favour of the One who appeared in the burning bush, from the ancient mountains and everlasting hills.

Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

 ‘And of Benjamin he said: “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.”’ Duet. 33:12

This is one of the most beautiful verses in the Bible. It is indescribably lovely to think that you and I are the beloved of the Lord. We shall live in safety by Him. The Lord will cover us and protect us all day long. If that were not enough we shall also dwell between His shoulders; His heart.

Benjamin was the youngest of 12 brothers. He was very special to his dad Jacob, the youngest and most vulnerable of a big family. It seems that when Moses at a later point poured out the inheritance blessing on each one of the 12 sons, Benjamin’s portion was peculiarly precious.

We are the youngest of a very large family. Our Heavenly Father has billions of children and yet you and I are somehow singled out - made to feel extremely special. We are the beloved of the Lord.

Let this be your very precious meditation this week. Safe, protected and covered between His shoulders. What a place of quiet rest there is near to the heart of God.

Don’t let life rob you of these precious moments. How often we stop and read something like this and think how nice it is then rush on to the next thing we have to do. This is a very special verse that needs much savouring. Take your time with it. Give your thoughts to it. Let your prayer life centre round it this week and you will discover how much He loves you and how precious you are to Him.

What confidence it gives us to know how deeply loved we are. We can go out facing any difficulties knowing that we are safely protected between His shoulders.

May this verse bring you the blessing it has brought me.

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.