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.


Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


The glorious gospel of the blessed God which he entrusted to me. 1 Timothy 1:11

Just sometimes there’s a phrase that Paul uses that catches my attention. Here are three in one verse: ‘the glorious gospel’, ‘blessed God’ and ‘entrusted to me’.

First, ‘the glorious gospel’ is a wonderful thought. The way you and I have chosen to walk is glorious so let’s hold our heads high and be proud of the Christ we serve. We are not the outcasts of society, the ones who need the crutch of religion but ones who have chosen to walk in Light with nothing hidden or secretive in our lives.

Secondly, ‘blessed God’ is such a wonderful description of the one we choose to serve. He is blessed with light, with eternity, with love, with justice and mercy, the God of truth and clarity. He also chooses to bless us with the gifts of love, the ability to forgive a thousand wrongs, kindness and integrity. He watches over all our ways and pours out blessings liberally on those who follow Him.

‘You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God: Your towns and your fields will be blessed. Your children and your crops will be blessed. The offspring of your herds and flocks will be blessed. Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed.’

Deuteronomy 28:2-6

Thirdly, ‘entrusted to me.’ Paul was extremely privileged to be an apostle. He knew as he travelled from city to city he was holding something so precious that one day it would cost him his life. He wasted no time in spreading the word, persevering through every difficulty and opposition he faced. He carried the glorious gospel of the blessed God in the very centre of his being, fighting to bring the clarity and truth of it to the unsaved.

Can we make comparisons? We too have been entrusted with the glorious gospel of the blessed God. We have received abundantly of His blessings and found the glorious gospel has brought much happiness and truth into our own lives. We, like Paul, have been entrusted to carry it. Are you doing that? Do you carry it into your home and workplace or even when you go shopping? Do you carry it carefully wherever you are, this wonderful glorious gospel, like a diadem of light and beauty within you? Do people see its radiance and purity shining from your face in your sheer joy of the privilege of following Christ?

We may not be apostles but we are as saved as Paul, called as he was and chosen by our God. Let us choose to serve even as Paul served our very blessed God.


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.’

2 Thessalonians 1:11

 

This verse caught my attention recently because my faith had prompted me to do something new that I prayed and hoped would be fruitful.

 

Last year, my husband and I had been visiting our church in South Wales. We had gone out for lunch at a restaurant along the coast in Swansea with the Pastor and his wife and afterwards decided to walk part way back. Our friends feeling less enthusiastic offered to pick us up when we texted to say we had walked far enough. As we were walking along enjoying the sights and sounds I felt prompted to hold an outreach meeting in Swansea. We have no contacts in that area and it seemed to come from nowhere. I did, what I always do in these circumstances, and handed the feeling back over to God. Again, I felt a wave of prompting to go ahead with this idea.

 

It took a while to persuade our Welsh friends who thought perhaps a point of contact first would be wise but eventually they began to get a grasp of what I felt. They booked a hall in the Swansea Bible College, printed and gave out leaflets and more importantly prayed for it. We saw the fulfilment of that prompting last Saturday.

 

We have just returned from a fabulous weekend! Our Saturday night meeting was held in Swansea and God honoured us by bringing a good number of visitors along. We met and formed links with some very fine Christian folks. Not only that, we saw someone come to the Cross in tears for the first time and give their life to Christ and another receive a beautiful baptism in the Holy Spirit whilst others sought help and found it. You can imagine I was thrilled and a bit relieved too!

 

Reflecting on this verse:

‘he gave you the power to accomplish all the good things’

 

All the good things consisted of:

1. Sharing the vision with friends

2. Encouraging them to come on board.

3. Book the right hall.

4. Advertise the meeting

5. Print and hand out leaflets.

6. Pray for the meeting and invite folks along.

 

All these practical things were acts of faith that our Neath church carried out. Without the church we couldn’t have acted on our promptings.

 

But most importantly was the action of God. Anyone anywhere can arrange an event, book halls, print leaflets and call people together but only God can perform the miraculous. Only God can change hearts and lives - bring some hardened ex-soldier to the Cross in tears, cause another who had never even heard of baptism in the Holy Spirit to speak in new tongues, to cause another who has been rejected over and over again to feel incredibly loved and valued not to mention others who found help.

 

It’s the response to that prompting of our faith that brings about the miraculous.

 

How many opportunities we miss because we don’t respond to these promptings. It may be on a smaller scale but that prompting to visit a neighbour, invite another along to church or even to just kneel and pray for someone must be acknowledged and obeyed. We miss so many of these small promptings in our lives because we are too busy or stressed or selfish or sinful or even just because we reason things out, a bit like our welsh friends who were looking for contacts first before they could begin something.

 

Listen to the inner prompting of the Spirit. He will lead you gently. He won’t ask you to do anything foolish or stupid or too difficult to begin with. As we listen to that still small voice and respond we will find  our little steps of obedience will lead to bigger ones where others are affected and the kingdom of heaven is extended through our lives.

 

‘If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones.’

Luke 16:10


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


‘Then make me truly happy by agreeing  with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.’ Philippians 2:2

 

I don’t think there is anything that grieves a Pastor’s heart more than finding disagreements and a lack of forgiveness of one another in the church. All the sermons ever preached, every Thought for the Week written, seems a complete waste of time when we harbour grievances against one another. If we can’t get these basics right then we will never grow in the knowledge and love of God.

 

Satan twists our thinking so when there is a grievance against us, he blows it out of proportion. It becomes something that can never be sorted until the person who has wronged us comes to us with tears of repentance. This causes huge divisions in the church which is just what our enemy wants. He chuckles to himself when he sees the havoc that he causes.

 

There is only one way to overcome this and it is the way of Love. We will always be wronged by others. Someone will look at us the wrong way, offend a member of our family, say something critical or divisive. We can’t afford to sit on our throne waiting for an apology especially when sometimes the truth is, it was never meant, or even more than that, it never actually happened. There is only one way through these difficulties and that is to love despite all the wrongs or insinuations the enemy puts into our thoughts.

 

‘You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.’

Romans 2:1

 

Ask yourself these questions:

 

- do you feel right about your lack of forgiveness?

- is this train of thought and attitude God glorifying?

- is the church of Christ benefitting from your attitude?

- do you love those who have offended you?

- do you pray for them?

- could you go the extra mile for them?

 

You will know by your answers to these questions whether you are right to condemn another or not. See what the next  verse says regarding this subject.

 

‘Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.’ V3

 

Well this just about does it I can hear you say! Have I offended you too?

 

Friend, it’s not me that offends you but the Gospel of Christ!  There is only one way to follow Christ and it is the way of humility and obedience. Learn to let Love rule in your hearts. Bless those who offend you and YES, think of them more highly than you think of yourself. At the end of the day, they too have suffered pain and humiliation. They too have to forgive and humble themselves and the truth is, if each one of us follows this way of forgiveness, the church will become very secure and will be built upon the Rock.

 

Then shall the Pastor’s heart be happy and a happy Pastor means happy sermons and much blessing for the church!


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


‘Make it your ambition...’

1 Thessalonians 4:11


Almost everyone has ambitions. It creates a sense of hope and purpose in our lives. Sometimes these ambitions are really over the top and unobtainable and our dear friends know fine well we’ll never manage to reach these unrealistic goals whilst others we achieve and sometimes don’t even notice we’ve done it.


I was sitting one day in my living room marking a pile of school jotters when my 88 year old mother looked up and said you used to play at marking jotters when you were small. I hadn’t noticed how I had achieved one of my ambitions. Another was to be a missionary!


The bible sets us realistic goals and this verse gives us several very achievable ones if we follow Christ.


They are:

Lead a quiet life

Mind your own business

Work with your hands


There’s something very alluring and attractive about these simple yet beautiful ambitions. Sin brings noise and chaos. Christ brings quietness and order. Sin brings laziness and selfishness. Christ brings hard work and consideration for others.


Let’s make up our minds to live a quiet life, no matter the chaos around us, be quiet inside. Let nothing disturb the equilibrium within.


When you hear gossip about difficulties or troubles don’t think or talk to others about them. They’re probably not even true or accurate anyway! Mind your own business and still your soul in Him


Whatever you do, whether it’s housework, babysitting, running a busy office or working with your hands do it for Christ with the strength of His peace and calm within your heart.


Why? 


‘So that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.’

1 Thessalonians 4:12


Be a true witness for Christ this week, not only by what you say, but by who you are.


Have a blessed week. God bless, Diana.


Thought for the week

by Struthers Cumbernauld


‘So when we could stand it no longer ...’

1 Thessalonians 3:1

 

Some of these little passing comments that Paul makes as he goes from one profound truth to another are really quite helpful and enlightening.

 

This one, tells me that Paul faced situations that he was very unhappy about for long periods of time, but there came a point when even he, who had suffered shipwreck and stoning, couldn’t stand it any longer. It’s actually quite a relief to know that he felt like that too because I certainly do at times and I’m sure you will be able to identify with this as well.

 

Are you facing a difficult situation or person? Is there something or someone that you find harrowing? God will give you the grace to cope and when that grace runs out, pray for more! If grace isn’t given then perhaps another tactic is required. Perhaps it’s time to address the situation or speak to the person concerned. It’s reassuring to think that when Paul could stand it no longer, he took action. When we can stand it no longer, when we’ve done our best, pray on, and when you can stand it no longer again, take action. Make sure you take action in Christ, carefully dealing with whatever it is that troubles, but you will know within yourself that He will be with you in dealing with it too.

 

What a relief when He gives us this liberty! How much better we feel when we have taken careful action in Christ! Paul says later in the same chapter:

 

‘So that no-one would be unsettled by these trials.’ V3

 

Surely this is all part of the refining process in our own lives. Our Lord doesn’t want anyone of us to become so unsettled by these trials that we react badly or take a wrong course of action.  Remember, He is not against us but with us even during our difficulties. He understands our frame, His loving kindness is turned towards those who try their best for Him. He will never allow things to become too grim, but with every problem will either give you strength to cope, or provide a way for you to deal with it.

 

He is with us. Let us take heart!


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


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

Ecclesiastes 7:3

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The word says:

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

Malachi 3:3

 

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

 

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

 

Job was also able to say:

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

Job 23:11-12

 

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

 

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

Psalm 57:3


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


And I will give you the keys.’

Matt 16:19

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld


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

Revelation 4:1-2

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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