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Whose Life are You Shaping?

Sunday, September 15, 2019

What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.

2 Timothy 2.2

The giving of our lives in the service of others is the greatest of all rewards. Christian character and biblical understanding must be invested in those around us. Here, in 2 Timothy, Paul instructs his trusted companion to pass on the life of faith.

The word “mentor” is bantered about these days and when we use the word, we are usually speaking of someone who functions to some extent as a father figure. We’re describing a person who fundamentally affects and influences the development of another, usually younger, person. The concept is not without biblical precedent, Titus 2.1-2; 1 Timothy 3.2. It has been said that mentors nurture our souls and shape our character, training us to be complete, whole, and holy.

Consider the principle of Proverbs 27.17: Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Our lives are best sharpened when rubbed up against the lives of others. Every person has the capability to help someone else grow in their faith.

So as you give consideration to your spiritual life today, take a look at the Kettering family. Who is shaping your life? Be sure to thank them. More importantly, whose life are you shaping? There are so many opportunities to serve. Get involved in our Bible class program. (Schedules for 2020 are being set now.) You can make a positive impact on the generations to come. Another idea is to pick out three persons you don’t know well and be intentional in trying to get to know them better. Take them out to lunch. Let them know you’re praying for them. Look for some way to do an act of kindness. Who is a young person you can get to know better? What is an activity you could do for them outside of the building? How could you be an encouragement to their parents?

Paul wrote, therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing, 1 Thessalonians 5.11. Keep up the good work that you’re already doing. Excel even more.

— Matthew Allen

Growing in Contentment

Monday, September 09, 2019

Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

- 1 Timothy 6.6–8

Contentment describes a person who is not primarily concerned with obtaining "things." The word means self sufficiency. Ancient Greeks used this expression to describe a person who was unmoved by external circumstances. Contentment does not come from the quantity of our material possessions. There is no end to the things we may want. God is the source of our contentment. Will we make spiritual needs our primary concern in life? If we have the necessities of life (food, clothing, and shelter), we should be content.

How can we become more content while living in midst of a very materialistic society?

  • Find Confidence in God’s Providence. Everything is in God’s hands. He is sovereign. He orders everything for His purposes. All things work after the counsel of His will, Romans 8.28. We are not in control of everything. God is and we must trust that He will order events to meet our needs. You will never experience true contentment until you trust that the Sovereign God is ordering everything for your good and His glory.
  • Be Satisfied with Little. “Things” are a consuming passion for many people. Refuse to let the culture dictate what you need to consider yourself happy and successful. Our purpose is not to live for personal satisfaction. It is to live for the glory of God.
  • Gain Independence from Circumstances. Bad circumstances often rob us of contentment and happiness. We can learn to be the same in any and every circumstance, Philippians 4.11b. Apply the principles found in Colossians 3.1-2; 1 Peter 4.12-14, 16 and 2 Corinthians 4.16-5.1 and you will find success here.
  • Remember You are Sustained by Divine Power. No matter how hard your life is, you are sustained by a spiritual undergirding. We are sufficient only through Christ, Galatians 2.20. We are strong enough to go through any thing because of the One who infuses His strength in us, Ephesians 6.10. Isaiah gives us hope: He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint, Isaiah 40.29, 31.

Where is your primary focus? Are you content with the blessings God has given you?

— Matthew Allen

They Still Speak to Us

Monday, September 02, 2019

Hebrews 11-12 are among my favorite passages in the New Testament. These chapters are the climactic end of a book meant to encourage and uplift Christians beset by unending trial and persecution. After defining faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” the writer turns to the first great example of what it means to live and die with it. We are told, “by faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.” Abel’s spiritual legacy is seen in his love, faith, and obedience to God. He did not set out to create a legacy in and of itself, rather he created it by acts of service and devotion to God. This is also true for the many heroes of faith listed through the rest of the chapter. In the opening verses of Hebrews 12, the faithful gone on before are pictured as cheering on the rest of us. It is as if they’re telling us, “keep going, you got this. Stay strong in your trust for God.”

The legacy of God’s kind of person is rooted in their spiritual relationship with Jesus. From the very first they trusted in the Lord for salvation and then allowed God to get busy in their life, shaping and molding them in the way that only He can. Their faithful examples of obedience and trust still speak to us. God’s word never got that far from them. As a result, their shadow still towers over us when we see the fruit of their relationship with God. One doesn’t have to look far to see their dedication and faithfulness to marriage, family, integrity, and acts of love and service to others. They speak to us clearly as we reminisce on how their personal devotion to God was revealed in the way they shared their faith with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. The legacy can be seen through the way they opened their home, wallet, and their very self to encourage others.

Their legacy brings praise to the greatness and goodness of our God. We praise Him for the peace and rest our loved ones now experience as they await to hear the words of Christ, come you who are blessed of My father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, Matthew 25.34. Let their legacy serve as inspiration for us all as we set out to finish the race before us.

Our dear sister, Vera Grushon, is one such example of all the above. Her legacy is easily seen in her family. Her faithful children, grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren are a true testimony of the part she played in their lives. So many cherished memories have already been shared by family and friends. There are stories I am sure each one of us could share of our time with Vera that will almost always make us laugh. She was feisty, funny, and direct. Vera will truly be missed but knowing what we know about her, I can’t be sad. I imagine Fonda Thomas, among others, greeting her home. I imagine her smiling and laughing. I imagine her cheering all of us on to hit a home run so she can be there to greet us home.

Thank you, Vera, for your love, your faith and example, your candor, and all of the memories.

Matthew Allen

Our Unchanging God

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 18.2.

Our world is constantly changing. Nothing stays the same. In fact, it has been said, the only thing that stays the same is change itself. We live in an uncertain and trying world. Change is a constant in our everyday lives. Ups and downs, twists and turns, are a part of life. We endure trials and tribulations at our lowest; joy and peace at our highest. With all of this change and uncertainty, is there anything we can rely upon to be steadfast and immovable?

Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end.

Psalm 102.25-27.

How can the absolute certainty of our God serve as an anchor for our lives?

• All His promises are true. Our God cannot lie. God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23.19.

• He maintains a constant presence in our lives. I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread, Psalm 37.25.

• His Word is unchanging. We can always consult God’s word for guidance in our lives. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path, Psalm 119.105.

With God there is stability, strength, and security. Is He the anchor or your life?

— Matthew Allen

Upcoming 4th Quarter Bible Classes

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Today is the two week mark to the beginning of our 4th quarter classes. It has been encouraging to see our Children’s Bible class teachers already in the building preparing their classes and decorations for fall. We are truly blessed at Kettering to have so many loving people who care about our kids and the Bible instruction they receive. Thanks for all you do.

On the adult side, we have some great classes coming up. On Sunday in the auditorium, I will be teaching a class on death, the resurrection, and our attitude toward eternal life. While that title may not sound all that exciting, focusing on the fact that we will die is beneficial, Ecclesiastes 7.1-2. We’ll also be talking about the fact of the resurrection and orienting our life around eternity. In the back classroom, our 4th quarter class will be using a workbook written by Roger Shouse called Facing Your Giants. This is a great class for younger Christians and those who want to learn how to encourage others who are facing significant challenges in life. This class will be taught by six of our younger men. A signup sheet for this class has been posted in the back. Please sign up today.

On Wednesday, September 4 our 1 pm class begins again. That class, as well as the adult auditorium study will concentrate on the book of Revelation and how it portrays heaven. This goes perfectly in step with the culmination of our yearly theme, What About Tomorrow? We’re all living for a time when there will be no more tomorrows …because we’ll dwell forever in eternal light … with our heavenly Father and our brother Jesus.

On Thursday, September 5 our Thursday class begins again. We’ll pick up where we left off in the spring, covering post-exilic literature in the Old Testament, beginning with the book of Esther. Once we complete that book, we’ll move into a study of the period Between the Testaments.

These are great opportunities for you to get into the word. Use these to build your faith and strengthen your relationship with God. As you do, you’ll experience the deep satisfaction of know more and more about our great God and Savior.

— Matthew Allen

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