Susan Osten’s Testimony

I was fifteen years old when I realized that I loved God, and I wanted to serve Him. I even asked my dad about becoming a Nun. He responded by telling me, “There are many ways to serve God,” and he handed me a Bible. He also said, “The Bible would answer all my questions about God.” Sometimes, I would read the Bible my dad gave me, outside, under one of the streetlights, near my house.

Unfortunately, as a young teen, I didn’t follow through with my desire to serve God. I succumbed to peer pressure, and I began to hang around with the wrong people. I used drugs, disobeyed my parents, ran away from home, and skipped school: my life spiraled out of control.

I was nineteen years old when I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. It was Springtime, and I remember driving down the highway looking at all the beautiful flowers, wondering, “What could I do to feel as pretty inside, as those flowers looked outside.” I felt impure! After I became a Christian and learned more about the Holy Spirit, I realized that the “impure” feeling was the Holy Spirit convicting me.

One evening, a few days later, I was ironing and watching the 700 Club on the television. Pat Robertson, the Host of the 700 Club asked a question that, instantly, got my attention. He said, “Is there anyone in our audience, that has not asked Jesus Christ to come into their heart, and to forgive their sins?” Then he turned his attention to the television audience and asked them the same question. He asked all who wished to ask Jesus into their hearts and receive forgiveness for their sins, to pray with him, so I prayed with Pat! When we finished praying together, Pat encouraged those who prayed with him, to call somebody that they knew and tell them about the decision they had just made, or call the 700 Club and tell one of the telephone operators on standby, that you had just prayed and asked Jesus to come into your heart and to forgive you for your sins.

I chose to call the 700 Club. The lady who answered the phone was happy for me! She asked me, “Would you like to receive the Holy Spirit?” I said, “Please send me more information about that subject.”

“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:10 (NIV)

After I became a Christian, I read my Bible, regularly and I found that I needed to be baptized in water.

Water baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.

I had no church affiliation, and I didn’t know what church to call, to baptize me, so I decided to open the telephone book and look for a church. I had no idea what denomination to choose, so I closed my eyes, and pointed. Please don’t follow my example, there are many cults (false teachers) in the World, today! When I opened my eyes my finger was on a church called: Full Gospel Fellowship, which happened to be just a few miles from my home. I called that church and asked the Pastor, whose name was Gary Wood, to baptize me in water. He was happy to do so, and he told me what day and time to be at their church service, to be baptized. When I went into the church, the people were very friendly. The Pastor baptized me and afterward, he taught the Word of God. I joined that church and went on to serve God in many different capacities for eight years.

One day, after one of the church services, Tina, the wife of Richard Ford, an Elder at that time, said “Would you like to have a Ladies Bible Study in your home?” I was longing to learn more about God’s Word, so I held one in my home about a week later. At the end of the Bible Study, Tina asked me, “Have you received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?” I told her, “No” and she asked me, “Would you like to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?” I was a little embarrassed because I didn’t know what to expect, so I declined.

After everyone went home, I began to think about Tina’s question. I concluded, that if God had more to offer me: I wanted it! I got down on my knees and asked God to baptize me with the Holy Spirit. God answered my prayer. I was so thrilled about the unbelievable experience that I had just had with the Holy Spirit, that I went to the telephone, to call one of my friends and tell them the Holy Spirit is real! I picked up the receiver, and my legs buckled: I dropped the receiver and slid down the wall, to the floor.

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a blessing from God which causes ordinary people to become extraordinarily, effective witnesses for Jesus Christ.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (ESV)

By it, God equips believers today with the same power we read about in the New Testament. Please take the time, to read the second chapter of Acts.

God’s plan has been to supernaturally equip every believer, so that the ministry of Jesus Christ may continue through us.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14:12 (KJV)

Jesus now directs growing multitudes of Spirit-empowered men and women to carry His Gospel around the world.

The blessing of salvation is now, being extended to you, the reader. If you haven’t asked Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior, and you would like to, please click on the link, below:

https://jesusiswaitingwithopenarms.com/2021/06/07/come-to-jesus-just-as-you-are/

Peace Be with You!

In † Christian love, Susan Osten

What is a non-denominational church and is it right for you?

Please click on the link, below and then click on the popup link, to read the article about non-denominational churches:

https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/what-is-a-non-denomination-church-and-is-it-right-for-you.html?utm_source=Today%27s+Bible+Breakout&utm_campaign=Today%27s+Topical+Bible+Study+-+BibleStudyTools.com&utm_medium=email&utm_content=5295089&recip=549644627

I spent many years serving God in a non-denominational church.

Please don’t hesitate, to contact me with any questions you may have, after reading this article: susan@jesusiswaitingwithopenarms.com.

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

Chosen By God’s Grace

Paul and Barnabus we’re preaching the gospel to the Gentiles.

“When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.” Acts 14:48 (NIV)

Matthews Henry’s Commentary states the following about Acts 14:48:

Those came to Christ whom the Spirit made the gospel call effectual. It is called the faith operation of God: “having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.” Colossians 2:12 (NIV), and it is said to be wrought by the same power that raised up Christ.

God gave this grace to believe to all those among them (them meaning Paul and Barnabus), who were ordained to eternal life: “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” Romans 8:30 (NIV) or, as many as we’re disposed to eternal life, as many as had a concern about their eternal state and aimed to make sure of eternal life, in whom God hath treasured up that life: “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:11 (NIV), and who is the only way to it; and it was the grace of God that wrought in them.

“Grace is the unmerited favor of God. Every good thing in this life is by God’s grace. All our accomplishments are by His grace alone. Without His grace you wouldn’t be able to breath!”

“Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon.” – John Piper

“Grace means that all of your mistakes now serve a purpose instead of serving shame.”

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (Amplified Bible)

If you wish to give your heart to Jesus, please click on the link below:

COME TO JESUS JUST AS YOU ARE – Jesus Loves You! (jesusiswaitingwithopenarms.com)

In † His Service, Susan Osten

Sources: Matthew Henry’s Commentary and Excerpts from Bible Reason/Grace.

One of the Greatest Dangers in a Christians’ Life is Stagnation

One of the greatest dangers in a Christians’ life is stagnation (ceasing to run or flow). Christians should fear backsliding, and stagnating in their walk with God.

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”  Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV)

Jesus knows your heart and where you stand in your relationship with Him. He will not loosen His grip on you.

I will cover three topics: 1) Flowing with the Holy Spirit: 2) Praise, Worship, and Reverence; and 3) Peace.

As you begin to read, keep this in mind that Jesus does not want you to focus on who you are now, He wants you to focus on what He wants you to become.

Flowing with the holy spirit

This is exactly how the flow of the Holy Spirit operates in our life. You need to put yourself in the shoes of the person wading the river and look at the life giving waters as the Holy Spirit.

Initially you are ankle deep in the water. This itself is a wonderful feeling as your dry and tired feet receive great comfort when they come in contact with the water. As you progress you get deeper into the water, you still are in full control and for the water to flow it has to go around you. Soon you reach a point where you no longer need to wade and the current lifts you and you begin to flow along with the river itself. At this point you no longer have control but you know you are in safe hands with the Spirit of God.

This river itself originated from God’s house and flows into barren lands and deserts which signify people and places that are broken, wounded, dead and desperately need help. Observe as the river flows through these places it brings life. It brings the healing power of God into the lives of those who are touched by it. This river literally blesses anything that comes in contact with it.

It says the very seas get their life and purity from this river but the marshes and swamps will not benefit. In these places water does not flow, it stagnates and over time becomes unfruitful. This means that those who are not willing to grow, change and become better over time cannot benefit from the Holy Spirit. He can work in your life only if you are willing to step outside your boundaries and are willing to let go of your innate desire to control situations and your natural tendency to resist change.

Praise, Worship, and Reverence

What is your way of thinking towards God in your lowest valleys? Do you Praise, Worship and Revere God, or do you lose your peace and find yourself in a state of great disturbance, confusion, or uncertainty?

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart? I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 (NIV)

Jesus wants you to do the following when you’re on the Mountain Top and when you are in your lowest Valley: Praise Him – which means to express one’s respect and gratitude; Worship Him – which is the feeling or expression of exaltation, glorification, devotion, and adoration; Reverence Him – which is to “Honor with profound respect.

The hymn, “Day By Day” was written by Lina Sandell in 1865. Lina and her dad were on their way to Gothenburg and her father fell overboard the ship and drowned. Lina was eyewitness to the tragic death of her father. Lina composed a few hymns out of the depths of her broken heart, and “Day by Day” is one of them.

In this hymn, she takes to her Heavenly Father who is sufficient to meet all her needs and care for her. This hymn depicts the cruel realities of this temporal life and the pains and agonies that come along with it. Yet, it points to the promising help of a divine Father amidst these trials and learn to trust and rest in His promises.

Every day the Lord Himself is near me

With a special mercy for each hour;

All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me.

He whose name is Counselor and power.

peace

If you’re stagnated in your walk with God, you will have no peace.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:7 (NIV)

As the scripture says, God’s peace is meant to make us content with who we are and what we have. When we aren’t filled with the peace God gives, we end up trying to deal with adversity and worry that God’s peace is meant to relieve. We find ourselves struggling through the adversity and worry in a way that lacks no discipline or restraint. You end up discouraged and your faith falters…meaning that you see-saw, think twice, get cold feet, and waver. You’re basically left sitting on the fence.

When we are filled with God’s peace we are freed up to love God and others.

What distractions, habits, or thought processes in your life are holding you back from being all God wants you to be and also, steeling your peace?

Maybe you get upset over small things, or you’re just too busy. Maybe you become easily bitter in relationships, or you trust yourself more than you trust God. Do you find that you have a lack of compassion? Maybe you are holding on to something that is detrimental to you.

To be all God wants you to be, you must surrender, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life. The scripture below sums it all up:

“…make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”  2 Peter 1:5–7 (NIV)

Lord I want to Return to You

Sometimes our own recklessness, traumatic experiences, or distracting life circumstances take us away from the Church and distance us from God. No matter what, God never despairs over us and always lovingly expects us to return to His shelter.

This prayer is for all who sincerely seek the way back home.

Jesus, I used to enjoy Your trust, and You were close to me. Then I left Your shelter and Your community. You know why.

I want to go back to You, but I don’t know if I can step through the door to You again.

Lord, I remember the beauty of Your church services, the singing, and the comfort I felt as I prayed with others at Your altar. Lord, thank You for bringing back to me this memory and awakening in me a longing for it.

Thank You for all that you have given me throughout my life.

Lord, I long for Your nearness. I desire Your grace, which gives meaning to my life.

I long for Your gentle mercy, and even for Your admonitions, which have kept me from even greater mistakes.

I miss Your patience, which helped me grow in faith and let me know that I am important to You.

Lord, I call on You to break the arrogance and pride that hinder me from coming back to You.

Lord, I’m afraid of looking weak if I begin to search for You. Please free me from the fear of the judgment of others.

Lord, send me the Holy Spirit, so I can cast off my burdens, which grow heavier by the day. Grant me, Your Grace, so that I will no longer hide anything from You. Let the wall that has grown between us be torn down. Amen

“There is no safer place than in the palm of God’s hand; with peace as our shelter, we rest in His plan. Though trials may try us we’ve learned what is true – with wisdom and grace He will carry us through.” – Author Unknown

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

Sources: The Holy Spirit By Blue Flames; Day By Day – Top 10 Hymns from ibelieve.com; Lord I Want to Return to You By Operando.

Jesus Is Waiting With Open Arms

Welcome! My name is Susan Osten, and I would like to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with you. God eagerly desires a loving relationship with you, but sin separates us from God:

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23 (KJV)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (KJV)

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NKJV)

Do you want to be at peace with God?

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:1 (NIV)

But it didn’t end with His death on the cross. He rose again and still lives!

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”   1 Corinthians 15:3-5 (NIV)

Jesus is the only way to God.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  John14:6 (KJV)

Would you like to receive God’s forgiveness?

We can’t earn salvation; we are saved by God’s grace when we have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is believe you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask for His forgiveness. Then turn from your sins—that’s called repentance. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you. What matters to Him is the attitude of your heart, your honesty.

If you wish to ask Jesus into your heart, please pray the following prayer:

Jesus, I acknowledge that You are the Son of God. I believe You died on the cross at Calvary, where You shed Your blood for my sins, and that You rose from the grave and conquered death. I repent of my sins, and I ask You to forgive me for my sins. Please change my heart to be like Yours – full of love and forgiveness. Help me to obey Your teachings in the Bible. Please be my Savior and my Lord. Thank You for extending Your grace to me, and for saving me from an eternity in Hell. Thank you for giving me a new life here on earth. Amen.

If you prayed the prayer above: you are now, God’s child. Pray to your heavenly Father: tell Him what kind of help you need.

“For it is with the heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:10 (NIV)

May God’s grace and peace be with you.

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

– Excerpts from one of Billy Graham’s Salvation Invitations

Silence is Power & A True Faith Will Control the Tongue

“The wicked is snard by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.” Proverbs 12:13-14 (KJV)

“With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor, But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.” Proverbs 11:9 (KJV)

“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” James 1:26 (KJV)

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be SWIFT to HEAR, SLOW to SPEAK, SLOW to WRATH. For the wrath of a man worketh not the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20 (KJV)

Study Notes: In James 1:19-25, James condemns, dormant, unapplied knowledge. He calls for people to listen to a message of truth and then live consistent with that message, and he offers guidelines for what that might look like. The pressure that trials create may make believers quick to react in anger; James says act differently. These verses are a key for the letter because they point to a faith that results in changed behavior.

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27 (KJV)

James says one’s religion is worthless if it is without fruit. James 1:26

The following quote jumped out when I read it because I spend quit a lot of time in solitude and silence. Most days, when my husband goes to work, I turn off the TV and do my housework, read my Bible, and pray in Silence and Solitude.

The quote is a follows:

“Very few of us know the secret of bathing out souls in silence. It was a secret our Lord Jesus Christ knew very well.”

A W Tozer

Following is an excerpt from Jesus’ Solitude and Silence by Bill Gaultiere:

“The priority of Jesus’ solitude and silence is everywhere in the Gospels. It’s how He began His ministry. It’s how He made important decisions. It’s how He dealt with troubling emotions like grief. It’s how He dealt with the constant demands of His ministry and CARED FOR HIS SOUL. It’s how He taught his disciples. It’s how He prepared for important ministry events. It’s how He prepared for His death on the cross.

Sometimes silence shows our power more than anything else will.

Whatever can elicit a response from you is what has power over you. That’s why bullies teas and try to rile the other kids up. If they can get the other kids mad, sad, or even fighting, the bully feels powerful because he is forcing the other kids to do what he wants.

As Jesus showed us, silence is sometimes the greatest display of power. Jesus showed His power in many ways, and one of those ways was through His silence.”

Following are some scriptures showing some of the times Jesus chose Solitude and Silence:

Matthew 12:19; Isaiah 53:7; Acts 8:32; Matthew 15:23; Matthew 26:63; Matthew 27:12; Matthew 27:14; Mark 14:61; Mark 15:5; Luke 23:9; John 19:9; John 14:30; John 19:10; Mark 3:7; Luke 6:12-13; Mark 3:13; Matthew 13:1-3; Mark 4:1

May Jesus bless each one of you who read this blog, with a revelation of this POWERFUL TRUTH about Solitude and Silence!

In † His Service, Susan Osten

Sources: The KJV Study Bible, the study notes are adapted from the Layman’s Simplified Commentary Series & Jesus’ Solitude and Silence by Bill Gaultiere