Susan Osten’s † Testimony

I was fifteen years old when I realized that I loved God, and wanted to serve Him. I decided to ask my dad about becoming a Nun. He told me there were many ways to serve God, and he handed me the Bible. He told me the Bible would answer and questions I have about God. I took the Bible and in the evenings, I would read the Bible under one of the lamp posts, a few yards away from my home.

I didn’t follow through with the desire of my heart; instead I succumbed to peer pressure and hung around with a group of godless teenagers. I did drugs and became a very rebellious person, and my life began a downhill spiral.

It wasn’t until I was nineteen years old, that things started to fall into place regarding my relationship with God. It was Spring time, and I remember driving down the highway looking at all the beautiful flowers, while at the same time, I was wondering what could I do to feel as pretty inside as those flowers looked outside. I felt so dirty. After I became a Christian, I realized that dirty feeling was the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

A few days later, I was ironing and watching TV. I was listening to Pat Robertson, the host of the 700 Club. Pat asked a question that got my attention, immediately. He asked, “Is there anyone out there who has not asked Jesus Christ to come into their heart, and to forgive their sins.” Then he extended an invitation to the audience to pray the “Prayer of Salvation” with him. I prayed, too. When we finished praying Pat encouraged all those who prayed that prayer to call somebody that you knew, or call the 700 Club and tell them that you had just prayed the “Prayer of Salvation.”

“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)

I called the 700 Club. The lady who answered the phone was happy for me. As we were wrapping up our conversation, she asked me, “Have you received the “Baptism in Holy Spirit” since you believed?” I told the her, “no” and I asked her to mail some information to me about the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit.”

As the days passed, I began to read my Bible, regularly. 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 which church to call to be baptized, so I decided to open the telephone book to Churches, close my eyes and point. When I opened my eyes, my finger was on a church called: Full Gospel Fellowship. I called that church, and asked the Pastor to baptize me in water. He was happy to do so, and he told me what time to be at the church service for the baptism. When I went into the church, the people were very friendly. I was baptized and began attending that church on a regular basis.

Several weeks went by and Tina, one of the Elder’s wives approached me and asked me if I would like to have a Ladies Bible Study in my home. I had a hunger to learn more about God and His Word, so I told her, sure! At the end of my first Ladies Bible Study, Tina asked me once again, if I had received the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit,?” I told her, no. Again, she asked me if would like to receive the “Baptism in 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 her question. I came to the conclusion, that if God had more to offer me: I wanted it, so I got down on my knees land asked God to baptize me with the Holy Spirit. God answered my prayer. I was so excited! I went to the telephone to call one of my friends and tell them the Holy Spirit is real. I picked up the and receiver my legs buckled: I slid to the floor. It turned out my friends weren’t as happy for me as I thought they’d be, but that didn’t slow me down. I had more zeal than knowledge of God’s Word and I had not yet learned to be led by the Holy Spirit, so I suffered some emotional bumps and bruises, as I began to witness for Jesus.

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

“For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, LORD, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:5-8 (KJV)

By it, God equips believers today with the same power we read about in the New Testament. Since the Day of Pentecost. Please 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)

His ascension into heaven:

“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” Acts 1:9 (KJV)

did not mean that Jesus’ ministry on earth stopped, but rather it was an essential step which released even more of His ministry. As the Head of His Church He now directs growing multitudes of Spirit-empowered men and women to carry His Gospel around the world:

“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Luke 24:45-49 (KJV).

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is the impartation of this necessary power so that God’s servants can carry out their calling.

They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. And they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death. Revelation 12:11 (NIV)

In †  Christian Love, Susan Osten

Why Pain & Suffering

Pain and suffering can help us to learn important lessons in life.

•Pain and suffering can test us to show what we are made of.

•Pain and suffering can help to shape our character.

•Pain and suffering can lead to repentance and salvation.

•Pain and suffering can sometimes help us to trust God.

•Pain and suffering can bring about creativity, resourcefulness and courage.

•Pain and suffering can help us to comfort others who are going through similar pain.

•Bearing pain and suffering well can be an inspiration to others.

•Pain and suffering can have a Divine purpose in preparing us for glory.

•Pain and suffering can prevent us from becoming dangerously proud.

•Sometimes pain and suffering in the life of one person can result in the advancement of the gospel in the life of another person. – Words Worth Listening

God led MOSES out into the wilderness for 40 years.

Why? “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.” Deuteronomy 8:2 (NIV)

Moses was not allowed to go into the Promise Land because he disobeyed God: Water From the Rock, Numbers 20:1-12 (NIV)

1 In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried.   2 Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron.   3 They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the LORD!   4 Why did you bring the LORD’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here?   5 Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!”   6 Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the LORD appeared to them.   7 The LORD said to Moses,   8 “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”   9 So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s presence, just as he commanded him.   10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. 12But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” 

God told Moses he would die soon. After Moses died, Joshua, who had served Moses from childhood, led the Israelites into the Promised Land.

God told Joshua: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

God allowed JOB to suffer agonizing loss and illness and at the same time, he dealt with mockery and condemnatory peers. Job was a blameless, upright and God fearing man in the sight of God.

Why? “In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.” Job 1:1 (NIV)

“Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.’ ‘Does Job fear God for nothing?’ Satan replied. ‘Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.’ The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.’” Job 1:8-12 (NIVUK)

Jobs suffered agonizing trials and “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” Job 1:22 (NIV)

PAUL THE APOSTLE lost everything, yet he said…

“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8 (NIVUK)

SUFFERING FOR BEING A CHRISTIAN

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” 1 Peter 4:12-16 (NIV)

JESUS, God’s Son, Suffered Horribly

Why? “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)

The Lord, Jesus Christ suffered our punishment for sin and He was crowned with glory and honor because He suffered death.

“But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.” Hebrews 2:9-10 (NIV)

Christians, even with our pain and suffering, God wants to use us. What do you think some of our top priorities should be while we are living on earth?  Listed below are some of my thoughts:

Our Love for God: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30 (NIV)

Imitate Jesus’ Humility: “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”  Philippians 2:1-8 (NIV)

The Great Commission: Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation…”  Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV)

As Christians, God expects us, within our sphere of influence, to be witnesses for Jesus Christ. If you proclaim to be a Christian, you’re living in a glass house. Your words, lives and deeds are being scrutinized: therefore, we must be sure our lives are Christ-like, in both word and deed. Be sure to listen for the Holy Spirit’s direction when approaching and/or beginning a conversation with people about God’s Gift of Salvation: John 3:16. When I was a baby Christian, I had so much zeal. I couldn’t wait to tell someone about Jesus. I had not yet learned that I needed the Holy Spirit’s help.

In closing, I’d like to encourage all those who are witnessing for Jesus. You may plant the seeds of God’s Word in many lives and God will send other Christians to water those seeds, because our words and Christ-like personality may just be a part of what they need see and hear. You may not always see the end results of sowing the seeds of God’s Word into the lives of your loved ones, friends, coworkers and strangers who happened across your path but don’t let this discourage you, because…

God Word says, “It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”  Isaiah 55:11 (NLT)

Remember, sharing your testimony with people is important!

The Bible says in Revelation 12:11 (NIVUK) “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…”

Telling your story can be the overcoming power for someone else. It can symbolize the “blood” that was shed so someone can experience life. Some man, woman, girl or boy needs to hear your story in the midst of his or her painful situation.

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten