Being Available to Christ

By Susie Rowan – Outgoing BSF Executive Director

When I was a young believer, a man handed me a small card at a church potluck (when we still had those). All it said was, “Ask simply to be used.”

The man was a mattress salesman. There was nothing special about his appearance or his pedigree. Yet his impact for the glory of God is still rippling years after his death. His funeral was attended by nearly a thousand people, and notable Christian leaders told stories about his love for God and influence on others. I carried that card with me in my wallet for years, and even after it was lost, the Spirit continued to bring that phrase to mind: “Ask simply to be used.”

Today, God is using that little card and its simple words once again. It translates to me as “Be available.” I pray, “Lord, I am available for your service today. How would you like to use me?” As I listen for God’s voice and watch how He orchestrates my day, He reminds me of the availability of Jesus. 

Christ is Available to Us

In this year’s Matthew study, we will behold the unexpected availability of Jesus. 

God sent His one and only Son to us. Jesus willingly left heaven to come for us. A virgin conceived and gave birth to a Son, whom we call Immanuel, “God with us.” The Almighty God of heaven and earth put on flesh to become available to us, to offer eternal salvation and a reconciled relationship with Him. 

And throughout Matthew’s Gospel, we will see Jesus’ availability to the needs of those who humbly sought Him. Jesus was available when the crowds needed food (Matthew 14:13-21). He was available when the people needed healing (Matthew 4:23-25). Most importantly, He sacrificed all to make forgiveness and redemption available to us. And now Jesus’ availability continues forever. For He did not leave us as orphans when He ascended into Heaven but rather increased His availability by sending His Spirit to dwell in His believers and walk with us through life. Just as He promised the disciples and us, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

In response, Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, and many others left behind their fishing nets, boats and former lives to follow Jesus (Matthew 4:18-22) and live every day available to be His hands and feet in the world.

Are We Available to Christ?

This is a recurring theme throughout the Bible. Those who know and follow Christ make themselves available to Him. Isaiah recognized the risen Christ on the throne and said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8 and John 12:41). Ananias, in a vision, was told by Jesus to lay down his plans to restore a man named Saul, also called Paul, for ministry to the Gentiles (Acts 9:10-19). In both instances, Isaiah and Ananias made themselves available to Jesus for an unexpected and risky assignment.

Many of you have very full plates. You are swamped with responsibilities – demanding work hours, caring for aging parents, raising a houseful of children, providing for loved ones, and more. Daily, you sacrificially become available to your family, employer, ministry, and so much more. Yet there are still times when we will be called to adjust our plans to the unexpected needs of friends, co-workers, or unforeseen assignments from the Lord. Often this means putting aside our own convenience to get involved. Sometimes this means taking a risk. 

There are other seasons of life when heavy loads of responsibility are lifted. A new city, a lost job, a child getting married, a big hole in your schedule. 

Here I Am, Lord

Last month I enjoyed lunch with a friend and former BSF Teaching Leader. We talked about her adjustment to a life with little responsibility after a move. She left behind her former home and teaching role within a BSF class. And the Lord made it clear she was not to jump into anything new. It was a season of quiet and waiting. It was a lonely season. Yet it became a refreshing season that led to a new assignment from the Lord. 

Today, I find myself in a new season, transitioning from a place of weighty responsibility to a stage of real availability. As I now retire from BSF, there is a big hole in my daily life. My temptation is to rush to fill it. But the Lord has spoken these words to me, “Be available.” “Ask simply to be used.” And good friends have counseled me, “Don’t take on too much too soon.” Rather than filling the hole in my schedule, I sense the Lord wants me to be available to see what He is about to do with each new week ahead.  

Is there a family need?  

Does a friend need help?  

Is someone sick who needs food?  

Is there a new assignment? Will it involve risk, a change of plans, a new direction?  

For now, being available to God is enough. Jesus is with me. He has redeemed me. He has filled me with His Spirit. So, I will continue to serve Him with spiritual fervor and zeal to make disciples of all nations. Whatever it looks like, I will be available to my Savior. For a short time, I expect to serve Him in quiet, with a focus on family. I will serve Christ’s Church as a seminary board member and in my local church. And in time, I hope to explore some teaching, writing, and mentoring as the Lord gives opportunity. 

But – bottom line – whether our schedules are full, open, or anywhere in between, being available to God is our worshipful response to His constant availability to us. 

If we ask “Lord, how do you want to use me today?” we might find our Kingdom impact to be like an ordinary mattress salesman who asked, “simply to be used.”

Susie Rowan

BSF Executive Director

Under Susie’s leadership as executive director, BSF membership has grown to serve more than 385,000 adults and 66,000 children worldwide, and the ministry has introduced BSF Online and WordGo Bible study platforms, and four new studies – IsaiahRevelation, and People of the Promised Land I and II (Part II coming in 2022). Susie and her husband, Roger, have been married for 45 years and have two children, Jerry and Sally, and four grandchildren.

 

Submit a Comment

Please note that comments are monitored and approved by BSF staff. If you don’t see your comment immediately, please visit this page again to view your comment along with responses from the author and other BSF members.

3,268 Comments

  1. Thank you an your family for your service and sacrifice that others may see God’s truth.

    Reply
  2. Susie enjoy your retirement and thanks for doing a wonderful job

    Reply
  3. Susie, thank you for making an impact on countless people around the world as you led, just as the mattress salesman did! Be blessed as you rest, wait and ask, “how can I be used today?”

    Reply
  4. Thank you Susie, for serving with commitment without reservation. Many classes have grown under your leadership.
    May the Lord continue to use you in the next season of your life.

    Reply
  5. Dearest Susie,
    What a joy to share in the priceless gift from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I cherish the insights of your leadership for the short time I have been part of BSF. Thank you for your time with us, thank you for your passion to serve. May His grace be sufficient.

    Reply
    • Susie you have been in inspiration to all of us in BSF, thank you for your many years of faithful service. Your willingness to be available in whatever the Lord had in mind for you to do is also inspiring. I hope this next season of your life is as fulfilling as BSF has been, enjoy your family and friends, especially those grandchildren, they grow up so fast!

      Reply
  6. We thank you so much for the Godly Job you had been committed to. May God bless you abundantly.

    Reply
  7. I never knew you personally. But it has been an honor to know you through your leadership over the years. I look forward to meeting you someday, which may not be until eternity. Thank you for answering the call from God to serve BSF all the way through the pandemic. You’ve been a wonderful example of faithfulness and perseverance. Thank you.

    Reply
  8. God bless you and all that you do.

    Reply
  9. Susie, thank your for your years of faithful and strong leadership! I hope that you do write during retirement and I would absolutely LOVE to read anything you write. You have a gift with words and ability to speak truth so clearly! May God truly bless you in this new season of your life!

    Reply
  10. Thank you Susie! Thanks for your many years of service to BSF, and for helping me grow richer in the word. May God continue to bless you always! Praying for you and family!

    Reply
  11. May the Lord richly bless you and please continue praying for us the bsfers to avail time for Christ.

    Reply
  12. Praising God for you Susie! Your humbleness & gentleness was evident to all as well as your passion for Christ and His nearness in your life and leadership. From the first time I met you strolling to a meeting at an Area Retreat in San Diego to the year you took time out from your vacation to visit a class and meet with Hawaii staff, you have modeled Christ-like leadership with compassion for people. Thank you! May He continue to bless you and your husband, your children and grandchildren and may you continue to make Him known. Aloha in Christ,

    Reply
    • Thank you for your dedication to BSF. I’m Very proud to belong to BSF and Study the word of God in a serious well organized ministry thanks to you and your team. We pray that God continues to walk with you and watch over you. Blessings.

      Reply
  13. Thank you sue for the great work. May God bless you and your family as you continue to serve him in retirement.

    Reply
    • Thank you for all of your dedication to serve. Enjoy and have a wonderful retirement

      Reply
  14. Thank you for what you allow God to do through you! God bless you greatly.

    Reply
  15. Last year was my first year and I was truly blessed by the online study. I am doing it again this year. Thank you for going online also.

    Reply
  16. Thank you Susie for your sharing which is a timely message from God to me as I’ve just stepped down from BSF after serving for 16 years. There’s a season for everything. As you said, I’m experiencing a precious season of quiet and waiting, listening for God’s voice and watching how He orchestrates my days. Your words assured me that being available to God is enough for this season, I don’t need to fill the hole in my schedule.
    May the Lord who knows you intimately and loves you personally walks with you day by day.
    Blessings to you and your family.

    Reply
  17. Susie. Words are insufficient to express my gratitude for you, your service and leadership for God through BSF. I still have the scripture written on a slip of paper you placed in my hands before leaving your office to serve as a Teaching Leader of the class I have led for the past eleven years. Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Thank you for everything you have done to encourage numerous leaders like myself in faith to trust and depend on God to work in and through us for the good of His people and for His glory. You have been an exemplary spiritual leader and teacher, an absolutely true woman of God. I praise and thank God for allowing our paths to meet. You are so loved and treasured. I am eternally grateful to you and for you. May the Lord’s blessings be showered upon you in this new season of your life.

    Reply
  18. Thank you, Susie for allowing God to use you in such a mighty way!
    We have benefited greatly by your ministry.
    May God bless you 100 fold♥️

    Reply
  19. Dear Susie,
    Thank you. As you transition out of this role, we all know that God will be SO faithful to you. I started BSF in a satellite group in Fairbanks, Alaska. I had heard about BSF for years and had many friends who attended faithfully. I was not able to attend the day class. During and after that first year, I was “hooked!” When it was time to relocate to the “Lower 48,” I told my husband that we could move where there was a local BSF class! I was sort of kidding and sort of not! God did have a BSF group in Griffin, GA, but I chose to get into an online class. BSF in a “staple food” in my life and I thank Him for it. I thank you for all you have done.

    Reply
  20. Because of the change in BFS staff will the Wed online class (with Corena)have to end?
    I can only do a morning on-line class. I know she is no longer with the program but I was wondering if the class on Wed morning would resume with just another leader.?

    If there are any other classes on line on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Friday mornings, please let me know! Thanking you in advance for your assistance in this matter!

    Reply
    • Hi Barbette! You can use our BSF Online site to find groups at any times that work for you: https://www.bsfonline.org/mygroup/group. I would also recommend reaching out to your leaders directly to ask questions about a specific group. Thank you!

      Reply
  21. Susie,
    I responded to God’s call to be available and stepped into the role of Group Leader the same year that you began your calling as BSF’s Executive Director. It has been a huge blessing to be a GL for these past 12 years. God has taught me much about magnifying Him and maturing His people. I have benefitted greatly by your leadership, your teaching, and your encouraging words through your blog posts and Summit events. I will continue as a Group Leader until God calls me to another area of service, just as you have done. Thank you for your faithful service to our Lord through BSF.
    To God Be the Glory!

    Reply
  22. Doy gracias a Dios por esta oportunidad de aprender cómo, cuándo y dónde servirle. Heme aquí Señor, atenta estoy a tu llamado.

    Reply
  23. Though I don’t know you I’ve read many of the other ladies’ messages left and they all agree in their knowledge your service that you will be missed but know you’ll continue in service and honor to God. In doing that you’ll be a very blessed person.

    Reply
  24. THANK YOU FOR YOUR FAITHFUL SERVICE TO GOD AS HIS MESSENGER TO BSF PARTICIPANTS. MAY YOU ENJOY CONTINUING YOUR SERVICE TO OUR LORD AND SAVIOR IN THE NEXT PHASE OF YOUR BLESSED LIFE. YOU WILL TRULY BE MISSED BUT WE KNOW THAT YOU WILL CONTINUE YOUR MISSION TO HONOR GOD. BLESSINGS TO YOU AND YOUR PRECIOUS FAMILY.

    Reply
  25. Thank you Susie for your leadership in BSF. I am recently retired, and your message on being available for Christ being enough, speaks to my heart. This gift of time opens the door for that even more than any other time in life. Thank you.

    Reply
  26. Thank you for your commitment and availability for so long. May God richly bless!
    This challenge spoke to my spirit today,

    Reply
  27. Blessings on your new adventure. I know God will use in great ways!!

    Thank you for your past leadership and all you have done to serve us well.

    God Bless

    Reply
  28. Thank you, Susie, for your service, and may God continue to bless you as you begin a new season in your life. I know from experience that “retirement” does not translate to retiring from the arena. There are still plenty of battles to be fought. I began BSF only a year ago with the Genesis study, but can tell you the study and the interaction with my brothers broadened by life and gave me fresh desire to help spread the gospel. The river of life clearly flows through you and will continue. As for me, eight decades in God’s kingdom and still writing and recording songs to the glory of God.

    Reply
  29. Thank you, Susie. You have been an inspiration and a role model. I love your speeches, lectures, blogs, emails, etc. God has been faithful in using and enabling you to do His work in BSF. Thank you for your obedience to His calling. May you enjoy your new season of life ahead. Virtual hugs and kisses.

    Reply
  30. Thanks be to God and thank you for your years of faithful service, Susie! You’ve been a blessing to His Kingdom through your leadership of BSF. You’ll be missed!

    Reply
  31. Thank you Sister Susie for your dedication to making BSF easier for newcomers to get information and do the study themselves through accessing curriculum off the net . although I’m 60 years old and trough the years thought of has the younger generation you have inspired that younger generation to participate in BSF are the fruits of your directives.

    Reply
  32. Friends had told me about BSF, so when it finally came to our area (in about the year 2000 as I recall) I jumped right in. Now, when our whole world is in such turmoil one can be concerned for the future. But as I look at the changes that have been made in BSF I see them not as just changes, but as really helping us to grow. Even more importantly, I see all these young intelligent women who are bringing their babies with them to learn about Jesus, and I know that here is our “remnant.”

    Thank you, and Godspeed, Suzie.

    Reply
    • Wilma, I love that. Praying for this sweet remnant of believers. Father, grow this children and prepare them to stand for You.

      Reply
  33. I am very much grateful to God, for allowing me to be part of the BSF family, and have learnt and am still leaning and sharing the word of God to my family and others. When i joined BSF i was someone who was not confident in inviting others to the study even sharing the word. Thank you Susie for allowing God to use you in such an way that my family is also benefiting from your teachings and more are coming to know and receive Christ.. I wish you all the best. On Christ the Rock i stand, without fear.

    Reply
  34. Susie, God has used you to grow my walk with Him. I appreciate your sincere, steady, & humble walk as you follow our Lord daily. Thank you for your sacrifice of love & for keeping it “real.”

    Reply
  35. Thank you Susie for all of your hard work while leading BSF. You have been a servant of God. We appreciate all that you have done. May God continue to bless you in your retirement.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This