A YEAR IN THE NOW

On-line Interactive Devotional

August 21: MAKE CONTACT!

humanity 

 

“Then He turned to the host. ‘The next time you put on a dinner, don’t just invite your friends and family and rich neighbors, the kind of people who will return the favor. Invite some people who never get invited out, the misfits from the wrong side of the tracks. You’ll be – and experience – a blessing. They won’t be able to return the favor, but the favor will be returned – oh, how it will be returned! – at the resurrection of God’s people.'” (Luke 14:12-14 – The Message)

 

1. Today I will live in the now! I will live in the now because the love of God in me is enlarging my heart to such a size that it is having to break out (and break free) of the little fortress of selfish interests that I have built around it in a vain attempt to protect it from harm. My enlarged heart will reach out to make contact with someone, even if it is risky . . . even if it is dangerous . . . because there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear!

2.  Today I will love the unlovable and touch the untouchable. The Christ in me will flow like a river of reconciliation to those who have been rejected and refused. I will gladly fill the role of a good Samaritan when the opportunity presents itself and, in so doing, the Kingdom will come and the will of the Father will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

3. Today I will not be overly and unnecessarily concerned with protecting my reputation when it comes to reaching out to someone who really needs my help. I will lay down my life for them, by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.

4.  Today I will make time for people and will show a genuine interest in what is happening in their lives. I will show respect for others and make the people around me feel important and special — by making eye contact when we speak; by a firm handshake; by listening and reacting appropriately; by calling people by their names; by displaying good manners; by being thoughtful and considerate; by being helpful and generous; by showing them the real Jesus.

5. Today I will pray for someone else’s needs, taking them as seriously as I would take my own.

6. Today I will communicate to others on their level – relating to them in a real way. I will not be insensitive or judgmental, accepting people as they are and ushering them to the mercy seat of the Christ Who loves them unconditionally.

7. Today I will be kind to strangers, knowing that I may be unwittingly entertaining angels (Hebrews 13:2), and today I will live in the now!

 

Father, help me to make the right contacts today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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August 21, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Agape, Bishop Jim Earl Swilley, Blogs by Jim Swilley, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional, forgiveness, Jim Earl Swilley, Kingdom of God, Love, No Fear, prayer, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

March 4: LOVE YOURSELF!

 

love-yourself1

 

“Jesus said, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others AS WELL AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” (Matthew 22:37-40 – The Message)”. . . he who loves his wife LOVES HIMSELF. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” (Ephesians 5:28, 29) 

1. Today I will live in the now! I will live in the now, because the power of God’s unconditional love allows and enables me to live my life in the present. Because I am accepted in the Beloved, I can give myself permission to love myself as I am now, knowing that I am improving by continually being conformed to His image.

2. Today I will love myself without being conceited, arrogant, puffed up with pride, or condescending. I will not feel inferior to anyone else, nor will I feel superior to anyone else, but will be balanced and mature in the way that I relate to everyone around me.

3. Today I will love myself, and still maintain a mindset of servitude and humility. I will selflessly consider the needs of others by taking up my cross to follow Jesus.

4. Today I will forgive myself for the ways in which I have disappointed myself. I will stop being angry with myself, and punishing myself for my mistakes, having the same patience with myself that God has with me.

5. Today I will speak well of myself, building a healthy self-esteem with verbal building blocks. I will not sin against my own potential by speaking self-destructive words, but will say about my life what God says about it, because I am in agreement with His word.

6. Today I will be good and kind to myself. I will not feel guilty for doing something nice just for me, with no obligation to any bogus, religious ideas of my own unworthiness.

7. Today I will walk in the God kind of love with the people in my life, and will be a blessing to them. They will see Jesus in me today, and today I will live in the now!

 

 

 

 

 
Father, give me the courage to love myself today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

March 4, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Bishop Jim Earl Swilley, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, forgiveness, Jim Earl Swilley, Love, self-esteem, self-image | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

February 18: FORGIVE SOMEBODY

   
 
“For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses . . . neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14, 15 – AMP)

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1. Today I will live in the now! I will live in the now because I will not be tied to the past by the familiarity of my resentments. My ability in Christ to forgive will be a path into the present for me, and a bridge to my better future. Forgiveness will create a world of possibilities for me, enabling me to rise above the fray, and to move on to greatness.

2. Today I will have a realistic grasp of the definition of forgiveness. I will know what it is, and what it is not. I can forgive without having to condone or accept the actions of someone who has seriously wronged me, with the awareness that, even though I have released them from their debt, things may never be the same between us again.

3. Today I will manage my time wisely. I will not fall into the trap of going over and over again in my mind or in my words the injustices done to me. I will not waste someone else’s time by talking to them about situations over which they have no control or influence. I will be sensitive to the Spirit when He tells me that it is the time for me to be silent.

4. Today I will experience a sense of relief from the stress caused by the maintenance of a grudge. As I forgive, I set myself free from oppression and negative emotions and will walk in supernatural peace today, knowing that I AM forgiven because I HAVE forgiven. This peace will cause me to be healthier spiritually and even physically – free from the “dis – ease” that causes disease.

5. Today I will experience a genuine flow in my life as I remove the obstacles and barriers that bitterness has built in me. My mind will be clear today – my thoughts undistracted – my heart free from impurities – which will allow me to be highly productive and effective in my sphere of influence.

6. Today love will prevail, and Jesus will rule and reign through me as I demonstrate His forgiveness on earth as in heaven. The sins that I remit will be remitted, and His Kingdom will come today!

7. Today I will be empowered by the ability to forgive . . . even 70 x 7 will be possible to me because faith works by love. The freedom flowing through me by forgiveness will prove that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me today, and today I will live in the now!

 

 
Father, help me to forgive someone today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

February 18, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Agape, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional, forgiveness, Kingdom of God, Love, possibilities, relationships | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

February 14: GOD’S LOVE!

 
“. . . God is love.” (I John 4:8)

Behold what manner of LOVE the Father has bestowed on me, that I should be called a child of God (1 John 3:1)! In this the LOVE of God was manifested toward me, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that I might live through Him. In this is LOVE, not that I LOVED God, but that He LOVED me, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for my sins (1 John 4:9, 10). For God so LOVED me that He gave His only begotten Son, that if I would believe in Him, I would not perish, but would have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son to me to condemn me, but that I, through Him, might be saved (John 3:16, 17). For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrated His own LOVE toward me, in that while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me (Romans 5:7, 8)!

LOVE has been perfected in me in this: I may have boldness in the Day of Judgment, because as He is, so am I in this world. There is no fear in LOVE, but perfect LOVE casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in LOVE. I LOVE Him because He first LOVED me (1 John 4:17-19).

Therefore, having been justified by faith, I have peace with God through my Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also I have access by faith into this grace in which I stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And, not only that, but I also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the LOVE OF GOD has been poured out in my heart by the Holy Spirit who has been given to me (Romans 5:1-5).

Today I will LOVE the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is similar to the first . . . Today I will LOVE my neighbor as I LOVE myself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (Matthew 22:37-40). Because of the LOVE of God in me, I will suffer long, and be kind. I will not envy, will not parade myself, and will not let myself be puffed up. I will not behave rudely, nor look out only for my own best interest. I will not be easily provoked, or think evil about others today. I will not rejoice in iniquity, but will rejoice in the truth . . . will bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things. LOVE NEVER FAILS (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)!

Today, by His grace, strength and power, I will LOVE my enemies, bless those who curse me, do good to those who hate me, and pray for those who use me for spite, and persecute me (Matthew 5:44). In all these things I am more than a conqueror through Him who LOVES me. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate me from the LOVE OF GOD, which is in Christ Jesus my Lord (Romans 8:37-39)! I am LOVED, and today I will live in the now!

 

February 14, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Agape, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional, Love | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment