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.

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

August 3: ‘NUFF SAID

nuff-said

 

“. . . but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind . . .” (Philippians 3:13)

“To everything there is a season . . . a time to keep silence . . .” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7)

 

1. Today I will live in the now! I will live in the now because I am breaking the ties with my past by ceasing to speak of things that are over and done with. My conversation today will be in the now . . . what God is doing NOW . . . where I am on my journey NOW . . . the truth and revelation that I am walking in NOW!

2. Today I will stop bringing up incidents that remind me of the offenses of the past. I will release myself from the hurt and pain caused by others by forgiving them – everyone who has wronged me, whether they have asked for my forgiveness or not. What’s done is done, and there is no point in my continuing to speak of negative things that are only going to bring oppression into my life. By forgiving others, even my enemies, I break any power or control that they may have over me emotionally or spiritually.

3. Today I will stop advertising for my weaknesses and failures. I will be real, humble and transparent. I will even admit when I am wrong and apologize when necessary, but I will not continue to harp on negative things that I have done or said that cause me to blame myself and bring my mind under a cloud of self-condemnation. If Jesus is faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness, then I will have the good taste to honor His justification by shutting up about my shortcomings!

4. Today I will break any familiar patterns of negative conversation that I am apt to fall into with those who are close to me. I will address the issue head on, for my own good, as well as for the good of the person to whom I am speaking.

5. Today I will stop letting down my ethical defenses and allowing myself to fall into gossip, verbally judging others or speaking things that will snare me and cause trouble in my life. I am responsible for what I say, so I will use my Holy Spirit-produced fruit of self-control to help me stop and think before I speak. I will walk away from the temptation to engage in idle, non-productive talk with others, and I will finish up every conversation today with no feeling of regret and no fear that my words are going to come back to haunt me.

6. Today I will be sensitive to the voice of the Spirit when He tells me to be quiet.

7. Today I will speak words that are like apples of gold in settings of silver, and today I will live in the now!

 
Father, help me to know when I’ve said enough today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

August 3, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Bishop Jim Earl Swilley, Blogs by Jim Swilley, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Dealing with stress, Devotional, forgiveness, Jim Earl Swilley, Letting Go, Moving forward, Power of Words, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

February 26: BE NICE!


  

“It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].”
(1 Corinthians 13:5 – AMP)

1. Today I will live in the now! I will live in the now because, in Christ, I have the ability to become the person that I have always wanted to be. Because of the unique work that the Spirit of God is doing in my heart and personality, I can love others unconditionally, treating them respectfully, as God treats me with respect and affectionate kindness. They will not have to suffer because of my unfinished business and unresolved issues, because the character of Christ will enable me to keep my relationships in proper perspective.

2. Today I will allow the river of the Christ-life to flow out from my inner man, into the world around me, so that I can be a blessing to humanity, and a Kingdom world-changer. I will be loving, helpful, friendly, cooperative, empathetic, and understanding today. The fruit of the Spirit operating in my life will feed and satisfy the hungry souls of those who come into contact with me, causing me to be attractive in an authentic, godly, and life-affirming way.

3. Today I will not retaliate where my enemies or accusers are concerned, knowing that vengeance belongs to the Lord, and He will vindicate me. I will experience the power of turning the other cheek, and the soft answer that turns away wrath. I will not wrestle with flesh and blood today, and will agree with my adversary quickly when I am in the way with him. Today I will not be overcome with evil, but will overcome evil with good, my ways pleasing the Lord so that even my enemies will be at peace with me. If God is for me, who can be against me?

4. Today I will be blessed because I am a peacemaker, and will be called a son of God (Matthew 5:9). I will obtain mercy because I will be merciful to others (5:7).

5. Today I will be a bridge-builder, because God has given me the ministry and word of reconciliation. I will endeavor to wage war against hatred, strife, division, bigotry and prejudice when I see evidence of it, by the hidden weapons of the Spirit of God in me.

6. Today Jesus will live big in me, and will even love the unlovable through me. Love never fails, and love will put me over!

7. Today I will win by doing the right thing, and today I will live in the now!

 

 

 
Father, help me to love like You today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

February 27, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional, relationships | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

February 19: HELP SOMEBODY!

 

“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'” (Matthew 25:40) helping-hands2

1. Today I will live in the now! I will live in the now because of my God-given ability to move beyond the limits of my selfishness, into the universe of usefulness. I will make my life count today by being a blessing . . . translating what I believe into what I do . . . making a positive difference in the surrounding environment.2. Today I will make a genuine effort to bring Kingdom solutions to the people in the world around me, using my covenant prosperity to be a blessing to mankind. I am a giver . . . a contributor . . . a benefactor . . . a participator in the pursuit of purpose . . . an opener of doors and a builder of bridges.

3. Today I will invest in my future as I sow into relationships that will prove to be part of my destiny. I will lend a helping hand, knowing that I may need help later. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10).

4. Today I will look beyond the faults of those who need my help, and will supply their need, to the best of my ability, with a spirit of non-judgmental, unconditional love. I will help someone, just because it is the right thing to do.

5. Today my mind will be full of ideas of how to help, and my creativity will give birth to those ideas. I will be a light in the darkness . . . a healer . . . a world changer.

6. Today I will really listen to God, and to the people who need my help. I will follow His leading in how to meet needs, and I will hear with spiritual ears the cries of the hearts of those that He has placed around me. The field is the world, and I will be a laborer in the harvest.

7. Today I will not be overwhelmed by the demands of those who need my help, because the Spirit – the Paraclete – the Helper – will be with me today to help me as I help others. By His grace I will do what I can, but I will also rest in Him, and cast my care on Him, because the government is on His shoulder. Today I will help to make the world a better place in which to live, and today I will live in the now!

 
Father, show me how to be there today for someone who really needs my help – help me to be helpful. In Jesus’ name, amen.

February 19, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional, Giving, Kingdom of God, relationships | , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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)

pray

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 11: CHOOSE LIFE!

 
 
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore CHOOSE LIFE, that both you and your descendants may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19) 

1. Today I will live in the now! I will live in the now because I have made LIFE my choice, and will demonstrate the power of it today. Today I will FIND THE FLOW of life, and will follow it to ultimate success. The flow will bring confirmation to me, as the Peace of God in my heart guides my decisions.

2. Today I will FACE THE FACTS of life . . . of my own life. I will accept the reality of my present circumstances, but I will remember that with God nothing is impossible. The law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death! Faith is the victory!

3. Today I will FORGET THE FAILURES of my life. I choose to receive forgiveness, learn from my mistakes, change what needs to be changed, and move on with life. “. . . This one thing I do, forgetting those things that are behind . . . .” (Philippians 3:13 – KJV)

4. Today I will FOLLOW THE FAVOR in my life. I will go where I am celebrated, instead of where I am tolerated. The path of favor will help to unfold my purpose as His will is done in me as it is in heaven.

5. Today I will FOSTER THE FRIENDSHIPS in my life, knowing that God has given me genuine Kingdom connections with others who are significant to my destiny. I will choose life today by doing something to nourish those relationships, and to keep them thriving and healthy.

6. Today I will FORECAST THE FUTURE of my life. I will be tomorrow what I am saying today, so I will choose life by my words. Life is in the power of my tongue, and I love the fruit of it. I declare that my latter will be greater than my former! The best is yet to come for me!

7. Today I will FINISH THE FAITH in my life. I will cooperate with Jesus, my faith’s Author and Finisher, by completing His assignments for me. I will not be a quitter . . . I can see a thing through. It is through faith and patience that I inherit the promises of God, so by faith I choose blessing, prosperity, health, love, peace, joy, contentment, and every good and perfect gift from above. Today I choose life, and today I will live in the now!

 

 

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

February 11, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional, Kingdom of God, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

January 21: RELATIONSHIPS NOW!

 

Consequently, from now on we estimate and regard no one

from a [purely] human point of view

[in terms of natural standards of value]….

(2 Corinthians 5:16 AMP)

 

1.       Today I will live in the now!  I will live in the now because of the covenant relationships in my life and the way that they reveal Jesus to me.  The people in my life—family, loved ones, acquaintances, business partners, neighbors, friends (both close and distant) and enemies alike—are all working out a higher purpose in me and, therefore, I will thank God for them all!

 

2.       Today I will succeed because I walk in love and love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).  The God-kind of love is shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost, and that love will enable me to exist in a supernatural dimension of harmony, forgiveness and grace toward everyone with whom I come into contact.

 

3.       Today I will enjoy the comfort of friendship.  Knowing that “a friend loves at all times…” (Proverb 17:17), I will believe and accept that I am loved.  I deserve friends because I have shown myself friendly (18:24), and today my life will be improved because of them, as iron sharpens iron (27:17).

 

4.       Today I will embrace the benefits of commitment.  I will not be hesitant to make a required withdrawal from the lives of those into whom I have made an investment.  I will give of myself freely, fully understanding the demands imposed upon me by my relationships, ignoring the risks.  I will ask for help when I need it.

 

5.       Today I will speak the truth in love (“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” – Proverb 27:6).  Life is in the power of the tongue, so I will not avoid confrontation when necessary nor fear possible rejection, because there is no fear in love.

 

6.       Today I will be unselfish with my time and attention.  I will let those who play significant roles in my life know how important they are to me by my words and by my actions.  I will be touchable.

 

7.       Today I will work toward improving my relationship with God, with others, and with myself.  My life will be enriched by relating to people.  Today I will make a connection, and today       I will live in the now!

 

Father, help me to value my relationships today.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

January 21, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional, relationships | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment