A YEAR IN THE NOW

On-line Interactive Devotional

April 14: BURNING BUSH!

the-burning-bush

…looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”

(Exodus 3:2-4)

1. Today I will live in the now! I will live in the now because I have the spiritual sensitivity to realize when God is trying to get my attention through unusual means…when wisdom is crying in the streets. I will not be too busy today to “turn aside and see this great sight” as Moses did, but will be prepared to obey His instructions for me, no matter how impossible the requirement may seem in the natural.

2. Today I will recognize divine confirmation when I see it—those signposts from heaven that let me know that I am on the right track. I will move through this day on the assumption that there are no accidents, coincidences or flukes, and will take to heart the words of the mouth of two or three witnesses. If God is speaking, I will pick up on the message!

3. Today I will not be dull of hearing or as a brute beast before the Lord. My freedom from religious prejudice, willingness to think outside the box and openness to revelation knowledge will enable me to know how to appropriately respond when faith comes by hearing the rhema Word. My obedience today will be better than sacrifice.

 4. Today I will be willing to do the ridiculous so that God can do the miraculous. I will remember that the “burning bushes” that I observe in my life are God’s way of using the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and that what seems absurd to the logical world makes perfect sense to the Mind of Christ!

5. Today I will be aware of the presence of God in my life and will know when I am on holy ground. I will reverence His name and come before His presence with singing. I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart and go into His courts with praise. Most importantly, when He makes Himself known, I will respond by saying, “Here I am.”

6. Today I will be aware that the bush does not burn up, proving God’s persistence and purposeful intention. He will not advance me instructions beyond my last act of obedience, so I will not insult Him by my procrastination!

7. Today I will open my eyes and ears to God, and today I will live in the now!

 

Father, help me to notice the burning bushes in my life today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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April 14, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Bishop Jim Earl Swilley, Blogs by Jim Swilley, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional, Jim Earl Swilley, possibilities | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

February 24: WORSHIP GOD!

adore

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. (Psalm 95:6)

Today I will live in the now! I will live in the now because I am a worshipper of the I AM.

 7 Affirmations of Worship in the Now for Today:

1. Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? You in your mercy have led forth the people whom you have redeemed; You have guided them in Your strength to Your holy habitation. (Exodus 15:11, 13)

 2. I know that whatever God does, it endures forever; nothing can be added to it nor anything taken from it. And God does it so that men will [reverently] fear Him [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is]. That which is now already has been, and that which is to be already has been; and God seeks that which has passed by [so that history repeats itself]. (Ecclesiastes 3:14, 15 AMP)

3. And in that day you will say: Praise the Lord, call upon His name; declare His deeds among the peoples, make mention that His name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for He has done excellent things; this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst! (Isaiah 12:4-6)

4. Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard (difficult) for You. You are great in counsel and mighty in work [deed]…You have set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, to this day…and You have made Yourself a name, as it is this day. (Jeremiah 32:17,19,20)

5. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship Him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration. (John 4:24 The Message) 6. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)

7. Allelujah! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory…. (Revelation 19:6, 7)

 

Today I rejoice, and today I will live in the now!

February 24, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

January 2: “I AM!”

 

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”

 And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel,

‘I AM has sent me to you.’”  (Exodus 3:14)

 

1.       Today I will live in the now!  I will live in the now because the same God who revealed Himself to Moses as “I AM” is revealing Himself to me in the same way.  He is speaking to me in the now because I live by every word that proceeds from His mouth.  I am standing on holy ground today.

 

2.       Today I will recognize that He is not the “I WAS.”  Even though He has always been there for me in the past, He is speaking to me in the now.  I can only hear His voice in the present: “God is our refuge and strength, a very PRESENT help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).  I will not listen to the voices of regret, bitterness and painful memories.  I will not live in a haunted house.  My God is the “I AM!”

 

3.       Today I will recognize that He is not the “I WILL BE.”  Even though I trust Him with my tomorrow, I will take no thought for it, for His Kingdom only exists in the now (Matthew 6:33, 34).  I will not listen to the voices of fear, worry and anxiety.  I will not ask for more than my daily bread.  My God is the “I AM!”

 

4.       Today I will let that abide in me which I heard from the beginning (1 John 2:24).  I will listen for my eternal voice and live my eternal life.  I will not be manipulated or limited by time, but I will locate the eternity that He has planted in my heart and let it rule my day.  One day with me will be as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.  Time is irrelevant to the real me today, and yet I will get every necessary thing done on time!

 

5.       Today I will walk in wholeness by integrating all the parts of my life: past, present and future.  Like God, I also “am who I am.”  I will accept and make peace with my whole life—who I was and who I will be—for they are both a part of who I am.  I will be complete in Him.  I will be perfect (mature) and entire, lacking nothing.

 

6.       Today I will be myself.  I will walk in the truth of who I really am.  I will not have the need to impress anyone or to try to gain anyone’s approval.  I am accepted in the Beloved.  I will simply manifest my own uniqueness with no apology.  Today I will let God be God, and He will let me be me.

 

7.       Today my revelation of God as the “I AM” will give others around me the courage to live in the now.  The atmosphere of peace and liberty that my faith will create will encourage them to be who they are.  Today I will be a burning bush for them, with God speaking through me, and today I will live in the now!

 

Father, reveal Yourself to me as the “I AM” in a new way today.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

January 6, 2009 Posted by | Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Introduction

 

 

For this third edition of A Year In The Now, I wanted to write a new introduction.  Enough time has elapsed since I first wrote this devotional that I can now read it with real objectivity and so it actually ministers to me in a way that makes it seem as though someone else wrote it.  People tell me all the time that, every day when they open the book, the word that they need right then is always there for them on the page…and now I can say the same thing for myself!    I am amazed at how many times the title of an entry or a phrase in one of the affirmations is uncannily pertinent to my current situation.  It confirms to me that I didn’t write this six years ago…I wrote it IN THE NOW!

 

And that’s because God is in the NOW!  God is always in the now!  God revealed Himself as the “I AM” to Moses in Exodus 3:14…not as the “I Was” or the “I Will Be.”  He is I AM, and “AM” is current…present tense…NOW!  He even went on to say to Moses that “I AM” would be His eternal name…“This is My name forever, and by this name I am to be remembered to all generations” (v.15 AMP).

 

God is eternal and eternity is best defined as “THE NOW.”  And it is only in the NOW that we can experience the “PRESENCE” of God.  PRESENCE means that He is PRESENT…not past…not future…PRESENT…NOW.  The Psalmist said, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-PRESENT help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 TNIV).

 

Many, if not most, people miss the miracle of the NOW because they are too distracted by regret over the past or fear of the future.  But the God Who calls Himself “I AM” encourages us to “forget those things which are behind” (Philippians 3:13) and to stop worrying about tomorrow.  Jesus said, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing RIGHT NOW, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes” (Matthew 6:34 The Message).

 

When you let go of past-regret and future-anxiety, you can finally say with confidence that THIS is the day the Lord has made!  THIS IS…not was…not will be.  That’s why the writer of Hebrews declares that faith is always “NOW”…“NOW FAITH IS being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1 TNIV)!

 

And then a few verses down he says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that HE IS, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV).

To come to God—or to come into the “PRESENCE” of God—you must believe that HE IS (another tense of I AM).  Before you can even begin to believe that He is a rewarder, you must first establish that HE IS (or HE IS I AM).  The verse says, “must believe that He is AND, AND, AND that He is a rewarder.”  When people believe for rewards without first believing in His “IS-ness” or “AM-ness” (if you will), they are out of order.

 The IS (or AM) always comes before anything else.  That’s why so many people are frustrated in their prayer life—they have never just concentrated on believing that HE IS, so it brings imbalance into their lives when they attempt to believe that He is a rewarder, even when they diligently seek Him.  The bottom line is that if you don’t embrace the NOW, you cannot seek HIM—you just end up seeking rewards that never come, which ultimately keeps you in a constant state of unsettled disappointment.

But there is no disappointment in the I AM, and nothing is more important than right NOW.  Every time you pick up this book, you are “COMING TO GOD,” in a sense, and those who come to God MUST believe that HE IS.  I pray that A Year In The Now will help you fulfill the requirement, so that you can say, “I do believe that HE IS!”  I pray that it helps you to let yesterday go.  I pray that it enables you to stop worrying about tomorrow.  I pray that it allows you to realize that regret is a waste of time and that anxiety never creates anything positive.

Thank you for receiving this book into your hands and into your life.  Thank you for reading it every day.  Thank you for speaking the affirmations out loud.  Thank you for living in the NOW.  Thank you for passing it on to others.

Thanks to all who have helped to make AYITN what it is…a very big THANK YOU to Patti Cook…a very big THANK YOU to Pastor Avery Rogers…a very big THANK YOU to Robyn Darby…and, as always, a very big THANK YOU to René Babcock!

I also want to thank the brilliant Dr. Kelley Varner for his very kind words which have been added here to the words of others whom I love, respect and admire.  And a special THANK YOU goes out to Kirk Talley, who I have only met once but who has promoted this devotional more than anyone ever has, outside of my own ministry.

And the ultimate THANK YOU to THE GREAT I AM—all power, honor and glory be unto Him forever!!!

GOD IS NOW!  NOW FAITH IS!

G0D IS!  NOW FAITH!

GOD!  NOW!

 

Stay in the now,

 

Bishop Jim Swilley

January 6, 2009 Posted by | Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment