A YEAR IN THE NOW

On-line Interactive Devotional

January 16: TRADITION FREE!

 

“Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.” (Matthew 15:6)

 ” . . . The phrase ‘one last shaking’ means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.” (Hebrews 12:27 – The Message)

 

1.  Today I will live in the now! I will live in the now because I have declared my independence from meaningless forms, routines and traditions in my life that are contrary to my present reality, and that make the word of God ineffective for me. I am moving past archaic and passé ways of thinking about God or life or myself. The limiting, antiquated ideas and philosophies that I have accumulated over the years are being exposed for the irrelevant relics that they are. I am free to think a new way!

 2. Today I will not believe something just because someone told me to believe it. I will have the confidence to think for myself, and the courage to expose a lie that I have accepted when I recognize that it is, indeed, a lie. I will be able to maintain my love and respect for someone important to me, without feeling obligated to believe everything they say.

3. Today I will consider the word of God as the final authority on every subject.

4. Today I will honor the Lordship of Jesus as the highest priority in my life.

5. Today I will cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit in my inner man.

6. Today I will reject, resist and renounce all forms of the man-made religion that exalts itself against God’s true Kingdom. I will pull down strongholds in my mind that were imparted to me from the religious system that are contrary to the knowledge of God. Religion is the enemy, and I will have no part of it and its silly fables, false doctrines, and pointless works of the flesh.

7. Today I will enjoy the good traditions from my family, my childhood, my country, my heritage. I will benefit from sage advice – the wisdom of the ages – and from lessons learned by life experience. I will restore the old landmarks, and will be a link to the next generation by passing down what is noble and worth keeping. But I will also know how to discern the difference between healthy, foundational traditions, and the ones that are holding me in the past. In that context, today, I will be tradition-free, and today I will live in the now!

Father, help me to break free of all unnecessary tradition today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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January 16, 2010 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Bishop Jim Earl Swilley, Blogs by Jim Swilley, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional, Jim Earl Swilley, Paradigm Shift | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

March 18: CUTTING EDGE!

sword 

 

For the Word that God speaks…is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow

[of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. 

(Hebrews 4:12 AMP)

 

1.       Today I will live in the now!  I will live in the now because the true Word of God is cutting through all of my old, dead, religious, self-defeating strongholds and thought patterns, setting me free to develop His picture of my life in this world.  The sword of the Lord divides my soul and spirit, bringing health and wholeness to me by discerning and discovering my genuine self in Christ!

 

2.       Today I will dare to do what hasn’t been done as I discover destiny through the door of dreams!  The “now” Word is activating me to realize the vision of God for my life as he makes my dreams come true in order to unfold His purpose and plan for me.  The realization that anything is possible continues to dawn on me, increasing steadily as the light of day.

 

3.       Today I will cut through my unnecessary tradition, repenting of any idolatry to the past, in order to discover the pioneering spirit in me that is searching for new frontiers of revelation knowledge.  I will think clearly today, because my mind is uncluttered and my vision is focused.

 

4.       Today I will cut through the fear of failure and will be free to be faithful to my faith.  With God on my side, I will not shy away from the urge to go out on a limb, get in over my head, or bite off more than I can chew!  His Word will be my anchor as I courageously launch out into the deep!

 

5.       Today I will flow with God’s ideas, God’s dreams and God’s vision, knowing that He finishes whatever He authors.  I trust him completely with my life, destiny and future.

 

6.       Today I will allow the good fight of faith to bring out the best in me, to develop my character and to build my confidence as a mighty warrior of God!  Because I know that I cannot walk in fear and faith at the same time, any more than I could travel north and south at the same time, I am resolved to move forward with God’s sword in my hand and His praise in my mouth (Psalm 149:6).

 

7.       Today I will use His sword to cut out all of the nonsense in my life, refusing to put up any longer with that which is counterproductive to His purposes.  I will keep the sword sharp today, and today I will live in the now!

 

Father, help me to keep my life on the cutting edge today.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

March 18, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Bishop Jim Earl Swilley, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional, faith, Jim Earl Swilley, possibilities, vision | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

March 3: PROMISES, PROMISES!


 rainbow   

“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen to the glory of God through us.”
(2 Corinthians 1:20)

1. Today I will live in the now! I will live in the now because of the power of the promises of God to pull me out of the past, and into the present. He is not a man that He should lie, and by His exceedingly great and precious promises, He has made me a partaker of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4)! My self-confidence flows from this knowledge today.

2. Today I will maintain the balance between faith and patience, knowing that, through these two forces working together, I am able to inherit the promises of God (Hebrews 6:12). I will let patience have her perfect work in me, so that I may be mature and whole, lacking nothing (James 1:4).

3. Today I will stand on God’s Word, living by everything that proceeds from His mouth.

4. Today I will keep my own promises, demonstrating my dependability, and incorporating my integrity into my individual circumstances. I will do the right thing, regardless of what anyone else may or may not do. I am responsible for my own actions. I will be honest, reliable, trustworthy and faithful to the best of my ability today.

5. Today I will:

P  – erceive the promises, searching the Scriptures to see what is mine.
R  – eceive the promises, walking by faith, and not by sight.
O  – btain the promises, speaking of the nonexistent as though it exists.
M – aintain the promises, by faithful obedience to God.
I   – nherit the promises, because I am a world-overcomer.
S  – ecure the promises, understanding the benefits of righteousness.
E  – njoy the promises, guiltlessly grateful for the goodness of God.

6. Today I will be thankful for all of the kept promises that have shown God’s faithfulness to me. I will bless Him at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth!

7. Today I will expect to see some movement toward the fulfillment of God’s promises to me for this time in my life. I will not forget His benefits. I will maintain a manifested attitude of expectation today, and today I will live in the now!

 

 

 
Father, help me to appropriate Your promises today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

March 3, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional, self-confidence | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

February 28: ON TIME!

time

 

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that man cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 – AMP)

1. Today I will live in the now! I will live in the now because the God of the NOW, the “I Am,” lives in and through me, and He is the Lord of time. One day with Him is as a millennium; because in eternity, where He exists, time is nonexistent . . . eternity is always NOW. Yet He maintains Lordship over time, because in my realm of existence, time is very real, and very important. But, as His will is done in earth as it is in heaven, eternity (now) supersedes and dominates the restraints of earth time, and the workings of His supernatural Kingdom can prevail in my natural life.

2. Today I will see beyond the limits of time, and will draw the strength needed to succeed in my endeavors from the eternal life resident in me.

3. Today I will believe that I receive WHEN I PRAY (Mark 11:24), not having to wait to believe sometime out in the future, when I see the manifestation of the answer to my prayer. “NOW faith is . . .” – hope is in the future, faith is in the now (Hebrews 11:1)!

4. Today I will have otherworldly patience, and when I add that patience to my faith, I will inherit the promises of God (Hebrews 6:12)!

5. Today I will not worry about deadlines – the first shall be last, the last shall be first – if I come to work in the vineyard at the eleventh hour, I will still receive the same wages as those who have labored all day long! He will restore to me the YEARS that the pests in my life have eaten away, and because He is in the now, time is on my side!

6. Today I will appreciate the seasonal work of God in my life, believing that He really has made everything beautiful in its time. I will rest in Him when the pace of my progress is unsatisfactory to me, totally trusting in Him, and in His perfect timing for my life.

7. Today I will water the eternity that God has planted in my heart with the water of the Word, becoming whole by integrating my past, present, and future under the authority of the timeless Christ. I will be right on time today, and today I will live in the now! Father, help me to stay in sync with Your timing today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

February 28, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

February 9: HE IS!

 

king-jesus2

 
 
“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)

1. Today I will live in the now! I will live in the now because I understand that God is in the now . . . that He is the “I Am” . . . that He lives in eternity where one day equals a thousand years (and vice versa), so that He is not bound by the limitations of natural time. Anything can happen today!

2. Today I make the decision to walk by faith for the next 24 hours, because I know that faith is now and that it is impossible to please God without faith. I will conduct the affairs of my day according to what I believe, rather than by my five natural senses. I will walk by faith today, and not by sight.

3. Today I will not hesitate to approach the Throne of Grace, because it is written that “he who COMES (continually) to God” will have God-pleasing faith. My righteousness consciousness will prevent my heart from condemning me, so that I can make myself comfortable in God’s presence and can feel at home there!

4. Today I will diligently seek God and His Kingdom. In every circumstance that occurs today, I will look for the Kingdom truth or principle that is being communicated to me. I will listen diligently for the voice of the Good Shepherd in every conversation that I have. I will be relentless in my pursuit of Him today.

5. Today I will believe that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. I will be perceptive enough to recognize a reward when it comes to me today, and I will have the boldness to accept it and enjoy it. The discovery of rewards will cause this day to be a great adventure for me. It will be a day of increase for me!

6. Today I will be thankful for what God has done for me previously, but I will pull myself out of the past (where He was), so that I can live my extraordinary faith-life where HE IS! I believe that God IS . . . HE IS! . . . HE IS! . . . HE IS!

7. Today I will not miss one miracle that is headed my way. My expectation and faith-filled words will cause me to attract God’s best, and to repel what is negative and counterproductive to the Kingdom. I know that I am blessed today because I know that God is, and today I will live in the now!

 

 

 
Father, I come to You today, believing that YOU ARE, and that You are my rewarder because I diligently seek You. Help me to keep my focus on You today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

February 9, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional, Kingdom of God, Letting Go | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

January 25: KINGDOM, COME!

 

Your Kingdom come.

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  (Matthew 6:10)

 

Therefore, since we ARE RECEIVING a Kingdom which cannot be shaken,

let us have grace….  (Hebrews 12:28)

 

1.       Today I will live in the now!  I will live in the now because I am a part of His Kingdom, and His Kingdom is coming now!  The King is reigning in my life now.  His government is increasing now.  The kingdoms of this world are becoming the Kingdoms of our God and of His Christ, now.

 

2.       Today I am not encumbered with the pointless rules and regulations of religion, because the Kingdom of God is not meat or drink, but it is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.  I will interpret my day be these three things and will make seeking them my first priority.

 

3.       Today is a day to demonstrate righteousness.  He who knew no sin became sin for me that I might become the righteousness of God in Christ, and it is from this righteousness consciousness that my self-esteem and confidence flow today.  By this I am able to show that He has made me the head and not the tail.

 

4.       Today is a day to walk in peace—not as the world gives—but as Jesus Himself shares His supernatural peace with me.  I let not my heart be troubled because I have the peace that passes understanding.  I will not be agitated, frustrated or anxious today, because of my Kingdom right to walk in Kingdom peace.

 

5.       Today is a day to celebrate joy in the Holy Ghost.  I will not be sad or depressed today because His joy is in me and, therefore, my joy is full!  The Kingdom joy working in me will be my strength and will give me the winner’s edge.

 

6.       Today I will seek the Kingdom first in every situation.  Before I have a chance to think about it in the natural…before I analyze it or react emotionally…I will look for the Kingdom before  I do anything else about anything at all.  He is reigning in and through me today, and every name that is named must bow to His Name!

 

7.       Today I live a life that shows the world that I am a royal subject of the ultimate Kingdom and, therefore, I cannot fail or lose or be defeated.  Jesus the King shall reign forever and ever, and He is my Lord, my personal friend, my elder brother.  Today I say, “Long live the King!” and today I will live in the now!

 

Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven – today.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

January 25, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional, Kingdom of God | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

January 16: TRADITION FREE!

 

Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect

by your tradition.  (Matthew 15:6)

 

The phrase “one last shaking” means a thorough housecleaning,

getting rid of all the historical and religious junk

so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.

(Hebrews 12:27 The Message)

 

1.       Today I will live in the now!  I will live in the now because I have declared my independence from meaningless forms, routines and traditions in my life that are contrary to my present reality and that make the word of God ineffective for me.  I am moving past archaic and passé ways of thinking about God or life or myself.  The limiting, antiquated ideas and philosophies that I have accumulated over the years are being exposed for the irrelevant relics that they are.  I am free to think a new way!

 

2.       Today I will not believe something just because someone told me to believe it.  I will have the confidence to think for myself and the courage to expose a lie that I have accepted when I recognize that it is, indeed, a lie.  I will be able to maintain my love and respect for someone important to me, without feeling obligated to believe everything they say.

 

3.       Today I will consider the word of God as the final authority on every subject.

 

4.       Today I will honor the Lordship of Jesus as the highest priority in my life.

 

5.       Today I will cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit in my inner man.

 

6.       Today I will reject, resist and renounce all forms of the manmade religion that exalts itself against God’s true Kingdom.  I will pull down strongholds in my mind that were imparted to me from the religious system that are contrary to the knowledge of God.  Religion is the enemy, and I will have no part of it and its silly fables, false doctrines, and pointless works of the flesh.

 

7.       Today I will enjoy the good traditions from my family, my childhood, my country, my heritage.  I will benefit from sage advice—the wisdom of the ages—and from lessons learned by life experience.  I will restore the old landmarks and will be a link to the next generation by passing down what is noble and worth keeping.  But I will also know how to discern the difference between healthy, foundational traditions and the ones that are holding me in the past.  In that context, today, I will be tradition-free, and today I will live in the now!

 

Father, help me to break free of all unnecessary tradition today.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

January 16, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

January 10: KEEP MOVING!

 

For in Him we…move….  (Acts 17:28)

 

1.       Today I will live in the now!  I will live in the now because I am moving…I am mobile…I am not stuck in the past.  In Him I live, and MOVE and have my being.  My life is a river, not a stagnant pool.  My life is a road…a path…a highway—not a parking lot.  I understand why the windshield in my car is much bigger than the rearview mirror…it is much more important for me to see where I am going than for me to see where I have been!

 

2.       Today I will keep pace with God. I will MOVE with the cloud.  I will not lag behind Him, nor will I run out ahead of Him.  I will run WITH the vision for my life.  I understand the importance of timing—His timing.  He makes all things beautiful in His time.  In am in sync with Him, moving in tandem to his direction for my destiny.

 

3.       Today my steps are ordered by the Lord.  I will MOVE by His leading.  I will not dismiss His “miracles in the now” (no matter how seemingly insignificant they may presently be) as mere coincidence or chance.  I do not experience flukes.  I am not “lucky.”  Rather,  I progress daily as I move up in God, going from glory to glory, being conformed to His image.  I am led by the Spirit of God and am a son of God.

 

4.       Today I will accept the fact that movement inevitably brings change.  I will appreciate the seasons of my life.  I will release from unrealistic expectations those who cannot—or will not—change with me.  I will be responsible for my own movement and will allow others in my life to move at their own pace, without my judgment.

 

5.       Today I will relish the excitement of not knowing every detail of my journey (“By faith Abraham…went out, not knowing where he was going” – Hebrews 11:8), but will simply rejoice in the fact that I am in motion.  I will welcome the adventure, trusting the Good Shepherd to lead the way.  I will go with the flow without question or hesitation (“The wind blows where it wishes….” – John 3:8), knowing that I am a visionary, not a vagabond.  My movement has meaning.  My path has purpose.

 

6.       Today I will discern the necessity of baby steps.  If my progress is incremental, I will not despise the day of small things, but will be encouraged that some movement is better than no movement at all.  He who began a good work in me will complete it as the A and the Z, the author and the finisher of my faith.

 

7.       Today my youth will be renewed because I keep moving….growing…learning…changing.  Movement keeps me vital and involved with the work of God in the now.  My finger is on the pulse of Christ’s living body.  No matter how tempted I may be to stay where I am, today      I will keep moving, and today I will live in the now!

 

Father, help me to keep moving today.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

January 10, 2009 Posted by | A YEAR IN THE NOW, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

January 8: FAITH IS!

 

NOW faith is the substance of things hoped for,

the evidence of things not seen.  (Hebrews 11:1)

 

1.       Today I will live in the now!  I will live in the now because I understand the now-ness of the God-kind of faith.  My faith has a voice that speaks in the present tense, and today it will produce results for me because of the power of these three words: NOW FAITH IS!

 

2.       Today I will live my life according to what I believe.  The faith-realm, rather than the sense-realm, is my reality today.  Because of that reality, I will not be moved by what I see, hear, touch, smell or taste, but will, instead, move through this day guided by the sixth sense, which is (my) supernatural faith.

 

3.       Today I will create the world in which I want to live by my faith-filled words.  I will do this because I am in the God-class, and because God created His worlds by the words of His mouth.  And, as God maintains His worlds by His words, I will maintain the quality of my world through the creativity and authority of my words.  My words will have power because they will be filled with His Word, and His Word will not return to Him (or to me) void.

 

4.       Today the pressure applied to my circumstances by my faith will change them for the better.  I will reshape the seen world by changing things in the unseen world.  I will look to the unseen things because they are eternal, and will prevail over the seen things because they are temporal (2 Corinthians 4:18).  My faith celebrates the triumph of what is eternally real.

 

5.       Today I will have the substance of the things that I hope for.  Although hope is in the future, the substantive material of my faith will pull what is out there in tomorrow into my eternal “now.”  I will believe I receive when I pray, because faith says, “I have it now.”  The future is now because of the substance of my faith.

 

6.       Today I will have the evidence of things not seen.  I will need no other confirmation than the evidence of my God-kind of faith.  My faith is enough to overcome the natural world today, so that the material becomes immaterial to me—matter will not matter—faith is what is real!

 

7.       Today I will live by faith because I am justified, and the just shall live by faith.  My kind does not live by bread alone—or by the air that we breathe…or by the life in our physical bodies—we live by faith, period.  Because faith IS (not WAS), I will believe and not doubt; I will walk by faith and not by sight.  Today the power of faith will enable me to live the champion’s life, and today I will live in the now!

 

Father, today I will walk in “now” faith, by Your word.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

January 8, 2009 Posted by | Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Devotional | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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