– via COPE

May 27, 2017 is a day I will always remember; not just because two friends of mine came to the Chapel, here at Union Correctional Institution, but because of what God said to my heart through them.

Jack Murphy, A.K.A. “Murf the Surf,” and Bobby Greenwood are two ex-con’s who go around the world talking about what God has done to them and through them.

Some people still call Murphy and Bobby Inmates-Ex-inmates; “Once an inmate always an Inmate.” That’s a label attached to those who get out. But labels don’t define Murf and Bobby, or me or you. God’s grace defies labels because it is rooted in His love, not our self-perception.

God shows me through Murf and Bobby that I can find hope, healing and freedom in Him. God’s forgiveness defies failure or pride. The Lord is ready and willing to receive us just as we are.

Christian brothers like Murf and Bobby know how to communicate with inmates. God used their trials and suffering to make them more like Him. It’s not surprising that God would use people who have experienced incarceration to reach the incarcerated men and women in our prison system. He comforted them in their time of need now they can comfort others with the cup of comfort that they received.

I’ve known Murf and Bobby since I first came to prison many many years ago. They were a lot different back then. But they changed. God changed them. They learned how to deal with their past. It meant trusting the Lord to protect them and guide them in a world of pain and insecurity.

God loves us and is always with us. We can have confidence that if we live His way to the best of our ability we will endure whatever He allows us to face.

Trust is the biggest issue. Murphy and Bobby trust God completely. They are God’s example to me of what happens when you know God’s goodness, kindness and faithfulness. Trust Him and believe that God has all the answers to your trouble. He will see to it that you will have all you really need to do His will and serve His purpose.

Do you have an impossible dream? Let your faith rise up like an eagle in the sky, believe in your dream, and believe God wants you to have it.

“But those who wait upon the Lord

Shall renew their strength;

They shall mount up with wings like eagles

They shall run and not be weary

They shall walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:31

Murphy and Bobby are dedicated Christians. They do what they do; go around the world telling inmates about the love of God, because God’s leading them. They love inmates. Why do they love inmates? I find the answer to that question in the Bible.

“We love because He first loved us.” 

1 John 4:19

I often fail to show that kind of love to others. Yet, Murphy and Bobby inspire me. They show me it can be done and that I can do it. God went first. He sent His Son to demonstrate His love for us. I’m so grateful that He loves me in spite of all the times I’ve let Him down.

He loved me first so I can love others. He created the universe because He loves us and each one of us has a special part to play. He loves us and wants us to show our love for Him by loving others. God takes the empty cups and fills them until they run over.  Let God fill your cup with His love and then give it to others to show Him how much you love Him.

Thank you, Lord, for loving me first and help me to love others.

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