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Unshackled Blog Series

God is LOVE!

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Chapter 8 pages 150-151

Luke 6:27-28 & Romans 14:17

There’s not a single event, nor will there ever be that God will not use to further His Kingdom, once it passes through the Sovereign hands of Jesus. In my book Unshackled, From Ruin to Redemption, I write about an experience that enslaved me for years.

The ability to overcome came when the Holy Spirit reminded me of God’s Word to treat those who hurt us differently so the character of our heavenly Father can be revealed in His sons and daughters. Bless them! Love them! Do something good for them! Pray for them! Not exactly my first thought but it is God’s. Because God is Love, He treats us this way. He knows love never fails. Are there areas of pain, shame, and guilt lingering in your life? I encourage you to place them all before Jesus today. He has never failed and His love ensures He won’t.

Here’s a short prayer to get started:

Lord Jesus, because you died and rose again for me I can trust you with ________________ please help me overcome my past and walk into my new future which is your Kingdom, that is your righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

A New Creation

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Chapter 8 pages 149-150

2 Corinthians 5:17

Some years ago, as I read over a favorite scripture in the Bible – one I memorized, quoted and studied out.

The Holy Spirit said, “You don’t believe it.”

I began this exchange: “Yes I do.”

His response, “No you don’t.”

And of course I’d say, “Yes I do!”

That’s when He said “Go look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re Awesome!”

Immediately I thought that’s dead. Not happening. That’s dumb. But reluctantly I did or at least tried to. With my first attempt in the mirror “You’re Awesome”, I thought, what a liar. I couldn’t look at myself, say it and believe it. Not at first, but eventually, I did. And today I still do so as I brush my teeth or shave. If the LORD was frustrated with anything, which we know He’s not, it might be that we don’t believe what He says about Us in the Word.

Are you Born Again? Then check out what the Bible says about Us:

We are a NEW creation. 2 Cor. 5:17

We are the righteousness of God in Christ. 2 Cor 5:21

We are holy. Heb. 10:10

We are Sons and Daughters. 2 Cor. 6:18

We have been redeemed. Gal. 3:13

We have a new identity. Eph. 1:5

We have a new nature.1 Peter 2:9

So in 2 Cor. 5:17 the word “NEW” describing our identity is Kainos (Kahee-nos’) and in Greek, it means: New, fresh in regard to form or quality, rather than new in reference to time which is conveyed by neos. I am so appreciative today for the time I spent incarcerated that afforded me the opportunity to know God through His Word. Whatever is going on in life, don’t let anything squeeze out His Word which has eternal value. Please share it with friends and encourage them too.

Designed to Influence

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Chapter 8 pages 139-149

Colossians 3:17

Occasionally, I find myself flooded with thoughts of the numerous people who have influenced my life over the years. From Larry Titus, to Warner, and even Clyde. Each has played a significant roll in my spiritual growth.

In my book Unshackled: From Ruin To Redemption, I share about my first month as a Christian. Wow! I’m STILL in AWE of how great JESUS is, how HE transforms live yielded to Him. By permitting the Word of God to change my character, I remain fruitful today. And so can you, by truly placing your trust in Jesus.

Over the next few month, I have the privilege of doing some incredible things which I would value your prayers and support. I’m officiating a marriage, sharing my testimony at numerous churches and prison facilities. I was also invited to talk with a group of Real Estate Agents and the ECPAAA (Euless Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association). Never in a million years would I have ever imaged doing what I’m doing today. I was recently invited to speak at my old High School in October. Talk about going full circle!!! Feeling thrilled is truly an understatement.

I speak MEGA blessing over your life today as you allow Christ to take control of your life. You won’t regret it and trust me you be amazed at your journey. Please share this with friends and encourage as many as possible.

Commitment

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Chapter 7 pages 121-135

Romans 10:9-10

The morning I received Christ as Savior in the Chapel at SCI-Camp Hill, something tangible occurred within me. Something changed my life. I was a different person after that prayer.

In Unshackled, From Ruin to Redemption, I share a dozen pages about making a commitment to live for Jesus Christ. Here are a few tangible to count on after receiving Christ as Savior:
1) You desire to read the Bible.
2) You want to Pray.
3) You fellowship with others who know the Savior.
4) You desire to share your personal experience with others so they too can know the Savior.

Would you ask the Holy Spirit for divine appointments and opportunities to encourage others this week towards a relationship with Christ? We are still their best testimony to know this awesome Savior.

Determination is Essential

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Chapter 6 pages 117-118

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 & Philippians 4:13

As a teen without transportation, I learned how to hitch-hike rides. I would often visit a girlfriend who lived twenty miles away. I was successful half the time recalling the frigid winter nights along the narrows, and the long, dark, winding roads I walked and jogged, especially around Lake Winola. I was motivated by love and determined to get there – no matter what it took. Ten years into my incarceration I became a follower of Christ. Motivated by His love I was determined to live for Him. I knew Jesus died for me, so I would live for Him.

 

Some of the ways I did this were:

I was determined to read my Bible and Pray.

I was determined to walk in fellowship with other believers.

I was determined to run to the cross with every failure and not live in guilt.

I was determined to lift my voice, softly and other time loudly, to worship in spite of my circumstances.

I was determined to tell others what Jesus had done for me.

I was determined to disciple other men.

I was determined to listen to the Holy Spirit whose ministry is to lead and guide us.

 

I hope they encourage you as you determine to serve Jesus where you’re at. Have a great week and share this with anyone you desire. If you wish to purchase a copy of Unshackled, you can go to my website www.genemcguire.org or at Amazon.com

Making a Difference

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Chapter 6 pages 110-117

Romans 12:1-2; 1 Peter 1:23; John 3:3

Could one person make a difference in our society? With total confidence, I say, “YES!” When God started humanity He created Adam. When He re-started humanity, He chose Noah. When God started the nations, He chose elderly Abram. When redeeming mankind from the work of the devil, He sent the God-man, Jesus Christ. Jesus brought the nature and power of heaven to earth and gave it to us and has been transforming lives ever since.

In chapter six of my book Unshackled, Joyce, a medical secretary at the prison in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, encouraged me towards a relationship with the Savior. She influenced my life towards eternity. Jesus Christ transformed my life and throughout the years of my incarceration, many others have been influenced by His love. The Apostle Paul lays out this beautiful plan to know God’s will for our lives. We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds through the Word of God. Transformation (metamorphosis) has to do with a process that literally changes our nature from the inside out, thus the meaning You must be Born Again. So relax and allow the power of God’s Word to work.

The Word of God changes our nature and through this metamorphosis process, and we can know His will. The Word will teach you His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 Join me in spite of this busy week, spending time reading our Bibles. I’m totally confident that you will discover not only His will but, you will influence those around you to do likewise. If you want to purchase a copy of Unshackled you can from Amazon.com or from www.genemcguire.org

Relationships are better than Religion

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Chapter 6 pages 105-110

Romans 8:1-4

I think you’d agree that only a handful of people make a lifetime impression on us. My Mother was one of these people in my life. Her relationship with Jesus brought much joy and purpose to her life. “From pain to praise” would best describe her life after meeting Jesus. In chapter six of my book “Unshackled,” I shared some thoughts about the impression she left on me.

The first time mom met Warner, aka Big Moses, she told him, “you could easily be my son.” That may seem like a routine statement to many of you, but to Big Moses, it meant the world. He probably hadn’t heard words of affirmation like this in a very long time, if ever. She said it with some honesty and conviction and he believed it. She treated him as her own son for the rest of her earthly life.

I remember the time she listened to my friend Ricky, a fellow lifer, confessed he was struggling with “religion” and the “whole God thing.” She looked him straight in the eyes and said, “Ricky, it’s not about religion! It’s all about a relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s only through Him that you will find the greatest joy and purpose for your life.” Mom always had a way of speaking truth that never came off as self-righteous. A year later Ricky informed me that he had accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He shared that the words my mom spoke to him were instrumental in his decision.

When I was a young believer my mother said to me, “Eugene, every experience you go through is not about YOUR sin. Jesus died once and for all so you could enjoy His life in you and walk in victory.” From that point on, the condemnation I had lived with was replaced with God’s acceptance. Her time with Jesus still influences my life today. God was glorified through her remaining years, leaving a beautiful testimony of God’s love to those who knew her.

Isaiah 43:7 says we were created for God’s glory. There is no better place to be today than in God’s will. I pray you have a blessed week and know our words or encouragement and truth have a long lasting impression on the people the Lord puts in our path. God Bless you.

Somebody robbed the prison

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Chapter 6 pages 103-105

Jeremiah 17:9

2 Corinthians 5:21

Like you, I’ve watched hundreds of movies and have heard numerous accounts of robberies that have taken place and as you know by now, I had shamefully participated in one myself as a teen.

In my book “Unshackled,” I mention the inmates at the SCI Camp Hill Prison who broke through a concrete wall and robbed the prison Commissary. Many of us stood scratching our heads in disbelief just like the authorities at how they could have done it. After a quick investigation, the few inmates suspected were dealt with and held accountable.

It wasn’t until some years later, and after hearing another crazy story of a guy who lost both arms attempting to steal glass insulators off high voltage power lines that I understood it was the condition of our hearts. It was told to me that while recovering in a hospital bed, he asked a visiting friend to steal the medical equipment being used to aid his recovery. It was then that I began to understand the real issue. It’s SIN.

“When the thousand years are up, Satan will be let out of his cell, and will launch again his old work of deceiving the nations.”
Revelation 20:7

A thousand years under lock and key may have contained the the devil but not the will. I heard someone say correctly, “Bars and chains have never changed a soul.”

Jeremiah writes, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” So, is there a cure or remedy? YES! Jesus, who knew no sin became a sin offering for us so that the righteousness of God could be ours.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 This is exciting news. When I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and to be the LORD of my life, it was the best decision I have ever made. It wasn’t the 34 years nine months and 15 days I spent incarcerated that change my life, it was a relationship with Jesus my Savior! Be encouraged today and share this with someone you know.

Let’s Influence Others for Jesus

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Chapter 5 pages 87-92

2 Corinthians 2:15

James 1:5

One of my best friends called me from prison the other day. You remember Warner aka “Big Moses” from my book “Unshackled.” He would get up before everyone and singing loudly, “Just a Closer Walk With Thee, Grant It, Jesus Is My Plea.” Then shout, “Get up and praise the LORD,” which would wake everyone up on the cellblock. He shared that he’s doing great and continues to serve and grown where God planted him. He is still hoping to be reunited with his family one day if his parole is granted. If you think of him this week, ask God’s favor on him as he ministers.

Among the many things Big Moses imparted on me as a young Christian, besides the hundreds of Hymnal songs he knew by heart, was that, “God places people in your life for a season, a reason or a life time.” That statement was perfectly timed. God had been using Pastor Larry to introduce me to many people from his church. Some I spoke with over the phone, others through letters and many would actually come to the prison to minister to me. A few like Rob Meier, Marty and Natalie Williams, spent over twenty years visiting me and have become life-long friends.

God works in seasons, for a reason and over our life time. James 1:5 says,

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”
James 1:5

I am totally convinced those I meet today have an eternal significance in my life, even if it’s for a season. I just need to trust and recognize His purposes through prayer.

Manifesting His Presence

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Chapter 5 pages 84-87

1 John 1:1-3

1 John 4:4

Towards the end of my incarceration, a fellow inmate told me he didn’t believe God existed. Without skipping a beat I responded with, “I’ll prove to you there is a God and will show you He loves and has a plan for your life.” This statement came out so quickly I actually surprised myself. The skeptical look on his face told me he wasn’t buying it. Yet out of curiosity he asked, “How do you plan on doing that?”, and I replied “Come hang out with me for a week and I’ll prove to you that God exists.”

Those words may have been out of desperation to save him from a Christless eternity but nevertheless, I meant it. Later he asked how could I make such a bold statement. I explained as the Father manifested himself to us through Christ, we are to manifest His Son to others as John describes in 1 John 1:1-4. The word “manifest” describes being recognizable, and suggests a visibility that gives the observer the ability to define what is seen. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit and His Word, we will manifest God’s loving nature to others so they can know the Father and His only Son Jesus Christ whom He sent. Be encouraged today in knowing:

“Greater is HE in you than he that is in this world.”

1 John 4:4