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Engage with Grand Canyon University's (GCU) vibrant Spiritual Life community and take a deeper look at the various ministries that are happening around the world, in your backyard and on our campus. From weekly devotionals to Chapel highlights and features that reflect God's work in the hearts of our students, staff and faculty, each article is presented by GCU's Spiritual Life team and our special guests. We hope that God will challenge and encourage you through His words and the stories about His people that inspire us all.
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Category: Weekly Devotionals
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By Breanna Alverson
Life Leader

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12)

When considering the cross of Christ, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with joy and awe. We are free – completely free! – saved by grace and justified. How could our Lord give such a sweet gift of grace? When we ponder eternity with our Lord and Savior there is nothing but elation and excitement, but it came at a cost.

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By Breanna Alverson
Life Leader

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

Out of all the beatitudes or blessings that we haves studied thus far from Christ’s famous teaching found in Matthew 5, “blessed are the peacemakers” seems like the easiest to claim and live out. No one openly enjoys living in conflict or tension. However, notice that this verse does not just say blessed are those who live in peace, but rather, blessed are the peacemakers.

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By Quin Jackson
Local Outreach Student Leader

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

The beatitudes, or blessings, Jesus teaches in His longest and most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, all have one underlying theme in common: God is most concerned with our hearts and what we truly desire for our lives.

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By Breana Alverson
Life Leader

 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:6)

Was there ever a time in your life when you did not get what you truly deserved? Maybe it was an officer who let you off with a warning or a friend who lent you money knowing you could never pay him back. Mercy is unique in our lives because it is almost as equally hard to give as it is to receive.

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By Quin Jackson
Local Outreach Student Leader

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)

With each beatitude that makes up the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus continues to prove that He is concerned with the position of our hearts. This week, we will be taking a look at the fourth beatitude, which says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Remember, Jesus is taking this opportunity to speak directly and solely to His 12 disciples and to prepare them for the time when He is no longer physically with them. Before we can fully understand the message that Jesus is trying to convey through this beatitude and how we can apply it to our own lives, we must first understand the language He uses in this statement.

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By Breanna Alverson
Life Leader

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)

Do you find the beatitudes hard to understand or embrace? They are compilation of truths that sometimes just sound challenging or undesirable. The first three of the nine spiritual blessings that Jesus names in His famous teaching, the Sermon on the Mount, are blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn and blessed are the meek.

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By Quin Jackson
Local Outreach Student Leader

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

Throughout all of Israel, Jesus had become widely known for His teachings and miracles, often drawing a crowd and speaking to hundreds or even thousands of people at a time. One of His most famous sermons was the Sermon on the Mount, which can be found in Matthew 5:1-11. This sermon presented the disciples with nine beatitudes, which have been previously defined as blessings in the first blog post of the beatitude series. Last week, we explored the very first beatitude; this week we will continue on and expound the second beatitude which claims “blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

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By Breanna Alverson
Life Leader

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)

This quote rings true from one of the greatest sermons of all time. It was preached in the early first century and is still being memorized and expounded upon to this day. What could make one sermon so memorable? Isn’t poverty a bad thing? What exactly is a beatitude anyway?

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By Josh Sugata
Faculty Training and Development Specialist, General Editor

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)

What exactly does it mean to be a good father?

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By Jared Ulrich
Worship Manager, Department of Spiritual Life

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

The older I get the harder it is to be still, rest and just enjoy life. It probably isn’t a surprise to anyone that we live in the fastest, most hyper-productive culture in human history. Our lives are filled to the brim with work, activities, family responsibilities and the list goes on. We jump from one thing to the next…

Go, Go, Go.

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By Breanna Alverson
Life Leader

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15)

Finally, we must answer one of the biggest questions concerning our invitation to pray. Why should we pray? This question sets the tone for everything else that we have learned about prayer. However, it is not such an easy question to answer. There are other questions attached to it in determining why we should pray to God.

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By Breanna Alverson
Life Leader

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

In answering the questions on our invitation to prayer, “When?” is perhaps the easiest to address. God calls us to come talk to Him in prayer all the time! There is always an occasion to be praying and building relationship with the Lord. The beautiful thing is we can come to Him whenever we want just as we are, regardless of where we find ourselves.

So, why is it so hard to pray sometimes?

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