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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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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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Summer break provides you with time to enjoy your favorite activities, socialize with friends and vacation with family. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to stop serving others and evolving spiritually, and there are plenty of ways to help other people and practice servant leadership during your vacation. Read on for advice finding ways to continue serving and honoring God this summer:

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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 Lionel Williams
CCSC Program Manager, Student Development & Outreach

Recently, I’ve had the awe-inspiring experience (compliments of Pastor Tim Griffin) of listening to an amazing woman of God by the name of Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe. She powerfully described her benevolent commitment to protecting and restoring the lives of over 400 Ugandan women who escaped the clutches of human sex trafficking.

As each powerful story was presented, I found every listener in the room (including myself) riveted to her every word. My eyes became moist as she declared, “I am helping to restore the image of God in them.” Intermittently glancing at the engrossed GCU faculty, staff and students, I remember thinking, “Here’s a person who is living out her purpose!”

Now that’s something to ponder for moment. What is my purpose?

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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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By Jennifer Johnson, EdD
Program Director, Strategic Educational Alliances 

“If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s too small.” (“Chase the Lion,” Mark Batterson)

In the book “Chase the Lion” by Mark Batterson, we are challenged to embrace the courage it takes to pursue great dreams and trust that God will walk alongside us.

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By Breanna Alverson
Life Leader

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)

In exploring what our invitation to prayer entails, it is important to not only know when we are supposed to pray, but where as well. There are many different occasions for prayer because we are called to do it continuously. Some that come to mind are around a dinner table with family, at church and before large events like basketball games. These are all public opportunities to share in talking with the Lord, but He also calls us to pray individually and intimately with Him.

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