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Living Faith is a Christian blog that interacts with a variety of biblical, theological and practical topics written by Grand Canyon University's College of Theology faculty and specially invited guests of the college. Our content provides practical and biblical advice from a Christian worldview for living our faith in the midst of an increasingly secularized world. In addition, our content wrestles with cultural topics and issues that challenge how we live out our faith as believers. For this reason, contributors to our Christian blog strive to write with compassion and apologetic concern to honor Christ and edify the church in every way possible.
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Category: Theology Thursday
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By Hector Llanes
Faculty, College of Theology

When walking with Jesus, every day turned into a learning experience for his disciples. They were learning who Jesus was, his person, his mission and his way. Jesus taught them through parables, miracles, object lessons and sermons. He also taught them through his daily interaction with people, ordinary people, forgotten people and people of power and influence. As a good teacher, Jesus wanted his disciples to have a clear understanding of his person and teachings and to embody those truths in their own lives. All the efforts of Jesus in teaching his disciples would have been in vain if they did not make the truth their own. As disciples of Jesus today, we too are learning to walk with Jesus every day, to know who he is and what is his way. Every day, Jesus has one inescapable question for us.

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By Rob Krise
Faculty, College of Theology

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. When I was young, I even preferred it over Christmas, which may seem odd. I always enjoyed the gathering of friends and family and the activities surrounding the day. I also looked forward to eating enough turkey, stuffing and anything else to the point that I couldn’t even speak. But when it was over, things got back to normal and it was on to Christmas with all the anticipated presents. After all, I was a practical kid.

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By Ray Meadows
Faculty, College of Theology

I read an article recently proclaiming some crazy things for which the author was thankful. A couple that I thought were funny included “my wife’s hair in the drain.” Of course, the reasoning was that if it was missing, so was his wife.so was his wife. Since he was grateful for the presence of his wife, he was grateful for the hair in the sink as well. Another one was his iPhone, because, well, there is an app for everything! It also allowed him to communicate with those he loved the most. Bible students know that every good gift (iPhones and such) and every perfect gift (our wives, of course) is from above, coming down from the Father of lights (James 1:17).

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By Sammy Alfaro
Faculty, College of Theology

The gospels record fascinating stories that document Jesus’s training of his disciples. Jesus’s approach to discipleship, however, was not the typical one-hour weekly class where a Christian instructor teaches through the content of a manual. For Jesus, life lessons were more important than mere classroom talks. On one occasion, after a long day of ministry, Jesus decided to send his disciples across the lake while he went up to the mountain to pray (Matthew 14:22-23). What seemed like another day of ministry turned out to be a great life lesson in faith. But the main lesson was not Peter’s audacious walk on the water. Jesus taught his disciples to trust in him even at the darkest times of their lives. In a way, the passage presents a parable teaching Jesus’s modern-day disciples to trust in him despite his apparent absence.

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By David Farbishel
Faculty, College of Theology

On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther posted his “95 Theses” on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany which sparked the Great Reformation. He hoped these original “tweets” would start a theological discussion on issues that greatly troubled him concerning the state of the Church. As it turns out, Luther’s biblical insights actually led to ground shaking discussions that spawned Protestant churches and redefined what it means to be a disciple of Christ.

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By Manny Cota
Faculty, College of Theology

Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” is a great comfort to me, especially in times of uncertainty. The Lord is ultimately in charge of my plans and my future and as a perfectly loving Father, his hands are the perfect place for my future. I can therefore have peace in the midst of uncertainty and also refocus my heart not simply on my own plans, but on God’s will for my life.

Unfortunately, early in my spiritual walk, discerning the will of God included falling to some insidious traps that ironically created anxiety, confusion, and anything but peace. These traps each involved false beliefs about the nature of spiritual discernment and at times were intertwined with the deceitfulness of my own heart. Here are three spiritual traps to recognize in your own maturation in discerning God’s will for your life.

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By Justin McLendon
Faculty, College of Theology

Over the years, I have accepted the reality I certainly will face when reading through any one of the great Christian classics again. Whether it is J. I. Packer’s “Knowing God,” John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress,” or perhaps less familiar, that time where the boy Shasta, in his perilous emptiness, meets Aslan in C. S. Lewis’ “The Horse and His Boy.” I am accustomed to the places where my emotions will overwhelm me when I read these works. It is as if the crinkled pages of these worn copies serve as reminders of the tears, which I could not hold back in past readings.

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By Todd Forrest
Faculty, College of Theology

 “If I could just change…”

No matter how you fill in that blank, we all see things in our personal lives that need attention. Some changes may be physical, in personality, in how we respond with our emotions or in our spiritual lives. In Galatians 2:20, Paul states, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Pondering the result as stated in “the life I now live” resonates with transformation. As I live out a relationship with Jesus, I live differently. Now, this is not in a weird way, but trust in an identity beyond me. “The life I now live” is different. I have a comfort in my fear and anxiety. I have strength in my times of weakness. I have a sense of meaning and purpose in this world. I have joy in my life’s journey that no one or nothing can take from me.

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By Joshua Greever
Faculty, College of Theology

In his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus contrasted what he called treasures on earth and treasures in heaven. Treasures on earth are evanescent and corruptible, whereas treasures in heaven will never pass away or suffer corrosion. What one treasures matters, because “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

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Todd Forrest
Faculty, College of Theology

When we think of what the stereotypical Christian should look like, we probably all can think of what that should be. Maybe when we ponder this, we end up focusing more on what that person should NOT be.

A follower of Christ is not merely a good person; we are to be like Jesus. Now, a quick reflection of our lives reveals that there is no one JUST like Jesus. However, there is an intentional life trajectory toward character transformation, starting with the decision of the mind, the commitment of heart and revealing its resolve in the motivations and actions in life.

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By Peter Anderson
Professor, College of Theology

We live in an unprecedented age of immediacy. Do you need to know the best Mediterranean restaurant within walking distance? No problem. Just ask Siri or Google. Do you want to visit with family or friends across the country or around the world? Sounds great. Just pull up FaceTime or Skype. Are you curious about what’s happening in Beckley, West Virginia today? Even if you have no clue where my hometown is and have absolutely no connection to that place, you could still find out all the local news in a few clicks of a trackpad or taps on your screen.

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