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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 Breanna Alverson
Life Leader

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34)

As a longtime Christian, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that life revolves around you and your relationship with Christ. I laugh as I walk with God because I have a talent for taking good things like service, ministry, school, work, friendships, etc. and turning them into bad things. Simply put, again and again I catch myself elevating and worshipping the creation over the creator by taking good things and idolizing them.

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By Breanna Alverson
Life Leader

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15

I was once told, “Who you are today determines who you will be tomorrow.” While this seems rather obvious, it is much harder to actually grasp. If you want to be a better athlete, you have to decide today to fuel your body right and to get the proper amount of training. If you want to have a deeper relationship with the Lord, you have to decide today to seek Him. So when sitting back and daydreaming about new beginnings and who we want to become, keep in mind that we have much more control than we think!

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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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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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