Grow, Pray & Study Guide: Moving on to Perfection

Our hope at River City is that you grow daily in your walk with God! One way to do that is to spend time with God every day. This Grow, Pray and Study Guide (GPS) is just one easy way to connect with God on a daily basis.


Jude 1-2

I think verse two is a great hope for everyday! The NRSV reads “May mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance!” That sounds great to me! It is interesting how that passage jumps out. I want all those things, but do I want to do the work that produces peace?

The second part of verse one gives us a goal for our spiritual walks. One translation reads “To those who are called, who are sanctified in God.” John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, believed that we could be sanctified in this life time. He defined it as being perfect in love of God and neighbor. Big goal, right? One of the hardest questions I’ve ever had to answer is, “Are you on your way to perfection?” I had to answer this in my commissioning questions for the United Methodist Church. This question makes me look at my past and say, “Did this weekend push me further in becoming perfect in love of God and neighbor?” If so, how? Spend some time today evaluating your weekend. Are you on your way to perfection?


Jude 3-4

The NRSV version of this verse challenges us to “contend for the faith.” What was the fight about in Jude’s day? Leaders with unrestrained immorality had come into the community and threatened to lead it astray. Let’s go back to that perfection thing from yesterday. One of the greatest challenges we face is immorality because it keeps us from loving God fully. When we studied the seven deadly sins a few weeks ago we found that many times we remove God from the throne of our lives and place certain desires or sin on the throne. What sins do you particularly struggle with? What activities rob you of your time and your joy? What does it mean for you to “contend for your faith” and put immorality to death? 

A Christian leader once told me that he had ten friends throughout his career that lost their ministry because of immorality and the common denominator between all of them was that they did not spend daily time with God and they did not have an accountability partner. Is there is a struggle in your life that you would like to “contend with”?


Jude 5-16

I love the imagery of verses twelve to thirteen. A common theme in those verses is wandering. We see it in the phrases “clouds carried along by the winds…uprooted…wild waves of the sea…wandering stars.” It seems that Jude was trying to get some wanderers to focus on where  they were going. I’ve asked  you to think about moving on to perfection. Today I ask myself what is the core of who I am? What are my core values? For me it is the desire to please God, love my family and to live a fulfilling life. That is pretty vague, but I must always ask myself “Are the goals I’m setting centered in those areas?” If they are not, something needs to be adjusted or added or I might start wandering. The key for me to get to where I want to be is clinging to what I value most and having laser beam focus in becoming a more God-honoring person in those areas. What are your core values? What are some goals you can set to help strengthen those focus areas? 

***Be sure to tell your accountability partner to make sure you don’t wander .


Jude 17-23

Are you in love with God? The sad thing is that many times we start off so strong and then we fall short. Adam Hamilton tells a story about how he looked at his wife one night and said, “I feel nothing for her” and he heard God say, “Go buy her flowers.” Adam did not want to buy her flowers, but he did anyway and what he found is that as he did things to show love for his wife the feelings returned. Jude asks the people to keep themselves in love with God. Jesus asked this of his disciples in John 15, “remain in the vine!” Part of moving on to perfection is practicing spiritual disciplines. Earlier in the week we talked of Bible study and accountability, but other disciplines include fasting (not the author of this GPS favorite), solitude, worship, etc. These are different ways for us to connect deeply with God. Basically God longs for us, just as your friend, spouse, siblings, etc. longs for your relationship to be deep with them. Are you falling more in love with God daily?  Are you spending enough time working on your relationship? How can you deepen that connection?


Jude 1-2, 24-25

Now isn’t that “mercy, peace and love in abundance?” “Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing…” Our road to perfection is not based on effort, accountability partners, goals, core values, disciplines, or even great sermons! Our moving on to perfection is based upon a perfect God who loves me and you perfectly. All of the things we have discussed this week are important, but not as important as simply sitting in awe of the one who loves you perfectly and unconditionally. That is what motivates me to move on towards perfection. The fact that I have a God who accepts me as I am, but pushes me to be better is why I am in love with God. That is mercy…that is peace. Lets love God and love people together.