This seven-week study will cause us to take a closer look at the words of Jesus… and then will challenge us to actually live out Jesus’ words in our lives!  You may have noticed that in many Bibles, the words of Jesus are printed in red letters.  That’s where this study gets its name.  But when you combine a sermon series with small group studies and a personal workbook, all focused on putting those red letters into practice, you don’t just have an all-church Bible study … you have an all-church CHALLENGE!

As Christians, we are notorious for “nodding our heads” to God’s promises and commands, but then like a bobble-head toy, we continue to stay stuck in one place nodding our heads rather than moving our hands, feet and mouths in the ways that God directs.  In this study, we are going to take to heart Jesus’ words in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commands.”  We’ve spent weeks looking at what “Love Is” in our Sunday and Wednesday worship services, but now we are going to put that love into action by living out the faith of Jesus.

Why is this so important?  Because whether we like to admit it or not, you and I are a reflection of Jesus Christ in this world.  More and more people do not read the Bible these days, so the only thing they know about Jesus is what they experience by interacting with Christians.  And sadly, as authors David Kinnamon and Gabe Lyons write in their book unChristian: “Many of those outside of Christianity … reject Jesus because they feel rejected by Christians.”[1]

This is really a wakeup call for us as the church, to recognize that we have the opportunity, or better – the necessity, to change the way we reflect Jesus in the world.  How are we going to do that?  Well, it’s going to take 7 weeks to unfold it all, but in brief we’ll look at these 5 principles that Jesus spent most of His time talking about:

  1. Being: Before Jesus invites us to do things for Him, through Him, and in His name, He invites us into a relationship with Him – one of simply being in His presence.  We need more of Him.
  2. Forgiving: So many of us struggle with receiving God’s forgiveness, forgiving ourselves, or forgiving others.  To truly represent Jesus in this world, we must understand God’s grace in our lives and extend that grace to others.
  3. Serving: After all that Christ has done for us, we want to serve Him.  But as we direct our love toward Him, He directs our love outward – into the community, to help those in need.
  4. Giving: Jesus talked about money a lot.  Why? Because how we view money reflects our relationship with God. Jesus followers are generous.
  5. Going: Jesus’ last command to His followers was to go out and tell the Good News of the Kingdom and what Christ has done for us.  Doing good works is nice. But what turns those works into ministry is sharing them in the Name of Christ.

Let’s be Christians that not only talk about Jesus, but who seek to let His Word melt us, mold us and use us as His instruments in the world.  My prayer is that you will be greatly blessed by taking the Red Letter Challenge, and by letting the words of Jesus shape you into His image for all to see.

Taking the Challenge with you,

Pastor Augie

[1] https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0801072719/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2