In general red letter living is just plain old Christians living but concentrating on the actual words of Jesus for the primary lessons in life. To me some of the most significant red letters comes from the Sermon on the Mount. But, there are many other lessons that I am sure are almost as valuable. Red letter living serves three purposes: one is to thank God for His saving grace through Jesus Christ as shown by our compassion for others. The second it show us how to live while we are on this earth and how to treat each other. And the final purpose is to help others come to an understanding of who Jesus is and why they need Him in their lives.
I want to tell you up front that while I read the Bible regularly and try to learn as many lessons for my life as I can I am not one of those who can or will cite chapter and verse for much of what I read. St. Paul said that we should always be prepared to give those who ask the reason why we live the way we do. He was making the assumption that Christians, once they come to Christ, will live differently (meaning better/holier lives) than when they were pagans and that others will want to follow our lead. While that may have been true of the early Christians I’m not so sure that it is true today. But, I am getting off track here :). I am convinced that when we talk to people who are not Christians about how we live many are turned off when we start citing chapter and verse. We are much better off just giving them the lessons in our own words but, of course, backed up by the red letters without all the numbers attached. It then comes across as a personal dialogue instead of just a recitation.
But why concentrate primarily on the red letters? For me personally it is because these are the only words in the New Testament that actually come out of God’s mouth. I am sure that the apostles, including St Paul’s many epistles, were inspired by God in everything they wrote but they wrote from a human perspective not from the omnipotent viewpoint of Christ. And, since I have only so many years on this earth before I join my fellow Christians who have died before me I want to make sure I get at least the red letters right. That is not to say that I will ever totally understand the meaning behind the words. Sometimes I come to a completely different meaning of some red letters than I did when I read them before. That often depends on what lessons I have learned getting to that point in my life. That is one of the awesome things about His words and why continuing bible study is so important for me.
Ok, you are starting to get an understanding of where I am coming from on this blog. I don’t pretend to have all the answers but I certainly have a lot of questions and I think if we keep studying the red letters most of them will be answerable. Let’s enjoy this journey together.