Updated: Dec 5, 2019
As we enter the season of giving gifts, let’s remember the One we were given who spoke in red-letter words. Have you ever read all the red-letter words in the Bible? When Jesus speaks in the Bible, the letters are printed in red ink. His voice is such a gift to us! Did you ever wonder what the King of kings and Lord of lords has to say? Or want to be refreshed by them again? The One who has given us a great gift left His red-letter words for us.
I thought it would be a fitting and special time of year to read the Bible a little differently than I had before. So, I’ve written a Red-Letter Reading Schedule as a special activity to do at this time of year. Using this schedule as a family is even more special. Take the time to slow-down, pause, open the Word and read the red-letter words. Read about the One whose birth we’re all about to celebrate on Christmas day.
Attached at the bottom is a thirty-day reading plan that shows all the books and chapters in the Bible where Jesus speaks, or a seven-day reading plan that takes you through the book of Luke. Starting with each day, simply skim through each day of the reading schedule and read only the red-letter words. It won’t take more than ten to twenty minutes a day, depending on speed and contemplation. Become inspired and empowered by Jesus’ words to us. What a gift and blessing it will be to hear the consummate words that Jesus spoke! One after the other, just you, the King, and the red letters.
While you are reading, ask yourself three quick questions:
· What did I learn about Jesus? (His character, His behavior)
· What did I learn about myself? (my character, my behavior)
· What is Jesus asking me to do or stop doing? (confirmation, conviction)
The Bible says in Hebrews 4:12 (NIV), “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints, and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
It’s true that the Word of God is sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates through the soul and marrow, getting right into our hearts—if we let it. When we do, our worlds change when we live out the Word of God. When we read it, we breathe it in and slowly become it. The Word shapes us, convicts us, and confirms our actions. The Word of God is a life guide.
The whole point of God sending Jesus to us in the first place is for us to become closer and acceptable to God again. The Bible can do that. The red letters are alive! A doubled-edged sword is sharp, but the Word of God is sharper, penetrating the worldly and tough exterior, piercing through the sin and damaged soul—to bring it life!
As I read the red-letter words, I am filled with gratitude and cling even closer to Jesus. I am reminded that the world around me can cause me to stumble, but I want my eyes to be lifted up to see Jesus in every season and each day that I am allowed to have.
I read so that my heart will recognize Jesus when I see His face. My heart will recognize that He is the Red-Letter Words on the pages that I have underlined and are tear-stained. And I will hold the red-letter words in my heart not only for this breath or my next breath, but all the way until my last.