The Red Letter Challenge has begun!

Day 27:  The Week of GIVING.  Read pages 166-169.  The attitude behind our giving should never be to get something in return. God gave us everything – 100% – when He paid the price for our sin.  We can never pay that back, not even 1%.  Daily Challenge:  Give to someone and don’t expect anything back.  Or forgive a debt.  Thought to ponder:  We don’t give because we have to. We give because we want to be more like Jesus.  Scripture to meditate on: Luke 6:35. “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting anything back.”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 174-177. In the world, free often comes with a catch and isn’t free at all.  That’s not what it’s all about for those of us who believe in Jesus. His love and forgiveness is absolutely FREE.  Can you make it through the mini golf maze?  Think about a time you gave something away for free.

Day 26:  SALT.  Read pages 158-163.  It is important that we don’t just talk about doing good things and meeting others’ needs, but that we actually do them.  Jesus calls us to be His light and salt of the earth, always pointing people to Him.  Daily Challenge:  Volunteer with a non-profit; help a neighbor with a chore; visit someone who is lonely or sick.  Thought to ponder:  Through what we do and the way we live, we can actually point people to a real relationship with God. Scripture to meditate on:  Mark 2:5 “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.'”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 156-159. The job of salt is to make food taste better.  We are the salt of the world, pointing others to God through our service to them.  At the dinner table tonight pass the salt shaker to each person and have them tell a way they served this week.  Color page 160 and read The Winds of RedVale pages 161-171.

Day 25: The SICK.  Read pages 154-157.  We are not meant for sickness!  But until we reach heaven we have a responsibility to care for those who are sick or in need of encouragement.  Daily Challenge:  Visit a sick person, or send a gift or message to a sick person.  Or write get well cards and drop them off at the hospital.  Thought to ponder: God honors your faith and commitment to care for those in need.  Scripture to meditate on:  Matthew 25:35-36 “I was hungry…I was thirsty…I was a stranger…I needed clothes…I was sick..I was in prison…”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 152-155. Jesus uses prayers and medical workers to heal people. Not everyone we pray for will get better, but we know that Jesus has given us DEEP HEALING from our sin by dying on the cross and rising again.  Write some get well cards and drop them off at the hospital or visit someone you know who is sick.

Day 24:  CHILDREN.  Read pages 150-153.  As we serve, it is important that we model for our children, but also bring them along with us to serve also.  Daily Challenge:  Serve a child that is in your life and let them know how important they are to you.  Thought to ponder:  When we acknowledge we are imperfect we are then open to receiving God’s grace, which makes us perfect. Scripture to meditate on: John 13:35 “A new command I give you: love one another.  By this all men will know you are My disciples.”
RLC Kids:  Everyone is important, no matter how small or young.  As part of God’s Kingdom, you have a job to do.  Try serving children that are younger than you.  You could simply listen to them, make them a snack, or serve in the church’s nursery.

Day 23:  NEIGHBOR. Read pages 146-149.  Who is our neighbor?  As Jesus tells us in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, it is anyone is need.  Daily Challenge:  Do something for your neighbor no strings attached.  Scripture to meditate on: Matthew 25:40  “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me.”
RLC Kids:  We’ve talked about Why we serve, What serving means, and How to serve, today we talk about Who to serve.  Jesus tells us to love our neighbor, who can be someone who lives close to us, or someone we see on a regular basis, or simply, someone in need.  Do something nice for a neighbor and show them you care.

Day 22: REWARD.  Read pages 140-145. We already have our reward secured for us in heaven, so when we serve we don’t serve those who can pay us back. We serve because Jesus stooped down to our level and served us.  Daily Challenge:  Serve someone who will not be able to give you anything in return.  Thought to ponder:  We serve because we want to be more like Jesus.  Scripture to meditate on: Luke 14:13 “But when you give a banquet, invited the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind…”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 140-143. It might not seem fair to give something and not get anything in return, but that is what Jesus calls us to do. Jesus gave His life for us, even though we could never do anything to pay Him back.  Try to spend some time today with someone who is not like you. You may just find a new friend!

Day 21:  FIRST or LAST?  Read pages 134-139.  Jesus’ teaching goes against our current culture of putting ourselves first.  Instead, Jesus calls us to be humble, meek, and put others first.  Daily Challenge:  Find a way to put someone else’s needs before your own today.  Thought to ponder:  In Jesus’ counter-cultural kingdom the ones who are blessed are the ones who serve others and put others before themselves.  Scripture to meditate on:  Mark 9:35 “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 136-139.  Jesus could have made Himself “first” in all things.  But instead He humbled Himself and served and died for us.  Let someone else go first today – hold the door open for them to go first, let your siblings choose which TV show or movie to watch or game to play.  How else can you let someone else be first today?

Day 20:  Week of SERVING.   Read pages 128-133.  We are half way through these 40 Day Challenges.  We don’t forgive or serve others because God says so.  We do it out of love and thankfulness to God.  Because of what we have received, we will want to do what God asks of us.  Because these Challenges are God’s Word, and because we love Him, we can adopt a BYSSIW attitude: Because You say so, I will.  Daily Challenge:  Pray for a BYSSIW attitude for this Challenge.  Thought to ponder:  Because You Say So, I Will.  Scripture to meditate on: Luke 5:4-11
RLC Kids:  Read The Winds of RedVale part 4, if you haven’t already (pages 119-129).  Color page 118.  Read pages 132-135.  We follow and obey Jesus, even when we don’t understand, because He loved and served us first, not because we owe Him or can earn any of His gifts.  Think of a time when you had to follow a rule but didn’t understand why.  Were you able to trust the Rule Maker and obey?

Day 19:  LEAVE YOUR LIFE OF SIN.  Read pages 120-125.  In this week of forgiveness we’ve learned about forgiving ourselves and others.  Now you are encouraged to live as a changed person, leaving your life of sin and your past behind.  Our response is not to win God’s favor, since we already have it, but out of thankfulness for all He has done for and given to us.  Daily Challenge:  If you are struggling with a sin, say a prayer or write down a plan for how to overcome it.  Thought to ponder:  God loves you for who you are, but He loves you too much to let you stay there.  Scripture to meditate on:  John 21:15 Luke 19:1-10.
RLC Kids:  Read pages 114-117  Just as you grow and mature on the outside, Jesus wants us to grow and mature the inside – in our faith.  Knowing you have been forgiven, you will want to do things better and continue growing!  It won’t happen overnight, but you will see the changes after 1, 2, 10 years.  Write down some changes you want to make and how you will measure it over time.

Day 18: LOVE YOUR ENEMIES.  Read pages 114-119.  Holding grudges and seeking revenge is not how we act like Christ.  Even in His dying breath, Jesus was praying for His enemies, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  It isn’t easy, and will require the strength and power of the Holy Spirit.  Daily Challenge: Pray for those who have hurt or abused you.  Thought to ponder:  In Christ we are not to be people of vengeance or bitterness.  Scripture to meditate on:  Luke 7:47 “He many sins have been forgiven – for she loved much.  But he who has been forgiven little, loves little.”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 110-113.  We might not know who our enemies are, or think we don’t have any.  But Satan is a real enemy.  If you know who you are in Jesus, then Satan is already defeated.  And when we know who and Whose we are, we can be the Forgiveness People He wants us to be.  Pray for someone who has hurt you in the past. If you have the opportunity and it is appropriate, tell that person how they hurt you, and that you are praying for them.

Day 17: FORGIVE.  Read pages 108-113.  How many times are we to forgive others?  Are there times when it is impossible to forgive?  Jesus models and compels us to forgive, even as He has forgiven when it might have seemed impossible: such as in the case of Peter’s denial, the people who put Him on the cross, and even us.  Thankfully, there is no end to His forgiveness.  Daily Challenge:  Consider someone you have had difficulty forgiving, and, asking God for the strength, forgive them.  Reach out to them if appropriate.  Thought to ponder:  There is nothing that can be done to us or against us that we cannot forgive.  Scripture to meditate on:  Matthew 18:33 “Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 104-109.  Jesus  says there is no limit to the amount of His forgiveness.  Tell someone you forgive them today, by actually saying the words, “I forgive you.”

Day 16:  MERCY.  Read pages 102-107.  If grace is receiving a gift we don’t deserve, then mercy is not receiving the punishment we do deserve.  Thankfully, we won’t have to endure the punishment for our sin because of God’s mercy toward us.  Daily Challenge: Think of someone you could show mercy to.  Thought to ponder:  God have every right to punish us or harm us.  He had every right to throw us where we belong, but instead He had mercy on us.  Scripture to meditate on:  Luke 6:36 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
RLC Kids: Read pages 100-103.  We do not receive the punishment we deserve because of endless mercy through Jesus, our Savior.  Show mercy to someone who has wronged you or owes you a debt.  Forgive them their debt.

Day 15:  GRACE.  Read pages 96-101.  One word used to describe God is “grace”.  He has given us the wonderful gift of forgiveness out of His abundant grace.  And yet people tend to see Christians as giving judgments rather than grace.  We need to remove the plank in our own eye before we point out the speck in others’.  Daily Challenge:  Write down the names or groups of people you have improperly judged in the past.  Ask God for forgiveness.  Thought to ponder:  If God is known for grace, how can we, His followers, be known for judgment, the exact opposite?  Scripture to meditate on:   Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 96-99.  Getting something in your eye hurts and it’s really annoying.  Imagine having a whole plank of wood in your eye!  We need help to remove the plank of sin of judgment in our lives.  Thankfully, Jesus is our helper and removes it for us.  Take a popsicle stick, or other large plank and write the words of 1 John 4:7a.

Day 14:  FORGIVEN.  Read pages 90-95.  You have been forgiven.  Sometimes that is not easy to believe for ourselves.  But Jesus died on the cross for just that reason – to forgive you, and the whole world, for every sin.  And in response, we forgive other who have sinned against us.  Daily Challenge:  Drop your rock.  Don’t hold on to the sin that can enslave you.  Thought to ponder:  To often we spend more time listening to the accusations of the enemy than the truth of the Gospel.  Scripture to meditate on:  John 8:7  “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 90-95.  Jesus did not come to condemn, or judge, us.  Rather He came to save us.  Use a marker to write down sins that you have done, or others have done against you, on rocks and wash them in a river or a sink.

Day 13:  Week of FORGIVING.  Read pages 84-89.  We are all sinners in need of forgiveness.  We are all guilty.  But Jesus sets us free by offering forgiveness through His sacrifice on the cross.  Only after we receive forgiveness, can we better give forgiveness.  Daily Challenge:  Begin this week of FORGIVING by repenting of your sins and receiving God’s grace.  Thought to ponder:  No matter how serious, big, or awful your sin is, God’s grace extends to cover it.  Scripture to meditate on:  Mark 1:15  “The time has come.  The Kingdom of God is near.  Repent and believe the Good News!”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 86-89.  When we go the wrong direction we need to turn around.  That is what repentance means.  Practice repentance by saying sorry to God in a prayer, or write a confession.

Day 12:  REST.  Read pages 76-81.   God not only wants us to rest, but commands it!  Setting apart a day to enjoy all that God has provided and enjoying it in His presence is another important discipline that helps us to grow closer to God.  Daily Challenge:Take a day each week to enjoy God and His creation, and rest.  Thought to ponder: If God takes a day to enjoy His creation, shouldn’t we?  Scripture to meditate on: Mark 2:27-28  “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 68-71.  Sabbath, or rest, means more than just sitting around.  It is also enjoying all that God has given us.  Set aside one day as a Sabbath and do something you enjoy with your family.  Read “The Winds of RedVale” pages 73-83.  Color page 72.

Day 11:  CELEBRATE.  Read pages 70-75.  Jesus has done everything needed so we can be free to live in joy, and share that joy,  with others so they will know that following Christ, while it may not always be easy, gives us peace and hope that those who don’t know Christ cannot understand.  Daily Challenge:  Have some fun!  Celebrate with your friends and neighbors all that God has done for us.  Thought to ponder:  We ought to attract people to the church quite literally by the fun there is in being a Christian.  Scripture to meditate on:  Psalm 98.
RLC Kids:  Read pages 64-67.  It’s time to celebrate!  Being a Christian isn’t all about work, we also celebrate all that God has done for us.  Plan a pretend party, or plan a dinner party for your family!  Include fun games, favorite foods, use special dinnerware, and enjoy BEING in God’s family with your own family!

Day 10:  FASTING.  Read pages 64-69.  Fasting is a very personal way to grow closer to God.  It can take many forms, but it is giving up something that you need and will miss.  In those times where you are missing the item you are refraining from, use the time to remember all that God has given you, and you will find that you are more open to what God wants to do in your life.  Daily Challenge:  Go on a fast today.  Choose to fast regularly, or for more than one day.  Thought to ponder:  Fasting brings you closer to God and helps you realize just how much God provides for you.  Scripture to meditate on:  Matthew 6:17-18  “When you fast, put oil on your head and wash you face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father.”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 60-63.  Fasting reminds us of all that God has done and provides for us.  Make a list of things you might fast from.  Pick one thing and try doing a fast for a day.

Day 9:  PRIORITIZE.  Read pages 58-63.  As we go through our busy lives, it is important that we make time for the most important thing…our relationship with Jesus.  Daily Challenge:  Spend some time in solitude with God’s Word, or in prayer, away from distractions for at least 30 minutes a day.  Thought to ponder:  We need to say “No” to many good things, so we can say “Yes” to the best thing.  Scripture to meditate on:  Mark 6:31  “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 56-59.  It is not always easy to find time to rest, but God wants to spend one on one time with us.  Try scheduling a time each day to read God’s Word or spend time in prayer away from distractions.  When you have some alone time, turn it into God time by remembering all of His promises to you.

Day 8:  WORSHIP.  Read pages 52-57.  Worship is for more than just Sunday morning.  It is for every minute, every day.  We worship alone, together, in many ways, when we make God the focus of our adoration and our lives.  Daily Challenge:  Spend some time in worship through music, focusing on the lyrics during a walk, or read through the Psalms.  Thought to ponder:  God is not confined to a building or a time frame, neither is our worship.  Scripture to meditate on:  Luke 2:49  “Why were you searching for me?  Don’t you know i had to be in my Father’s house?”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 52-55.  Worship is more than singing songs on Sundays.  We can worship anywhere, anytime.  Try listening to Christian music while you do your homework, or while you are driving in the car.

Day 7:  PRAYER.  Read pages 46-51.  Prayer is one of the most important parts of our journey in faith.  Thankfully, you don’t have to be perfect or use pretty language.  Daily Challenge: Spend some time in prayer using ACTS (description is on page 51).  Thought to ponder:  Prayer is the most powerful tool we have on this earth.  Scripture to meditate on:  Luke 18:14  “I yell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 48-51.  Prayer makes a difference in our lives.  Try praying using ACTS (description on page 51) or memorizing the Lord’s Prayer.

Day 6:  The Week of Being.  Read pages 40-45.  This week we will look more in depth at some Christian disciplines.  As we endeavor to BE with God, there is no better place to start than with His Word – the BIBLE.  We are encouraged to begin this week by reading God’s Word every day.  Like Ezekiel, we are called to consume God’s Word and to share those Words and Gospel with the world.  Daily Challenge: Open the Bible today and hear from God’s Word.  The author suggests beginning with the book of John.  Thought to ponder:  The Bible is the one true story of life.  Scripture to meditate on:  John 8:31:  If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
RLC Kids:  Read pages 44-47.  Challenge yourself to read a few Bible verses everyday, or ask your parents to read to you.

Day 5:  Introduction to the 5th target: GOING.  Read pages 34-37. Be encouraged to finish this Challenge strong!  Let’s Do This!  Thought to ponder: When God calls you to go somewhere, you never go alone.  Scripture to meditate on:  Matthew 4:29 “Come follow me and i will make you fishers of men.”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 30-31.  Be encouraged by knowing the you are never alone.  Color page 32, and continue reading “The Winds of RedVale – Part 2”, pages 33-41.

Day 4:  Introduction to the fourth target: GIVING.  Read pages 30-33 in the book.  Consider ways you might be generous with your time, talent, and treasure.  Thoughts to ponder: I am convinced it’s impossible to be a stingy Christian.  If you are truly following Jesus you are generous.  Scripture to meditate on: Matthew 5:41 “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
RLC Kids: Read pages 26-29.  Discover that everything we have belongs to God.

Day 3:  Introduction to the third target: SERVING.  Read pages 26-29 in the book.  Think of ways you can serve others, and in doing so serve God out of gratitude for all He has done and given to us.  Thought to ponder:  While serving others won’t save you, it may help save someone else.  Scripture to meditate on: Matthew 20:28 “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 22-25.  Find that you can’t earn God’s love, but you can respond to it.

Day 2:  Introduction to the second target:  FORGIVING.  Read pages 22-25 in the book.  Consider someone you might need to forgive…it might even be yourself.  Though to ponder: There is no sin too big that God did not die for on the cross.  Scripture to meditate on:  Matthew 6:12 “Forgive us our sins as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 20-21.  Find that forgiveness is free, but sometimes it isn’t easy for us.

Day 1:  Introduction to the first of five targets: BEING.  Read pages 18-21 in the book to learn more and consider how you might aim to hit this target in your daily life.  Thought to ponder: Our doing flows out of who we are and who we become when we spend time with Christ.  Scripture to meditate on:  John 15:15 “I no longer call you servants…instead I have called you friends.”
RLC Kids:  Read pages 11 to 14, The Winds of RedVale, Part 1,  if you haven’t already.  Then read pages 16-19.  Find the coloring picture on page 10, and discover the significance of the number 40.

In the Red Letter Challenge, you will be introduced, through the words of Jesus, to the five main principles of being a disciple.  If you are tired of checking religious boxes, if you know that you were made for something more, and if you want to make a greater difference in this world, the Red Letter Challenge is for you!  We will study the red letters of Jesus’ words in the Gospel for 40 days and also put them into practice.

Follow the #RedLetterChallenge on facebook: ChristLutheranChurchYuma, Twitter: @ChristYuma, and Instagram: @ChristYuma

This church-wide campgaign includes Sunday sermons, all Sunday and Weekday Small Group Bible Studies, Worship KidStyle, and Jr. High and High School Youth Ministries

Call or email the church office to sign up for a Small Group Bible Study, or if you would like to lead, or host one in your home!

928-726-0773     ChurchOffice@ChristYuma.org     Or sign up in the church entryway between services!

The companion book is available for a suggested donation of $10.  Donations are also accepted for the youth books.