Relevant!
Several weeks ago, I remember sitting in an HR conference during the afternoon key note message. The speaker was a petite woman with blond hair and a BIG voice…a big voice that offended a lot of people (that’s another story for another time), but she had a good message. The one that really stuck with me was “BE RELEVANT!”

I was reminded of being relevant during last week’s church message in which we discussed the value of relevance and effectiveness.
Word of God is ALIVE! RS
Of course, we can’t talk about relevance or effectiveness without talking about how relevant GOD is. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, relevant means having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand.  In a word, relevant means applicable.

So, the question then is this, is God’s message still RELEVANT today? Consider the following statements:
  • The stories in the Bible are moral and historical lessons we can learn from but that’s about it.
  • Considering how long ago the Bible was written…and how it was written by being passed down (or even mandated by kings), how do we know if any of it is true?
  • Things were different back then – how am I supposed to apply any of that to my circumstances today?
Have you heard any of those types of statements before? I have personally thought them over the years as I’ve debated my own faith, and I know there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of people that question God’s existence, God’s relevancy and God’s effectiveness given our circumstances today.

Hebrews 13:8 says,Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” 

Was Jesus relevant to to us when he walked the earth teaching and healing people? Absolutely…and he’s just as relevant today.  In fact, God has a way of making his message relevant to the times – whether it’s a burning bush, a natural disaster, a miracle birth or shared from one blogger to another. God uses whatever is relevant to communicate his message so that he is not only incredibly relevant but he is incredibly effective…he is not afraid to shake things up or afraid to be cutting edge. 

Speaking of cutting edge, I actually think that it is the church that sometimes struggles to spread the word in a fresh and relevant way. I think it goes back to what I talked about last week (Contagious!) with regard to the image of the church…and the perception of Christians. Following last week’s post, a friend (thanks Pam) recommended that I read the book UN-Christian by David Kinnaman. It arrived in the mail this morning, so I’m going to dive a little deeper into “what a new generation really things about Christianity…and why it matters.” 

So, as I start reading, I challenge you to think about the ways GOD has been relevant in your life. Do you live your life in a way that brings relevancy to the word…and are you sharing it?

36 COMMENTS

    wow! such a cool photo and I love the verse!! definitely awesome! :)

    I know that I can’t fall asleep without thanking God for all the blessings I have. Great photo!…and this is a very relevant post.

    Great post Ashley! I think sometimes our churches are spendng more time on promoting pograms and working so hard to be relevant to a certain population, that they aren’t focusing on promoting Jesus. If he is the focus, people will be drawn to him. Certain programs will bring some to church, but will it keep them there? Will they find a life changing relationship with Christ when they go, or will they just go to church because it makes them feel good? People need to have an encounter with Christ. Anyway. . thanks for sharing! I appreciate your insights!

    Wonderful picture and wonderful message. Thank you for sharing. :)

    Marla @ http://www.blueskiesphotoblog.com

    AMEN Stephani!!!

    We all need to show just how RELEVANT Jesus is in our lives! Its the only way He will be contagious to others. He needs to be FIRST!

    Cool edit!

    Great post Ashley! Have you read Radical by David Platt yet? I think you’d really enjoy his thoughts on this exact subject… and the “middle-class Americanization” of Jesus.

    I agree with what Stefani said…churches seem to be so honed in on their latest “group” and “program” that they lose sight of what is ‘releveant…’ and that’s Christ and Christ alone. Beautiful photo!

    Firstly beautiful photo! I use to be very religious, and I still appreciate what the bible says on certain matters.

    As far as relevancy I think it is a matter of what the person believes.If the bible is a part of your life, wonderful. It does have an overall good message. If not then as long as you are a good person,I can care less about your beliefs.

    My whole thing is live and let live. The only problem I have with some Christians is that they want their personal views pushed on others, a perfect example is that of gay marriage. If you do not agree with it or think it is a sin, hey that is your opinion. Just do not force others to have the same one.

    Too many are wrapped up in getting seats filled in their churches with their fancy programs and sadly for many their watered down social gospel message ( I can only speak for the UK ) It’s time the church got back to preaching the saving grace of Jesus Christ alone and actually equipping their members in how to speak to and challenge those who deny God’s existence.

    Oh btw I like your pixel bender edit :)

    Lovely photo and verse to go with it! Thanks for the challenge, too. I try to live my life in a way that brings relevancy to the word, even though I often fail and need to be reminded of how certain passages and books are relevant to us today.

    LOVE this edit!

    Great edit! Don’t you like when a simple message resonates so strongly!!

    Love the processing on your image. Not much of a church goer, but try to be relevant and let God be relevant in my life.

    Such a great word! and devotional to continue my day!

    what a creamy looking shot! AWESOMENESS!

    I follow off and on as I have been able and I’m pretty sure this is my first time commenting here. Just wanted to say that I appreciated this post about Biblical relevency. I am currently doing a project with my church reading 5 books in 5 weeks (!) about restoring the relevency of the Bible and the Church to the 20-somethings crowd who have a relationship with Jesus but aren’t taking it to the next level or passing on their faith to their kids. If we can show by our actions that God and His Word ARE indeed relevent to our lives today, we will likely draw non-believers.

    Anyway, good post, beautiful photo! Thanks!

    I follow off and on as I have been able and I’m pretty sure this is my first time commenting here. Just wanted to say that I appreciated this post about Biblical relevency. I am currently doing a project with my church reading 5 books in 5 weeks (!) about restoring the relevency of the Bible and the Church to the 20-somethings crowd who have a relationship with Jesus but aren’t taking it to the next level or passing on their faith to their kids. If we can show by our actions that God and His Word ARE indeed relevent to our lives today, we will likely draw non-believers.

    Anyway, good post, beautiful photo! Thanks!

    love your message this week and LOVE your photo too. Very different!

    I think people believe the Bible is outdated, because there are too many examples of people NOT following the teachings of Christ.

    I also hear about how the Bible contradicts it’s self and the stories aren’t believable. I say, who cares! There is a good message if you pay attention.

    I happen to believe that the Bible was written and rewritten by those in power, but you don’t have to look too deeply to see the message. To me, it reads “be decent to each other.”

    We have this fantastic gift of life and we can do with it what we choose: as ye sow so shall ye reap – if you plant positivity and love, then that’s what you’ll grow.

    I’m relevant, because I put out more positive than negative.

    Great post! This is the first I’ve read not related to photography and I love it. I usually run screaming from anything written about God.

    This is good stuff Ashley! Meaty, powerful! Am I sharing it…that is my hearts desire..to share it more as I never share as often as I should if I cared as much as I say I do! AWESOME picture and processing by the way! love it!

    Amen sista. I can always plan on leaving posts you write like this with a total warm and fuzzy feeling:)

    Beautiful message :) The photo is unbelievable, you are so talented!

    Wow, what a cool edit! I love it even though it makes me slightly dizzy. I suppose it’s my age…

    Erika B

    I think God is as relevant as you open your heart to him and let him be. His word is meant to inspire, give hope, provide solace, and to share joy. His word gives us a moral foundation to live by – all these things are timeless and unchanging, so it’s always hard for me to hear people say some of the things you mentioned. I think it’s some people’s defense mechanism; because to admit that it’s all relevent in today’s world is to admit that maybe their life isn’t what it should (and that can be a scary thing!). Lovely message today!

    Amen!

    Love that photo. Is that Rosie’s little trick?

    I love this picture and edit! It so completely matches the verse. Your creativity is amazing!

    love this! I’ve read unChristian – it’s so good, you’ll like it.

    just read Hebrews 13:8 and 4:12 last night… so God is relevant in my life in the way that He constantly brings certain scripture encouragements to mind during certain seasons :)

    pssst – love the picture!

    just love the edit!!!

    That was a very needed post! And As i listen to the bible (drama-version) in my Iphone every evening, I live myself in to those moments as good as I can. And I realise, There are differences in times maybe. But not in God´s word, and not in the way we as humans work!
    thanks for this post!

    Awesome photo and so perfect for this post. Biblical principles will always be relevant in my life, but I can see how my church struggles to make the message relevant to the younger generations; to preach the message in a way that people can idenify with and grab on to.

    I want to hear more about the book as you delve in to it!

    Cool photo!!

    And, I have to say AMEN!! to Rosie way up there ^ in the comments. :)

    I love what you did with the photo. Great verse and great message.

    wow, what an amazing photo and post! how on earth did you do that photo? so cool. I loved your post too, it really made me think about what I am doing in my life to be relevant…thank you for sharing Ashley!

    That is one amazing image — I can’t even imagine how you created that (love the message too!). Thanks for linking up with Graceful this week!

    What a wonderful post and photo. Great job and it was good to read.


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