Relevance is the edge for which everybody’s looking.  Merchandisers want their products to pop with relevance.  Advertisers strive to drape their clients’ products with the perception of relevance.  Authors covet the effect of relevance from the very impact of the titles of their books.  Even ministries are told that they must communicate relevanceRelevance sells.  Relevance gets and keeps you in the game.

Relevance is defined as pertinent, applicable.  Something is pertinent when it relates to the subject at hand in a way that matters.  It applies.  When a book is relevant, it relates to some subject or circumstance in a way that will make a difference for the person reading it.  Thus, they cannot walk past the shelf in the book store.  They stop, peruse and eventually purchase and read the book because for them it is relevant.

Relevance makes a person or their product interesting.  People want to actually hear what is being discussed or promoted because they are intrigued.  A book entitled How To Save Money When You Can’t Make Ends Meet, would be more immediately interesting to most than a book that tells the self-made millionaire how to make his first billion.

Relevance makes a person or their product important.  When a counsellor actually has something to say that changes how a patient thinks and lives in a meaningful way, he becomes important to the patient.  His prices seem more reasonable and the wait for an appointment, worth it.

Relevance makes a person or their product seem imperative.  Many do not think they can live without the new iPhone upgrade the second it becomes available.  All that the phone provides them has become something they cannot live without.  





As a result, every visionary pastor and his church longs to communicate relevance.  Are we relevant?  Are our services relevant - do people actually benefit from being here?  Are the sermons relevant - is it actually important that someone hear them…or could they easily live without them?

Here is where the conflict enters.  Who determines what is actually relevant?  The consumer will make this determination in a free market, but do sinners know what their spiritual needs are?  Does anybody actually know what it is that they need and how to get it?  Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

The gospel will only seem relevant to those who know that they are sinners and understand how this effects their relationship with God.

Grace does not seem like grace until you realize you deserve to go to hell!  Romans 5:8 says “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”  Once a person realizes the gravity of his own guilt before God, the picture of Christ on the cross becomes much more relevant!

The clear teaching (doctrine) of God’s word will only seem relevant to the child of God who is feeding his appetite for truth (He. 5:13, 14).  The more junk you eat, the less interest you have in healthy food.  It destroys your desire for the good stuff.  When a believer begins to attend church and Bible study and reads, meditates and studies at home, he will begin to change and doctrine will become increasingly relevant to him.

Genuine worship will only seem relevant to someone who actually loves God (1 Jn. 4:8-10).

Take special care as you judge what is relevant for you and what is not.  It can be easy to confuse.  What you want may not always be what you need.  I assure you, the gospel, the teaching of God’s word and worshipping with God’s people collectively is relevant!

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