Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 6 of “Compelled – Living the Value of Culturally Relevant” (LISTEN HERE).
Culture will continue to challenge us and challenge the proclamation of the Gospel.
Don’t give up. Keep working at it.
To wrap up the week, I’d like to share just a few reminders about the Gospel to encourage us that working to bring the unchanging Gospel to an ever changing culture is always worth it.
First, remember the Gospel transcends culture.
Every culture of ever time of every country of every people need the Gospel.
How do we know? Here’s three passages of Scripture that remind us the universal need and universal application of the Gospel:
Romans 3:23 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations…”
The whole purpose of the Gospel is to affect every person of every culture with a transformation from sinner to saint and from hell to heaven. The Gospel above any other influence has changed hearts in every culture.
Which is the second truth: The Gospel will transform a culture.
The fear as we seek to be culturally relevant is that we will conform, water down, or change the Gospel to reach a culture. Yes, that is a danger. However the benefit is more exciting…that a culture is transformed by the Gospel.
Finally it is the power of the Gospel that changes a heart to conform to the words and ways of the Lord and align one’s heart with the heart of the Lord. It enables a person with the Spirit of God to discern what is truth and God’s will and what is of Satan and his will. The Apostle Paul put it this way:
Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The Gospel changes our focus from conforming to the culture to conforming to Christ.
So never give up the challenge to bring Jesus to your culture. Every person around you needs the power of the Gospel at work in their heart and life.
So here’s a few summary thoughts on what being culturally relevant looks like:
- Dissect the culture – take time to understand it.
- Intersect with the culture – take time to get to know it.
- Engage the culture – communicate Christ in a real, relatable, understandable way to the culture.
The end result? Here’s a glimpse:
Revelation 7:9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
May God bless all of us as we seek to bring him to every “nation, tribe, people and language”…ever culture.
Apply: What is one idea you can implement to connect with the culture around you?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for a message that has meaning to every culture. Use me to bring that message to the culture around me in a real, relevant, and understandable way! AMEN.