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Youth expert Ron Luce wore a classic cowboy getup and sat on the back of a horse at the BattleCry conference on Friday evening as he challenged more than 13,000 teens from across the greater New York City area and beyond to pursue the Lord, and not the “things” that lead to a life of emptiness.


Wearing boots, buckle, leather coat and a ten-gallon hat, Teen Mania founder Luce spoke on the Gold Rush of 1849, explaining how the men and women of the time sacrificed everything in hope of finding gold – and after that, happiness.

The mentality of that day is not too different from the consumerist, me-driven world of today, said Luce at BattleCry, a two-day youth rally that kicked off Friday. The thousands of teens, many of who traveled long distances to reach the IZOD Center in Rutherford, N.J., looked stirred as they applauded and cheered many times during the message.

Many youth think if they just had something else, their lives would be better, but Jesus spoke against this propensity, Luce said, and read from Matthew 6:25-33. He asked the audience to read the last verse aloud with him: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

“Relentless Pursuit” is the theme of Acquire the Fire’s BattleCry conference this year, which includes live music by musicians including Lecrae, Desperation Band, Shonlock, and Andy Mineo.

Luce shared the example of a Christian couple in West Virginia, who bought and won a lottery one day. They won $300 million, and they were happy. Their 16-year-old granddaughter was living with them – the only grandchild and they were parenting her. She was given $2000 as monthly allowance. They also got her a brand new car, and bought a brand new house. She started disappearing for a day or two at times with her boyfriend. Soon, she was found dead, dead from overdosing on a combination of oxycodone, methadone, meperidine, and cocaine.

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article courtesy of TheChristianPost

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