Abundant Life

Generation X, Worship, Music and Song

RN11 – Influence


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This week, RN11 has just done what it said it would – rocked hundreds of Nations all over the planet.

Headlining the conference was Hillsong NYC’s Carl Lentz, powerfully preaching the gospel of grace and getting rowdy with the guys and gals. He was all about zeal for a life of purity and consecration and, flip me, does this guy know how to preach!

The best headlining band I have heard at RN in quite a few years, Gungor, played on Thursday evening. And they were truly high qual. Their music was anointed, compelling, world-class, and lots of other things taboot. I couldn’t believe how good they were.

But it was the home team at ALC/RN that blew me away the most, AGAIN, pulling together to make the conference mint. Musicians, dancers, singers, AV crew, sound/camera team, caterers, pastors, welcome team, hooverers (after the big exploding ball things) – incredible. Incredible influence. When you’re around incredibly influential young people like this you can’t help but get caught up in it – influencers tend to snowball…..well out of control.

http://rocknations.com/rn11-highlights

Book in now for RN12: www.alm.org.uk/rocknations

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RNX – Becoming What We Are


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My, my, my…what a very cool church we have here in Bradford, UK. (www.alm.org.uk). We are in the middle of celebrating 10 years of Rock Nations, a youth conference with plenty of differences.

When I was 15 in 1995, we had summer camps in vacated schools and for 2 or 3 days where we used to have meetings, tuck shops, day trips out where we used to get euphoric about all being out together in a new city (Bournemouth), and other Christian camp things. They were good days and God was doing precious things in us all then.

And God is doing something very awesome today as well: 1700 young people and leaders from all around the world are gathering in BD3 to encounter the living God, Jesus Christ. And it’s more than encountering Him for some emotional moments…there is a marking that is happening of young people’s hearts that will lead them to change cultures for Christ – hearts that have been sealed (Eph.1:13) by the Holy Spirit and that are being unleashed with insatiable zeal to see Him known, justice reign and freedom breakout. Sounds like a smaller band of men once upon a time to me.

And the fact is, RNX is about all of us continuing to become what we already are. We are sanctified and yet are being sanctified. We are justified yet are being justified and we are saved and yet we are being saved. That’s why Paul tells us in Colossians to ‘put on the new self’ which is ‘being renewed’. We’ve got it on already (because of the twinkling-of -an-eye-moment when we were reborn) but we’re still being renewed. We have the mind of Christ and yet our minds are being transformed in a daily way.

So I see RNX as a 10-year celebration of this conference but also as a celebration of His life in ours, that we are all becoming what we already are in Christ, whether we are 15 or 30 or 50, or any age. The Nations truly are being rocked!

“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” – Phil.1:6 MSG

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Abundant Life Power


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My Senior Pastor, Paul Scanlon, did a recent preach about the abundant life that Jesus came to give us. It was a phenomenal preach dispelling the lie that we need to ‘park up’ at the cross before we can be in His Presence – before we can come before Him confidently in prayer and worship.

Jesus didn’t come to give us an alternative life-style to live He came to get His life into us, to replace our fallen, fractured life. 

“For I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live. This life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me”, says Paul in Gal.2:20. This is a phenomenal truth that we struggle to appropriate in our lives. Peterson’s Message version puts this into helpful language for us. (Have a look).

The devil has done a great job of getting Christians pre-occupied with the one thing that is done and dusted – i.e. forgiveness for sins and freedom from any condemnation. When Christ died for your sins, how many of them were future? All of them – that’s it, which is why we can be confident of the thoroughness of Christ’s sacrifice in dealing with all our fallenness. Jesus’ solution of the cross was like bringing someone back from the dead who had died of cancer. There would be no solution in just bringing the person back to life, the cancer would need to be cured also. Jesus did this. He gave us life and that life is free from condemnation and fear  –  it primarily features grace, mercy and love. This is our God!

In just the same way that an earthly father would give keys to their adult children to let them come round when they want to , to get past alarm codes etc, so we have that kind of access into our heavenly Father’s presence. We should stop knocking and just let ourselves in! How great is that?!

We should be concerned about our sin, yes, but we shouldn’t have an unhealthy sin consciousness. Yes we should blush at sin but we are not condemned when we struggle and fail. Yes we should be grateful for the cross and live in wonder of it but we should live beyond the cross in resurrection power, beyond the veil in the glorious presence of our Saviour.

The Holy Spirit convicts (convinces us of stuff) us but doesn’t condemn us – ever. Our prayer should be,  “make me more like  You, Jesus”. (See RPM’s latest album “Give My All”, track 9.