In the late 1800's, survival in the southern Appalachian Mountains meant living off of the land. Between the mountain ridges, the valleys were much more fertile and better to farm. Wild plants served to cure many of the more common mountain ailments and crops such as corn and sorghum were staples of the people that lived throughout the region. Hogs, sheep, chickens, and some cattle provided food, milk, and eggs. All activities were generally geared toward survival.

While most people are not living a true pioneer life in 21st century America, there are many who still seem to be living in survival mode. This is true of many Christians who choose to exist isolated from the world system in fear and uncertainty because of troubling world events and agendas where it is appears perfectly acceptable to crucify people who openly practice a Bible-believing life. This, however, is not the life Jesus came for.

Jesus said, "The thief [Satan] comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]." (John 10:10)

While you might feel like a Gospel pioneer getting by between the high ridges of worldly ambition, personal gratification and godless ideology, do not allow the devil to steal your joy and wound your spirit. Your life in Christ is intended to be one of overflowing love, grace, mercy, peace and hope as you walk in the Spirit and trust God for fertile opportunities to watch the Gospel thrive through your personal witness.

Casting Crowns sang, "We were made for so much more than ordinary lives. It's time for us to more than just survive. We were made to thrive." There's nothing ordinary about the Christian life, so stop surviving and start thriving!


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