In 1848, Jim Marshall was crossing a stream in California. Looking down, he spied a bright, shiny object in the water. He had discovered gold!
At first, Jim thought he would keep his discovery as much a secret as possible. But news of the discovery leaked out and traveled across the nation like prairie fire. The California gold rush was on!
Soon prospectors flooded into California from all over. Men from every walk of life came to seek gold and their fortunes. Because many of the men made the trip to California in 1849, they became known as the "forty-niners." California's population exploded from 15,000 to 80,000 in that one year alone.
Only a handful of men struck it rich in a big way. The others had to work hard to earn their livings.
Jim Marshall was the first to discover gold, and his discovery sparked the gold rush, but there is a far greater discovery for each one of us to make in our lives. It is the discovery that Christ, the Son of God, is the Saviour of sinners.
Jim Marshall was working at his everyday job when he made his discovery. And you, too, may be going about your everyday life when you learn of God's great love in giving His Son to die for the sins of all who will accept Him as their Saviour.
No discovery is so great as the discovery of realizing for the first time that "Christ died for me!"
It is by faith in Christ that we receive God's gift of eternal life. Anyone who receives this gift is far richer than the man with the most gold in this world. "Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold ... but with the precious blood of Christ" (1 Peter 1:18,19).
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish" (John 10:28).