Very little was happening out west before gold was discovered in California. There were mostly woods, bears, coyotes and rattlers, along with a few missionaries, who reached out to the natives. In late 1849 there were about 15,000 people living in California.
But, with the discovery of gold, people started flooding in. Gold miners came. Soon after, there were restaurants, banks, newspaper offices, and stores as well. By 1853 there were over 300,000 people living in California. What made the difference? They found gold! And it changed everything! People willingly sacrificed all to obtain a shot af the gold.
That’s a bit like the Christian life. Those who have found Jesus have found gold! They willingly sacrifice everything to obtain their treasure. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44).