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CHILDREN'S DEVOTIONAL

BECOMING PURE GOLD

  "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also".   Luke 12:34

     Have you ever heard of the man James Marshall?  Do you know who he is?  What about John Sutter?   John Sutter was the gentleman who built Sutter's Mill.  What happened around Sutter's Mill?  Yes, Gold was found!  And James Marshall, John Sutter's worker, found the gold lying on the ground near the mill.  At first he didn't know for sure that it was gold.  But sure enough it was gold.  Real gold!  Gold is worth a lot of money.  And money can make people do some very strange things.
     It did not take very long and people all over California heard about the gold found at Sutter's Mill.  Then people all over the United States heard about it.  Then people all over the world heard about it.  Where did they hear about it?  Well, word went fast.  They didn't have television, satellites, radios, or computers back then in 1848.  But somehow from the time that James Marshall first found gold till sometime in 1849, people from all over the world started pouring into what is now the Sacramento, California area.  People came from Australia.  People came from China.  People in New York were desperately trying to find ships that would take them to San Francisco, California.  This became known as the Gold Rush.  And the people seeking the gold were called the 49ers.
     Back in 1849 travel just wasn't quite as easy as it is today.  To take a boat would take many months.  For you would have to go around the tip of South America because there wasn't the Panama Canal yet.  However, some people did try to go through Central America and hitch a ride on a passing ship.  But that wasn't easy.   Sometimes the cost to travel on the ships was as much then as it is today.  Everyone wanted to get to the gold fields of California, so they were willing to pay just about anything to get there.  And they were willing to sleep on tables and chairs and live in terrible conditions and eat terrible food, just to have a ride to California.
      You could also travel to California by covered wagon.  As people heard of the gold to be had at Sutter's Mill, they would pack up their belongings and head west.  The trip west would take about 3 or 4 months.  At first it would be fun.  But it didn't take long before the food started to go bad, the clothes became so dirty, and the weather conditions just became too much.  However, the thought of the gold - the gold that was supposed to be laying right on top of the ground, just warmed their hearts and they could keep at their journey.
     As the first couple of weeks and months passed, the animals started to get so tired and weary.  Many died.  Even people died.  To make the loads in their covered wagons lighter, they would throw over the sides some furniture, pots and pans, cook stoves, clothes and even some food.  So if you were to follow behind the wagons, you would literally find a trail of household goods that led to California.
     But why would you throw out such expensive household goods?  They were going to California.  There they would find gold.  Gold lying on the ground.  They thought they would be able to buy all the new things they would need after they struck it rich in California.  They were willing to give up just about anything to get to all that gold.  Some mothers even left their children behind in their quest for gold.
     As I studied about the Gold, I thought about how few of the 49ers really found gold and "got rich".  Even John Sutter died penniless.  It made me think about a people that will be here on this earth just before Jesus returns.  They have their eyes on the "real gold".  Their treasure is Jesus!  He is their Gold!!  They will be willing to give up anything for Jesus.  While the rest of world is living life for themselves, there will be a little group of people - mothers, fathers, boys and girls - just keeping their eyes ever on the Lovely Jesus.  The more they think of Him, the more they desire to be like Him.  They want to act like Him, love like Him and live for Him. They will want nothing in this world to stop them from their "Gold".
     The difference between this group of people and the 49ers is that everyone that truly seeks Jesus will find Him and will become truly rich in what matters most for eternity.  Jesus will enrich their lives with His beautiful life.  And what is so beautiful is what is found in Job 23 verse 10.  It tells me:  "But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."
     Did you hear that?  Jesus isn't satisfied to just be Gold Himself.  He longs to "try us" (allow us to have hardships) but those very hardships help us develop godly character if we allow them too.  If we allow Jesus to transform our human hearts, He will make us come forth as Gold.  That means that we will be like Him.  We will be gold.  We will be the jewels in His crown.
     Jesus is longing for boys and girls who will let Him have their hearts and allow Him to refine them into Gold.  We couldn't be richer than to allow Jesus to make us Pure Gold.  Isn't is a beautiful Savior and Friend that we have in Jesus?  Don't you just want to follow Him . . . all the way?  I do too!

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