Soul Winning: A Lost Priority
  By David Howden

    It is not popular today to speak of denying one’s self for the benefit of others. In many circles it invites ridicule to bring the challenge of living in total abandonment to Jesus Christ, of investing one’s life for the winning of souls. Soul winning is today’s lost priority.

    How different from the declaration of Scripture: "He that winneth souls is wise" (Prov. 11:30). Yet former generations of Christians accepted this all-important challenge willingly, joyfully and wholeheartedly, applying themselves diligently to win the lost for Christ.

Lost to Life’s Best

    "Lost?" some query. "In what way are they lost?" They are lost to life’s best purpose; lost to life’s highest joys; to be doomed and separated from God, His holy angels and all the bliss of Heaven, cut off for all eternity. What loss! What grievous loss!

    Yet the whole purpose of the coming to earth of the Lord Jesus Christ was to seek and to save that which is lost (Luke 19:10). His consuming passion was this mission: to give His life on the cross, a ransom for sin; to reconcile men to God (1 Tim. 2:5-6; Col. 1:19-20). His first priority was to bring many sons unto glory – the glory of a new relationship with God and the new resources He makes available to His children (Heb. 2:10).

    The last command which the Lord Jesus Christ gave to His disciples was to go with urgency and authority, to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19-20). Just as then, God is still seeking for men to stand in the gap, to plead with Him for the land (Ezek. 22:30). He wonders that there are so few intercessors (Isa. 59:16), that the field is "white already to harvest" (John 4:35), but "the laborers are few" (Matt. 9:37) or have grown weary and discouraged.

Our Responsibility

    The days of opportunity are passing quickly and folk all around us are perishing in their sin. It’s true, as the songwriter says, "Jesus would save, but there’s no one to tell them; no one to lift them from sin and despair." Let us stir ourselves up to a new sense of responsibility to our high calling in Christ Jesus. For "…as He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17). Christ’s first priority must become ours. We are all called to stand in the gap, to pray for others. We are all called to go and tell them the Good News and turn them to Christ the crucified.

    What a difference it would make to our places of worship if we could see precious souls coming to Christ. But this will only come about as each one of us lives under the anointing and fullness of the Holy Spirit, and as our services throb with divine power.

Our Need

    Dear friends, we need to confess our lukewarmness and coldness of heart, our lack of concern and barrenness of service. Each of us must come before the Lord in deep humility and cry to Him to give a heart cleansed from all sin, set aflame through the Holy Spirit, and a soul kindled with divine compassion and boldness, to go to those whom He would have us approach.

    He has committed to our hands the task, yet unfulfilled, of bringing the lost to Him. We must guard against the tendency to over-busyness or lack of concern. We must make a supreme effort to launch out in a new way so that we may go and find them, and hasten the return of our Lord and Savior.

Boundless Resources

    How wonderful to know that God has placed at our disposal the boundless resources and mighty enduement of the Holy Spirit, to make us effective instruments in these days! Let us make the words of the chorus our prayer:

Lead me to some soul today.
Teach me, Lord, just what to say.
Friends of mine are lost in sin
And cannot find the way.

Few there are who seem to care,
Few there are who pray.
Melt my heart and fill my life –
Give me one soul today.