Man is winsome, wherever found, just as he is. He may be shackled and slimed over with sin, as he plainly is. He may have lost much of his winsomeness, as probably he has, through deeply rooted prejudice and superstitions, and endless limitations of surroundings and education, but he still remains a powerful magnet to his fellow.
But he is most winning in his winningness as he returns to the original as God planned him. His native winning power comes out fully only as sin is taken out of him, washed out, and burned out; the desire for it removed, and the hurt of sin upon his bodily and mental powers overcome. Jesus is the sort of human that God planned. And only as He is allowed to come into a man's life, and treat the sin trouble at the core, and rule from within, can man come to his own in his rare winsomeness.
Only won men can win men, of course. Only the man who has felt the power of Jesus can tell some one else of that marvellous power. Nobody else wants to. Nobody else can. For nobody else knows that power. But that man must. There is something inside that compels him to. The man who realizes most keenly that he has been saved will be the most intent on getting others saved, too. The passion for Jesus becomes a passion for telling others about Jesus.
Jerry McCauley must spend out his life in Water Street because he had been gripped by the Man who spent out His life for him. The passion is irresistible. Splendid young Hugh Beaver must win the Pennsylvania students to Jesus because Jesus had become the magnet of his own life. Livingstone must plunge into the depths of the African wilds, and Duff into India's heat, and Hudson Taylor into China's inner provinces because of the Jesus-passion that gripped them.
Now the thing to mark very keenly is this: that God's chief reliance in His passionate outreach for His world is men. He is counting on you and me. The power that actually wins men is the power of God. Only He can so play upon human wills and hearts as to induce them gladly to open to Him. That is true. But it is as true that only through the winsome power of men can He use His winning power fully.
I am not going to take up just now why this is so, though that is full of helpful suggestion. But simply to have you mark that straight through this old Book, and through church history, and in actual experience this has been His way of reaching men. God's pathway to one human heart is through another human heart.
When men have failed Him God's plan has failed. His sovereignty doesn't mean that His plan doesn't fail. It means here that with endless patience He clings to the failed plan until He can get the man through whom it can be carried out. But meanwhile there has been serious delay and sad suffering for man.
There is a most striking sentence spoken by Jesus in explaining the parable of the tares, in Matthew, Chapter thirteen. He said, |The good seed are the sons of the kingdom.| We think of the truth, the Gospel message, as the good seed that we are to sow, and so it is. But there's a far better seed. It is men, saved men. We are to sow our saved selves, our lives, in the soil of men's lives. Our presence among men was meant to be God's greatest sowing of the seed of life. Upon that seed He sends the dew and rain and sunlight of His Spirit. And through that sort of sowing He wins His greatest harvests.