Topic: Paying the price for winning the lost: The Value of a soul

Text: Mark 5:11-15

On many occasions we have heard from churches and denominations that they cannot afford cross cultural missions because it’s too expensive. I have been a witness to the withdrawal of missionaries from both local and international fields because the local assembly and ministry sponsoring the missionaries felt the amount of money going into the venture is huge and cannot be sustained. While I am a strong advocate of creative initiatives for generating income to sustain missionaries on the field by missionaries themselves, I want to state categorically that it has never been cheap to save lost souls anywhere at any time.

In our text today, if you take extra time to read from chapter four especially from verse 35, Jesus instructed his disciples to cross over with him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, he had to send away the crowd to enable him step out to cross the sea. He was so tired working all day that he slept in the lower chamber of the ship almost immediately, then came the storm, which I personally believe Jesus knew was going to come but he still took the risk for the soul of the mad man of Gadara. There is so much to unpack in the entire story, but for lack of time and space in this devotion we will focus on verse 11-15 of Chapter 5. Jesus “wasted” 2000 pigs to offload one man of destructive demons and bring him to the knowledge of salvation in the Savior Jesus. In one of my engagements in Eastern Nigeria where pork meat is a delicacy, I asked what the price of an average pig is, and they said it is between 100 and 150 thousand Naira. If we just take the lowest, 100 thousand Naira and multiply by the 2000 pigs, that’s 200 million Naira on one soul.  I asked in another Church if they will still go ahead and spend N200 million on a crusade or gospel outreach if the Lord has revealed that it is only one soul that will be saved by that adventure. A prominent women leader in the assembly said “God forbid”. In Mark chapter 8 verse 36, Jesus asked a question, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Jesus equated the entire world with the soul of one man and still said the whole world is not worth the soul of a man.

What is your personal, family, local church and denomination’s budget for cross cultural missions? How many cross-cultural missionaries are on your church’s payroll? Some of the major missions outreaches by missionaries from Europe to Africa in the first missions era was funded not only by churches but Christian owned businesses. I was told that one man single-handedly donated the ship that brought the Presbyterian missionary team of Hope Masterton Waddell to Calabar from Scotland in 1846. He kept sending about 100 pounds monthly for the maintenance of the same ship for further use by the mission team for many years. The hope of saving the lost is dependent on the love and sacrifice for finding them by the saved.


  • Ask the Lord to fill the church with men and women with love for the lost and unlimited sacrifice for their salvation.
  • Pray for God to prosper the businesses and investments of the believers who have the heart for the harvest for the purpose of expanding his kingdom.
  • Pray for more Christian professionals to use their skills and platforms to reach others.

Pastor Victor Idakwoji

Director of Mobilization and Networking, NEMA

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