In 1904 William Borden graduated from a Chicago high school. As heir to the Borden family fortune, he was already wealthy. For his high school graduation present, his parents gave 16-year-old Borden a trip around the world. As the young man traveled through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, he felt a growing burden for the world’s hurting people.
When he told one of his friends about his experience his friend shared with him that he thought he would be throwing himself away as missionary.
In response, Borden wrote two words in the back of his Bible: “No reserves.”
In 1905 Borden arrived at Yale University trying to look like every other freshman, but very quickly his classmates noticed something unusual about him and it wasn’t his lack of money that they noticed but his heart for giving.
During his college years, William Borden made an entry in his personal journal that defined what his classmates were seeing in him. His entry simply said, “Say ‘no’ to self and ‘yes’ to God every time.”
Borden’s first disappointment at Yale came when the university president spoke about the students’ need of “having a fixed purpose.” After that speech, Borden wrote: “He neglected to say what our purpose should be, and where we should get the ability to persevere and the strength to resist temptations.”
During his years at Yale Borden made it a habit to seek out the most “incorrigible” students working to bring them hope and faith.
Borden’s outreach was not just confined to the Yale campus. He cared about widows and orphans and the disabled. He rescued drunks from the streets, and would try to rehabilitate them, and was often found in the lower parts of the city at night, on the street, in a cheap lodging house or some restaurant to which he had taken a poor hungry fellow to feed him.
Although he was a millionaire, he never wasted his time in amusement, but invested his time in lives, and upon his graduation from Yale, Borden turned down some high-paying job offers and wrote within his Bible: “No retreats.”
Borden then sailed for China with the hopes of being able to witness to the Muslims, and share his love for Jesus, but before he could do that he stopped first in Egypt to study Arabic. While there, he contracted spinal meningitis and within a month, 25-year-old William Borden was dead.
When the news of his death was cabled back to the U.S., the story was carried by nearly every American newspaper and a wave of sorrow went around the world. Borden not only gave (away) all his wealth, but himself, in a way so joyous and natural that it seemed a privilege rather than a sacrifice.
Prior to his death Borden wrote two more words in his Bible. Underneath the words: “No reserves” and “No retreats” he had written, “No regrets!”
My prayer for anyone who is reading this today is…
If God has placed within your heart a calling so great that even you can’t muffle out His voice than please go “onward by faith” with no reserves and don’t retreat because if you do…
YOU WILL HAVE REGRETS!
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10
And one more thing that God just placed on my heart to share. When one does what God inspires our heart to do, nothing but love comes from it. When one does what God asks us not to do, nothing but grief is remembered.
Example: God asked Adam and Eve NOT TO EAT FROM THE TREE. They chose not to listen and REGRET is still remembered today.
On the other hand, God asked Noah to build an Arc and the only regret that Noah had to live with was the fact that everyone else didn’t believe him.
I look at Jesus like this. He’s the only one who says “I am the way… the truth and the life… for no one comes to the Father but through His son…” and I never want to regret that I didn’t take a moment each day to make sure that without a doubt that I believe him.
Praying everyone listens to their own heart today because there’s nothing lovelier than the sound of peace.
ONWARD BY FAITH WITH NO RESERVES… NO RETREAT AND NO REGRETS!