Posts Tagged ‘William Borden’

How to Manage Money: Conclusion and Powerful Illustration

This is the last post of what was originally going to be seven posts on how to manage money by my guest blogger Richard L. Blake. This eighth post presents a conclusion and a moving illustration. For the other seven posts, begin with 3/11/2016 with “How to Manage Money.”

FINALLY . . . .

We have considered the foundational biblical principles that God owns everything, and that we are his stewards who will one day give an account. The practical counsel offered is consistent with those biblical principles. Now is the time for an examination of your own stewardship. Are you ready to give account? Remember, the landlord in the Parable of the Talents came at an unexpected time and demanded an account. Wouldn’t today be a good time to ask the Lord to show you ways you can be more faithful with the assets he has entrusted to you? God is telling us to prepare for a long tomorrow by using our short todays to exchange earthly treasures for heavenly ones. Resolve now to build those riches for eternity.

 

I want to share with you the story of a man who did just that. In 1904 William Borden graduated from a Chicago high school. For his graduation present, his wealthy parents gave him a trip around the world. As the young man traveled through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, he felt a growing burden for the need of the world’s hurting people for the Gospel. Finally, Borden wrote home that he desired to spend the rest of his life as a missionary. Upon hearing the news, one of his friends expressed disbelief that Bill was “throwing himself away as a missionary.”

William entered Yale University and soon began a small prayer group that gave birth to a movement that eventually spread across the campus. By the end of his first year, 150 freshmen were meeting weekly for Bible study and prayer. By the time Borden was a senior, one thousand of Yale’s 1,300 students were meeting in such groups. His father passed away during his years there, leaving him the vast family fortune that came from silver mining and real estate. Upon his graduation in 1909, Borden turned down some high-paying job offers, not because he was a wealthy heir but because he was still focused on fulfilling his missionary calling.

Borden went on to do graduate work at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. When he finished his studies at Princeton, he followed through with his plan to sail overseas in obedience to God’s call on his life, and in 1912 he set sail for China. Because he was hoping to work there with Muslims, he stopped first in Egypt to study Arabic. While there, he contracted cerebral meningitis. Within a month, 25-year-old William Borden was dead.

Was Borden’s untimely death a waste? Not in Heaven’s perspective. When the news of Borden’s death was cabled back to the United States nearly every major American newspaper reported on it. As stated in his biography, “A wave of sorrow went around the world . . ..” Borden had walked away from his earthly fortune to take the precious Gospel of Jesus to the nations of the world. Most regarded it as a tragedy; however, God took the tragedy and did something far greater than Borden could ever do himself. When thousands of young men and women read Borden’s story in the newspapers of America, it inspired them to leave all they had and give their lives to reach the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Borden left an extraordinary legacy, one that extended beyond his brief life and example, as he bequeathed $1 million to Christian missions (equivalent to $24 million in 2016), including the China Inland Mission (CIM) that he was joining, Moody Bible Institute and Moody Church, Princeton Theological Seminary, several Presbyterian mission boards and other Christian agencies. CIM established and dedicated the Borden Memorial Hospital to ministry in Lanzhou in northwest China, an area populated with Muslims like those Borden hoped to serve. In her introduction to his biography, Mary Taylor wrote, “Borden not only gave (away) his wealth, but himself, in a way so joyous and natural that it (seemed) a privilege rather than a sacrifice.”

When Borden’s family was given his Bible, they found three statements he had penned inside the cover. Just after he renounced his fortune to go to missions he wrote in his Bible the words, “No Reserves.” Originally, his father told him he would always have a job in the company, but at a later point he told him he would never let him work in the company again. At that time Borden wrote in his Bible, “No Retreats.” And then below those two statements his family read these words written shortly before his death in Egypt, “No Regrets.”

No reserves; No retreats; No regrets.

Borden’s story exemplifies the biblical teaching of stewardship of all of life’s resources. And it humbles me. We must continually evaluate our lives by the teaching of sacred Scripture. We are all challenged to keep eternity’s values in view in the investment of our time, our talents, and our treasures. If we will do this, we too can live without reserve, retreat, or regret. Will you join with me now in humble commitment to this standard?

—Richard L. Blake, President, Xtend Ministries International