NO RETREAT, NO REGRETS!"
Written and preached by David
In 1904 William Borden, heir to the Borden Dairy estate, graduated
from a Chicago High School - already a millionaire. His graduation present
was a trip around the world. He traveled through Asia, the Middle East
and Europe. What was intended to be a pleasure trip turned out to be a
life changing experience. William became burdened for the hurting and lost
people of the world. In a letter home he wrote, "I'm going to give my life
to prepare for the mission field." He took his Bible and wrote two words
on the fly-leaf: "No Reserves." William Borden truly had a missionary mind-set.
His attitude and decision call to mind that attitude and decision of Jesus
Christ. Think about this: God had only one Son and He became a Foreign
Missionary! Jesus had a missionary mind-set. And when He came to earth
on His mission, He came with "No Reserves!" Paul urges us to have that same
mind-set. The King James reads, "Let this mind be in you, which was also
in Christ Jesus!" But how does having a missionary mind-set play out in
- WE WILL GIVE
OURSELVES TO GOD WITH NO RESERVES: VV5-7:
- Consider Jesus who is a model for us all: He did not consider
any price too high to pay. He was equal to God, a resident of heaven,
worshiped by angels - and called upon to leave that for a world that would
crucify Him! But without qualm, without hesitation, without argument, with
no reserves, He gave it all up!
- We are told to have the same mind, the same attitude. Are
we willing to serve Him, to obey Him, with no reserves?
- Let us lay aside, with no reserves, anything that hinders
- It may be some material possession: "Oh, I can't give up
my house, or car, or money!"
- It may be some personal pursuit: "I don't want to give up
my athletics, or amusements, or education, or vocation."
- It may be some detrimental relationship. "I can't give
him / her / them up!"
- It may be some attitude: "I don't want to be inconvenienced,
or uncomfortable, or taken advantage of." or "I just can't stand
that jerk!" or "If I don't look out for myself first, who will?"
- It may be fear or timidity: "I don't want to be rejected
or persecuted or maligned or injured." or "I don't want to fail!"
- How right Jim Elliot, the martyred missionary, was when he
said, "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot
lose." Let us cast off, give up, lay down and rid ourselves of all that
gets in the way of serving Him with no reserves.
Borden gave up much, with no reserves, to serve Christ. After graduation
from Yale University he had many lucrative offers, but he kept his rudder
true and his course straight. Right after the words, "No Reserves" in
his Bible, he had written, "No Retreat." Again, how like Jesus, Who pressed
on to Calvary without retreat. But that's how it works.
- IF THERE ARE
NO RESERVES, THEN THERE WILL BE NO RETREAT: V8:
- Jesus didn't go half way and then back out. He prayed that
the cup pass from Him, but yielded to the Father's will: "Not My will,
but Yours be done."
- The Prophet Isaiah spoke of this when he wrote of the coming
Messiah: "The Sovereign LORD has spoken to Me, and I have listened. I do
not rebel or turn away. I give My back to those who beat Me and My cheeks
to those who pull out My beard. I do not hide from shame, for they mock
Me and spit in My face. Because the Sovereign LORD helps Me, I will not be
dismayed. Therefore, I have set My face like a stone, determined to do his
will. And I know that I will triumph." Isaiah 50:5-7 (NLT).
- Luke records Jesus' no retreat attitude, saying, "And it
came about, when the days were approaching for His ascension, that He resolutely
set His face to go to Jerusalem;" Luke 9:51 (NASB).
- We are told to have the same mind, the same attitude. Are
you as unswerving in your commitment to serve Him with no retreat? Let
ours be this determination:
- I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow
Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back!
- "I am determined to keep Your principles, even forever,
to the very end." Psalms
- When Cortez landed in Vera Cruz to conquer Mexico in 1519,
he purposely burned his 11 ships so his 700 men could not try to retreat.
There was, then, only one way to go: forward to conquer. For them it was
to be no reserves and no retreat.
- That's what it takes for us to follow Jesus, to have a missionary
mind-set, to be faithful: no reserves, no retreat.
Borden's life was given to God with no reserves and would not retreat.
He completed his studies at Princeton to prepare for missionary work.
He sailed for China to work among the Muslims. On the way, he stopped
over at Egypt for some final preparations. There he was stricken with
Spinal Meningitis and within days, died at the age of 25 years. He died!
What a fluke! "What a waste!" some say. But those who looked in his
Bible saw, penned after "No Reserves" and "No Retreat" the words he had
penned just shortly prior to his death, "No Regrets." Nor did Jesus have
regrets. The disciples may have considered the cross a defeat and an
end to hope; Satan may have figured he had won; but all His agony brought
Him satisfaction of soul and He'd do it all again if He had to - he came
with no reserves, pressed on with no retreat and has no regrets. So it is
with the faithful.
- NO RESERVES MEANS NO RETREAT, AND NO RETREAT MEANS NO
- He left heaven, He humbled Himself to be a servant, He died
on the cross, He was buried, He rose again and has been exalted, and now
has no regrets.
- We are told to have the same mind, the same attitude as He
had. But what if we have to give up our best things, our most cherished
dreams, our desires, our safety and even our lives? Isn't there regret
- Paul assures us, "Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared
to the glory He will give us later." Romans 8:18 (NLT). No regret in that.
- And "For our present troubles are quite small and won't
last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that
will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now;
rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles
we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever." 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NLT).
- "For God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you
have worked for Him and how you have shown your love to Him by caring for
other Christians, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep
right on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain
that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually
dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who
are going to inherit God's promises because of their faith and patience."
Hebrews 6:10-12 (NLT).
- Wilfred Grenfell went to Labrador as a medical missionary.
Dwight Moody asked him, "Do you have any regrets?" Grenfell replied, "No,
the only regret is for the person who comes to Christ for salvation, but
then does nothing for Him."
- William Borden, Wilfred Grenfell, Jesus Christ and others
have set the example of serving God with "No Reserves," "No Retreat," and
So, I am compelled this morning to ask myself, "What about me?" And I
ask you, "What about you?" Will we serve, give, share and tell with no
reserves? Will we go with no retreat? Will we faithfully endure so we
will have no regrets? It will take commitment. How can we make that kind
of commitment? First, be sure of Who God is: He is Sovereign Lord and is
due our obedience, without reserves. He is the giver of every good and
perfect gift and we can serve Him without loss. Then remember that the light
of God surrounds us, no darkness can overcome us. The Love of God enfolds
us, no hatred can conquer us. The power of God sustains us, no weakness
can undo us. The presence of God goes with us, no loneliness can defeat
us. The call is for those who will follow where He leads, go where He sends,
without reserves, without retreat and without regrets.
Story of Cortez from Walter Henricksen, Disciples Are
Made - Not Born; Grenfell and Borden from Daily Bread, December
31, 1988, and The Yale Standard, Fall 1970 edition. Quotations taken
from Borden of Yale, by Mrs. Howard Taylor, Moody Press, Chicago
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