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Summary: If we do not have support systems we risk losing strength and stability. Everyone needs support systems. How do you draw strength for the journey? If you don’t have a close spiritual advisor, mentor, friend, you may want to look for one.

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I read a great little story this week. “In 1904 William Borden, heir to the Borden Dairy Estate, graduated from a Chicago high school a millionaire. His parents gave him a trip around the world. Traveling through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe gave Borden a burden for the world’s hurting people. Writing home, he said, "I’m going to give my life to prepare for the mission field." When he made this decision, he wrote in the back of his Bible two words: No Reserves. Turning down high paying job offers after graduation from Yale University, he entered two more words in his Bible: No Retreats. Completing studies at Princeton Seminary, Borden sailed for China to work with Muslims, stopping first at Egypt for some preparation. While there he was stricken with cerebral meningitis and died within a month. A waste, you say! Not in God’s plan. In his Bible underneath the words No Reserves and No Retreats, he had written the words No Regrets.”

- Text: Paul was dying. Reflecting to his young protégé, Timothy, offering advice and wisdom based on his own life experiences. His summary of his life led him to declare in 2 Timothy 4:7

- There are insights we can gather from Paul to ensure a similar confident testimony at the end of our lives. Looking through Paul’s writings in the New Testament I found eight principles that led Paul to live with “no regrets”. Sure there are others

1. Get to know what God wants

Paul’s sense of God’s purposes was absolutely clear. Few quick examples:

- Paul: “Called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God (Ro 1:1)

- Of Believers: “To all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints” (Ro 1:7) “by the will of God” (2 Ti 1:1).

- Speaks of suffering hardship so people could have salvation through Jesus Christ – 2 Ti 2:10

- Read 2 Ti 3:1-5… avoid people who have such interests. God wants holy relationships

- Paul had no doubt about his purpose in God’s plans.

Over the years people asked me “how did you know God called you to be a pastor? High school career experiments – discontent – deep satisfaction in doing church-related stuff.

We need to “get to know” what God wants, meaning over time we learn, develop, grow and achieve.

2. Build a support system

- Colossians 4, section called “Fellow Workers” – Verses 7-17 Paul mentions Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Barnabas, Mark, Jesus called Justus, Epaphras, Luke and Archippus

- 2 Tim 4:9, “Do your best to come to me quickly” or “get here as fast as you can” (MSG) – desperately needed encouragement

- 1 Thess. 3:2 – sent Timothy on a ministry run to strengthen and encourage the believers

- 1 Thess, 5:25, “pray for us” – don’t be afraid to ask for support

(John R. Brokhoff, Preaching the Miracles) When the Statue of Liberty was remodeled, it was discovered that the entire inside support system had to be replaced. The outside copper skin of the statue was okay; workers cleaned that and it was fine. The inner iron supports were corroded and rusting away however. If Without attention Liberty would have fallen in 20 years. Workers replaced the iron supports with stainless steel. Now it can withstand 125 mph winds. Brokhoff said, “A nation without inner supports of moral integrity is doomed to lose her liberty.” If we do not have support systems we risk losing strength and stability. Everyone needs support systems. How do you draw strength for the journey? If you don’t have a close spiritual advisor, mentor, friend, you may want to look one.


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