Summary: What do I own? And how do I relate to the Bible demand that God owns. The Life of William Borden can help us answer this question.
THE LAW OF BIBLICAL OWNERSHIP Dr.DavidHaun Hope Christian Church February 15, 2004 II Corinthians 9:6-15
Many things happened in 1904. Theodore Roosevelt was our 26th president. The effort to dig a canal through the Isthmus of Panama moved forward, and for $10 million the US gained control of the Canal Zone. Thomas Edison’s new recording device was growing in use. The first Olympic Games were held in the United States. John Fleming invented the radio vacuum tube, and Charles Menches invented the ice cream cone at the world’s fair. Harvard’s football team played its first game in the country’s first football stadium. (1)
Another event occurred that year. A young man, William Borden, graduated from a Chicago high school. As heir to the Borden Dairy estate, he already was a millionaire. His graduation gift was a trip around the world. That trip changed Borden’s life. As he traveled through the middle east, he developed a feeling of burden for the many people who were hurting and lost. He wrote home to say to his parents, "I’m going to give my life to prepare for service on the mission field."
After making this decision, Burden wrote in the back of his Bible two words that would guide his life. The words were: "NO RESERVES."
That fall, Borden started as a freshman at Yale University. His fellow students soon recognized in him a spiritual depth that many longed for themselves. During his first semester, He and a friend started a breakfast discussion group which transformed the campus. His friend described how it happened: "Bill would read to us from the "Bible, show us something that God had promised and then proceed to claim the promise with assurance."
This small breakfast group spread until there were daily groups of prayer in every one of the college classes. By the end of Bill’s freshman year, 150 freshmen were meeting for weekly Bible studies. By the time he was a senior, 1000 of Yale’s 1300 students were meeting in such groups.
During his Sophomore year at Yale, Bill determined to reach the most "incorrigible" students, and try to bring them to salvation. He also started a ministry at night to reach and rescue drunks on the streets of New Haven. He used his income to establish the Yale Hope mission to rehabilitate the men and women he brought in from the streets. By his senior year at Yale, he had become a major leader on the campus and was chosen to preside over the huge student missionary conference held that year at Yale.
The point arrived when Borden recognized that God’s call for him was to focus on Muslims in China.
So, upon graduation, he turned down the job offers he was given, and enrolled instead in Princeton Seminary with a major in world missions.
In the back of his Bible during that period of time, Bill wrote two more words: "NO RETREATS."
Upon graduation from Princeton, Bill sailed for China to work with Muslims. He stopped first in Egypt to study Arabic. While in Egypt, he came down with spinal meningitis, and within a month, 25-year-old William Borden was dead. Shortly before he died, Bill wrote a final two words in the back of his Bible. Underneath the words "No Reserves" and "No Retreats," he penned the final two words: "NO REGRETS." (2)
Those three comments in the back of Bill Borden’s Bible, "No Reserves, No Retreats and No Regrets" could serve as the basis for our consideration of God’s Law of Biblical Ownership.
The Scripture basis for our sermon is found in Paul’s second letter to the Christians in Corinth. Paul Writes:
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! II Cor 9:6-15 (NIV)