If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” – 2 Timothy 2:21

A Snapshot of the Life of William Borden:

Born: November 1, 1887, in Chicago, Illinois
Died: April 9, 1913, in Cairo, Egypt
China Inland Mission missionary to the Muslims. Borden was converted at Moody Church via R. A. Torrey at age seven. He attended Yale University (1906-9) and Princeton Theological Seminary (1909-12). Borden was very wealthy, having inherited $1 million at age 21. He planned to go to northwest China to work with Muslims and so traveled to Cairo for a study of Arabic and Islamic culture. In the 14 weeks in Cairo before his sudden death, he organized a city-wide canvas with literature. He died of cerebral spinal meningitis at age 25. He left $1 million to Christian causes. His “No Reserve! No Retreat! No Regrets!” statement is legendary. The book, Borden of Yale, has made a great impact. He was unmarried. Memorial services were held all over the world for him. “No Reserve! No Retreat! No Regrets!(Excerpt taken from the Reese Chronological Encyclopedia of Christian Biographies. Used by permission.)

A Spiritual Application for our Lives:

Few lives are ever fully surrendered to God. William Borden was one who gave Himself completely to the service of the King, not simply in word, but with his whole being. Few young men would give away their tremendous wealth and surrender to a life of service among those who hate them; yet, this is just what Borden did. He lived a life of full surrender. His journals were teaming with “absolute consecration.” So what about you? Is your life one that is wholly surrendered to the service of Jesus Christ?

It was said of William Borden that he had an “abiding passion for the souls of men.” His heart for lost souls could not be tamed. Is this true of us? Are we overwhelmed by an urgency to see the lost come to Christ? Are we willing to live a daily life of “absolute, unqualified obedience” to God? Let this life stir you to live a life of full surrender to Christ. Keep nothing back! Only that which is given to God will be seen in eternity.

Let his prayer (recorded in his freshman year of college) be yours today… “Lord Jesus, I take hands off, as far as my life is concerned. I put Thee on the throne in my heart. Change, cleanse, use me as Thou shalt choose. I take the full power of Thy Holy Spirit. I thank Thee. – May never know a tithe of the result until Morning.

A Suggestion for Further Reading…

Borden of Yale, by Mrs. Howard Taylor, 1926 (this classic work has been reprinted by Crown Christian Publications).