This past weekend we talked about what it means to show courage in the face of conformity, criticism and crisis. In scripture, we find Esther showing this incredible courage. Courage the can only be found from Almighty God:
“Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.” So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.” Esther 4:15-17
It’s no secret that God will find people to make a difference in this world. Will one of them be you? Esther responded courageously? What about you?
God has blessed each of us with different talents and treasures. They weren’t given to us to pick and choose if we will ever use them. He gave them to us to bring glory to God as we seek to advance His kingdom here on earth.
In studying for this past week’s sermon, I came a cross a fascinating story of a man named, William Borden:
In 1904 a young man named William Borden graduated from a Chicago high school. An heir to the Borden Dairy family fortune, he was already wealthy. For his high school graduation present, his parents gave the 16-year-old Borden a trip around the world. As he traveled through Asia, Africa, and Europe, he felt the call to become a missionary. Despite the criticism from those closest to him, he knew what the Lord had placed on his heart. In response to the hurtful criticism he wrote two words in the back of his Bible: "No reserves."
Even though Borden was extremely wealthy, he arrived on the campus of Yale University in 1905 as just another freshman. It didn’t take long though, for his classmates to notice something unusual about him and it wasn't just that he was rich. They saw Christ in him…
Borden's small morning prayer group gave birth to a movement that soon spread across the campus. By the end of his first year, 150 freshman were meeting weekly for Bible study and prayer. By the time Bill Borden was a senior, one thousand of Yale's 1,300 students were meeting in such groups.
He cared about widows and orphans and the disabled. Borden's outreach ministry was not confined to the Yale campus.
Upon graduation from Yale, Borden turned down some high-paying job offers. In the back of his Bible, Bill Borden wrote two more words: "No retreats."
Borden went on to do graduate work at Princeton Seminary When he finished his studies at there, he sailed for China. Because he was hoping to work with Muslims, he stopped first in Egypt to study Arabic. While there, he contracted spinal meningitis. Within a month, 25-year-old William Borden was dead.
Was Borden's untimely death a waste? See, prior to his death, Borden had written two more words in the back of his Bible. Underneath the words“No reserves” and"No retreats,"he is reported to have written: "No regrets." [Source: Borden of Yale -09]
Courage in the face of conformity - Courage in the face of criticism-Courage in the face of crisis: “No reserves” “No retreats” “No regrets”