On July 11, 2010, Bro Perry preached about God's Trust Fund. That is, we should be returning God's portion of what he lets us have. This has been something very heavy on my heart for a long time. I have always wanted to give back, but I barely have money at the end of the month for general survival, let alone enough to cover what I believe should be returned. One thing that stood out, though, was the concept of one-tenth, or ten percent.
Paraphrasing, it goes something like this: According to the Word, we are to return one-tenth of what we are given through our earnings. To me, that was astronomical. Then, we were told to think of something we'd like to buy, but the price seemed a bit high. Now, there is a sale and you get 10% off. In our minds, we say, "10%!? Heck, that's not worth the drive over there." Well, 10% is 10%. Period.
Talk about a smack in the face! 10% of my salary (off the top) is nothing to sneeze at (at least not in my world). But at the same time, if I were thinking about buying something that costs what my paycheck is and there was a sale for 10% off, I wouldn't even bother. What does that save? Taxes on the item? So, what is 10% to give back to the Lord that blesses me with breath, employment skills, authorship, etc?
Another point made was that in that same text, God tells us to "Challenge" Him. Put Him to the test. Start returning the portion and challenge God with "too much month at the end of the money." So, I am. I prayed and challenged God outright. I challenge God to meet, and even exceed, my needs as I gladly return to Him what he asks.
And I do return it gladly. In a weird way, I feel great about it!! Why? Because it's something I have been wanting to do for years. But, I always get to the end of the month and say, "I can't. I have nothing." Now instead, He gets it right off the top.
I am one week into my "Trust Fund Challenge" and I plan on keeping up with it, writing about it. Sometimes, I will write on here if there's interest or if I find some revelation (either good or bad) that I want to share. But I am writing it down in order to make a book about it. It will be no-holds barred. Good, bad, blessing or curse - it will be open and honest.
Now, one of the things we are told is that God does things HIS way. So, that may mean cutting back on eating out or not buying something I would nave never thought twice about. It may also mean some seriously rough road. Then again, it could also mean being blessed with something totally unexpected. We just never know. For example, my FIRST NOVEL is published and ready for purchase!! I am SO EXCITED!! It's here: http://stores.lulu.com/davidinark (Summer Breaks)!! I'll save the commercial for another post. ;-)
I know not all my friends are Christians, and I am not one to preach to anyone. This is my personal journey and challenge that I am sharing with anyone that wants to follow along. Like many of the random things that come from my head, everyone is free to follow along or ignore it.
If we are truly friends, this won't affect things one way or another on that front.
If we are not truly friends, then I appreciate the time we've spent talking, exchanging ideas, and getting to know you and I understand your need to part ways. No hard feelings. It's been fun. :-)
If you'd like the outline for the sermon, it is here: