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Take the Risk

Tithing is risky business, but it begins with the heart.

From the editor:

As the country sinks further and further into a time of recession, financial issues will be weighing heavily on the minds of listeners. Here is an example of how to encourage people to discipline themselves to give what they can in light of their circumstances. Through his use of stories, personal testimony, and statistics, Russell finds just the right way to be both tender and direct about a subject that is always touchy—now more than ever.


Are you a risk-taker or a security-seeker? The idea of taking a risk can excite and strike fear into our hearts at the same time.

Some people just love taking risks. U.S. News & World Report says 150,000 people a year risk their lives riding the rapids of the Colorado River. Since 1970, 45,000 people have taken up the hobby of hang-gliding. Think about the thousands who are bungee jumping—leaping off an 80-foot tower with just an elastic rope strapped to their backs. Think of all the sports where the primary appeal is risk: skydiving, auto racing, scuba diving, snow skiing, and horse racing. One of the newest sports fads is to swim with sharks.

Each morning about 30,000 Kentuckians risk their lives driving the Waterson Expressway. Research shows that 4,000 new people a day are entering the stock market, risking their money to make more. In the state lotteries, you risk a little with a chance of reaping a lot.

Some people just love taking risks. They like the rush of adrenaline and the feeling of escaping the ordinary. But most of us are not risk-takers. Most of us are security-seekers committed to a lifestyle of playing it safe. We hedge our bets, cover our tracks, and touch all the bases. From being over-insured to eating low-fat diets, most of ...

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Bob Russell is a speaker, chairman of the board of the Londen Institute, and author of When God Builds a Church (Howard).

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Sermon Outline:


I. Risk for the five-talent person

II. Risk for the two-talent person

III. No risk for the one-talent person