Sermon Illustrations


In 1965 a divorced mother of two, found a classified ad offering a restaurant for sale. She mortgaged her house to purchase the restaurant, the original Chris’s steakhouse. In 1976 a fire forced her to relocate. Under the original purchase agreement, the name "Chris Steak House" could not be used at any other location, and she did not want to lose customers already familiar with the Chris name.

Have you ever been to a point in your life where you want to throw in the towel? Ever wonder what you have done wrong or why things have not worked out? Well you are in good company. The story above is about a woman who could have easily given up. When you spend a lot of years in something and it is taken away you have come to a real crossroads. You can choose to become bitter or better. This thing could be a business, a spouse, a child or even your health. You wonder how you can go on or even if you should. But it is at these times that you finally get to see who you really are.

God knows our heart and He knows everything about us. But He desires for us to know our own heart. We can find out a few things in moments in triumph but we find out everything about ourselves in times of despair with loss of hope and no where to go. That is no where to go but the Lord.

Romans 5:3-5 "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

Mrs. Ertel who bought Chris Steak House really had nowhere to go either. She sold everything to fulfill a dream and now this dream was up in ashes. But at times when things are the bleakest, when there is no money in your checking account, God is the One who wants you to know who got the job done for you. God desires our glory and our praise. So Mrs. Ruth Ertel decided to use her first name ahead of Chris Steak House. Her attorneys checked it out and that was cleared to use. She already had a good following of people. So Ruth Chris Steak House was born and then franchised. It is now the largest luxury steak house in the country.

(Wikipedia. From a sermon by Brad Henry, "Please Don’t Give Up," 9/1/2011)

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