Wednesday, April 25, 2018
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This is going to come as a surprise to my friends who know how technically challenged I am when it comes to building things, but over the years, my sons and I have built several houses together. Don't expect to see a pickup truck that says "Hutchcraft and Sons" on the side. No, and don't look for us in the Yellow Pages. Actually, our houses haven't fared too well. It wasn't because we didn't work hard on them-we did. And it wasn't because they didn't look good; actually they were pretty good. And it wasn't because they weren't big; we did some pretty good sized ones. But every house we built literally collapsed within hours of the time we finished building them. It might have had something to do with the material we built our houses from–sand on a beach next to the ocean.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Sandcastle Syndrome."
Jesus is involved in an incredible building project, and what He's building will never collapse. It will never be washed away by any tide or any storm. And He's inviting you to join Him in building it. Of course, you'll have to go out of the sandcastle business first.
Jesus describes His building project in our word for today from the Word of God in Matthew 16:18. Jesus says, "I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." That's some powerful words. There's no doubt about what Jesus is building. He's building His church. Are you? Well, what are you building?
We're all working on some structure. For you, it's wherever your dreams are focused, what you put a lot of your money into, what you put most of your time into. It's a subject of a lot of your daily conversation. Maybe you're building a reputation for yourself, or financial security for yourself, or a romantic relationship, a business, your income, a comfortable retirement. You may even be building a religious empire for yourself in Christian work. Problem: it's all sandcastles. Just ask my boys. A sandcastle is something you put a lot into that just can't last.
Jesus is inviting us to focus what we have on something that will last forever-building His church. Even our Christian work could be building our own kingdom which won't last. You see, that church is not about an actual physical building. It's about reaching the lost people He died for; for adding them to His family. It's about building up the lives of believers. Are those the causes that are getting the best of what you have, that get you excited, that you're passionate about? Someone has wisely said, "In order to pray, 'Thy Kingdom come', you first have to pray, 'My kingdom go.'"
Maybe it's time to stand back and take a candid look at your motives, at your great obsession, and at your top priorities. Is it getting lost and dying people to Jesus? Or has Jesus' building program taken a back seat to something you're building, something out of sand, something that a strong tide or a big storm can wash away?
Jesus said "the gates of hell" itself would not prevail against what He is building. Look, you've got maybe at best 70-or-so years on this planet. Don't waste those years on building something that isn't going to last. Jesus is building His church. What are you building?