Summary: A call to base our lives on Jesus Christ and the salvation he offers.

- Growing up I was a beach bum. When summer rolled around there wasn't a week that went by that I wasn't throwing on my bathing suit, grabbing my towel and heading down to the beach. I love the beach, the smell, the sand, the water, the sunshine. And of course growing up, I loved to make sand castles.

- I remember my sisters and I loading up the all of our buckets and shovel into the trunk and heading out to the work site as if we were about to construct the Trump Plaza or the Sears Tower. You would have thought we were a bona fide construction company with as much stuff as we hauled. But it was serious business to us. We wanted to build a sand castle that would last, that would endure, that thousands of people could admire and gawk over. We wanted all the works, a tunnel, a moat, a tower, all the workings.

- So when we arrived the first thing we did is find the right location. As they say, what are the three most important thing when building, "location, location, location." So we surveyed the land and chose our spot. And we always chose our spot close to the coast line at that time. Because you needed the sand to be somewhat wet, and you didn't want to run to far to get water. So we began our construction and by the time we were finished, we could truly say with pride, "A Mighty Fortress is Our Sand Castle." They were always beautiful, and we liked to flaunt our castle as much as we could. But the same thing would happen every time. About an hour would go by, and that coast line we built next too would move on us. Because the tides of the ocean are always changing. And eventually that tide would roll our way, and we would watch in sorrow as our mighty fortress became mighty gone. But fortunately, there was always next week, and there was always another chance to rebuild what was lost.

- We all build castles don't we. Even we who are hundreds of miles away from the nearest ocean build castles. We build them with our lives, with our jobs, with our degrees. We build them in our church, with our actions, with our words. We all build castles and we want others to take notice and we want to build something we are proud of. And when our castle is damaged, when our plans crumble, we have that assurance that there is always tomorrow, that there is always another chance.

- But it's a funny thing, God doesn't really care about the castle's you or I build. They don't impress him very much. I mean we can build and build all our life. We can impress and impress, we can flaunt and flaunt, we can display all the right things, but God isn't too concerned with those things. It is too bad isn't it? Wouldn't it be much easier if all we had to do to please God was build a few grand castles. If all we had to do was say the right things and do the right things.

- Are you a Christian? "Well yes I am a Christian, you and 80 % of America."

- Do you believe there is a God? "Why of course I do. I even believe that Jesus is the Son of God."

- Should we help other people? "Sure we should help others, that is why I volunteer for VBS, that is why I am active in the community, that is why I send money to the Red Cross."

- It is too bad that saying the right things is all it takes. It is too bad God doesn't judge us by our words. Because we have got the language figured out. Why then, we could go around talking like a Christian and sounding like a Christian and that would make us a Christian, because if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck and walks like a duck, it must be a duck. Oh, don't we wish it were that easy.

- Don't we wish that God would judge us by the castles we build with our words and with our actions. Don't we wish that God would be pleased merely by the way we look and by the outward appearances. It would so easy. Because we have all become experts at building castles.

- But Jesus confronts that line of thinking and offers a different view.

- Read 7:21-23

- You see Jesus is not saying that there is anything necessarily wrong with building castles. He is not saying that we should not try and live a certain way, and talk a certain way. There is nothing wrong with building a family, with attending church, with professing Jesus as Lord. No, these things are not wrong within themselves. I mean is it wrong to preach the name of Christ, or to bring about healing. But those things in themselves are not what pleases God. Those things will not save us when the tide comes rolling in. They may impress other people, they may get you good samaritan of the year award. They may allow you to be accepted and revered by people. But when the real storm comes, when the real tide rolls in, when the real judge appears, then our castles will undergo the true test.

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