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Summary: Our soul is far more valuable .then anything shiny trinket that this world can offer. Far too many seek fulfillment only from what this world can offer. It is time to let Go of the shiny trinkets. Beloved, Let Go and let God!

For those not familiar with an Anglican Service; there are four Scripture readings prior to the Message. The readings assigned for today are: Genesis 17:1-7,15-16; Psalm 22:22-30; Romans 4:13-25 and Mark 8:31-38

Shaka ......also known as Shaka Zulu ......was one of the most influential monarchs ......of the Zulu Kingdom.

He ruled the Zulu empire in the early 1800's

He has been called by some ..... a military genius...... for his reforms and innovations, ......and condemned by others ......for the brutality of his reign.

A Captain Fairwell .......had built a guarded closeness ......with this powerful Zulu warrior ....and spent much time .....in the monarchs presence.

The Captain went to the British fortress in Cape Town .....to see if these two nations..... could live together in harmony..... merging custom..... and respect .....for their differences.

On a return from Cape Town,..... Captain Fairwell came cautiously..... into Shaka's presence .....and awaited recognition.

Shaka was familiar .....with the various inducements .....England had offered .....previously.

After a long pause .....and without turning toward his guest, ......he broke the silence.

"Tell me, Zebana," .....his name for the Captain,...... ......."How do you catch a monkey?"

Captain Fairwell responded, ......"A gourd is used ....that has a narrow neck.

The top is cut off .....and something is put inside,..... a piece of fruit .....or some shiny trinket.

He reaches in and grabs the bait.

He then is trapped .....because he cannot withdraw his fist."

Shaka continued, ......."Once the monkey realizes he is trapped, ......why does he not ......let go of the bait?"

"Because his greed makes him blind," the Captain answered.

"And what is he greedy for,"..... Shaka asked?

"I suppose for something he cannot have," .....was the answer.

After another long pause, ....."And what new bait have you,..... Zebana, ......brought for this monkey .....I yearn for something shiny?" (Long Pause)

Beloved..... We all seek to go to Heaven.

We want to serve God ......and walk in His favor.

The worldliness of sin .....is our gourd .....and it has a very narrow neck.

We need to let go ....of the shiny things inside .....and give our lives completely to Jesus, ..to yield to his Lordship. (Long Pause)

Charlemagne (742-814) was the most infamous ruler of the Middle Ages ....and a key figure ....in European history.

It is reported ...that after his death, ....Charlemagne was buried ...wrapped in royal robes ...and placed in a marble chair.

On his lap ...was a Bible opened ...to Mark 8.

His finger pointed to verse 36.

(Slow) "For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, yet loses his own soul?"

O' Beloved.....Our soul is far more valuable....then anything shiny trinket ... that this world...can offer.

Far too many ....seek fulfillment... only from what this world .......can offer.

Far too many.... depend on this world.... not just for food and health, ....but to fulfill..... all their emotional needs.

I am convinced.... for us to become ....all that Christ has called us to be .... we must become .... Hear me on this ..... We must become.... losers.

The big (Right Hand) "L" ........we must become losers.

The Scriptures tell us....."We must lose ourselves..... in order ....to find ourselves."

Jesus is clear.... that ....he who loves his life loses it ..... and he who hates his life..... will what? ..... keep it.

Jesus of course, ....is speaking of...... eternal life.

Now,..... a loser by social standards ....is one who has failed to accomplish.... any relevant success ......in life.

But by God's standard... a loser is one ....who has totally dedicated their life..... to His will ....to the will of God.

By God's standard ... a loser is one who has declared Jesus..... to be not only Savior.... but to be Lord..... of their life.

The Gospel is about losing your former life ..... and gaining ....a new life.... An eternal life.... in Christ. (Long Pause)

Beloved (Slow) It is time to let Go of the shiny trinkets .... It is time to get your hand out of the gourd.

Let go of the worldly things..... that are holding you back....that are weighing you down.

Are there areas of your life... where you have not let Jesus .....be Lord? (Pause)

Has the Lord ever asked you .....to give up something?

Many people quickly say..... "NO NEVER"

Why? Many say no... because they seldom or never make time ..... take time .....to seek God's will.

They seldom or never quiet themselves down ... in order to hear his voice.

We cannot mature in the faith.... We cannot unless we change.... We cannot be conformed to the likeness of Jesus.... if we do not yield.

What do you need to set aside... to let go of .....so God ....may transform you .... Into the spiritual man or woman ......that He has called you to be. (Pause)

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