Verse for Today: Sunday, March 17, 2013
Matthew 11:30 – For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. (NLT)
The world tries to bind us with it through the seemingly attractive yokes of materialism, lust and pride. Once we are bound to it, we will be its slaves which will ruin our lives and testimony. The greatest buffer against the slavery of the world is to take the yoke of love offered by Jesus. What Jesus offers is partnership in yoke bearing. His yoke binds us with Him to walk together. It is the yoke of discipleship with which we become true followers of the One who had no place to lay His head when foxes had their holes and birds had their nests. Our loving willingness to bear His yoke is a response to the love He demonstrated for us on the cross of Calvary. When we are thus strongly bonded with Jesus, whatever that we willingly give up for Him is easy for us to bear because it is a mark of our love for Him. Thus the spiritual burdens of reproach, rejection and ridicule for Jesus will be as light as feather. The earthly burdens seem enjoyable, but the slavery it produces is unbearable and suffocating. It never satiates us and makes us want more of it and thus tightens its rope around our neck. The world’s yokes are not to help us, but to destroy us. It has ruined the lives of people like Lot, Korah, Miriam, Gehazi, Achan, Balaam, Demas and Judas Iscariot. When the world tries to trap us into its evil bondage, Jesus lovingly and passionately invites us to take His yoke and burden as He partners with us to bear it joyfully. Our bondage with Jesus will thus make us like Him as His true disciples.
Dear friend, are you experiencing rejection, reviling, resentment, ridicule, persecution, loss and maligning because of Jesus? Only when you bend down can the yoke be placed on your shoulders. Such humility will be like losing your dignity and status as a human being. You might be denied your rights just as Jesus was denied His rights. But He kept quiet and suffered it all for you without reacting or using His power. When you bear the yoke of Jesus, you are not bearing it all alone because He partners with you and gives you the grace to bear it. If you truly love Him more than anything or anyone else in this world, it would be felt light and easy. You will then consider it a great privilege to bear the yoke and the burden of the cross for Him. It will be felt like it is for a short time just as Jacob served Laban for Rachel for fourteen long years. The camel ride of Rebekah for almost three months was exciting because she was taking this tiring journey to meet Isaac whom she had known only by faith. Today we are called upon to experience the denial of our rights and dignity for the sake of Jesus. It involves bluntly rejecting and refusing the possessions, positions, prestige, privileges and prominence the world offers us. As we bear His yoke and burdens, He gives us His strength to bear it. He makes sure to comfort us when we are battered by anguish as we are rejected by the world because of Him. When we thus become bonded with Jesus, the world will find us an inconvenience and will try to get rid of us and hurt us. That’s when we experience the joy of rejection and the thrill of being resented and ridiculed by the world. Today Jesus is asking us to keep bending down so that we can continue to be partners with Him in bearing His yoke and burdens without grumbling.
Psalms 55:22 – Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. (NASB)
Thought for Today
God’s participation in our burdens will lighten it and make it enjoyable and dignified.
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