Take My Yoke

MEMORY SELECTION: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” —Matthew 11:29

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Matthew 11:2-6, 25-30

THE dictionary defines a yoke as “a wooden bar or frame by which two draft animals (such as oxen) are joined at the heads or necks for working together.” How apt are the Lord’s illustrations! Taking the Lord’s yoke implies many things, but first and most important it indicates a voluntary act of complete submission and acceptance of the Heavenly Father’s will for our own. This is the only basis that will permit us to be yokefellows with the Lord. This act of submission or of making an unreserved consecration to the Lord must be motivated by our supreme love for the Heavenly Father and his righteousness. The mind and heart of Jesus as expressed in the psalm must be our attitude also. The psalmist prophetically spoke of Jesus when he said, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: thy law is within my heart.”—Ps. 40:8

In taking the step of consecration it is necessary that the individual count the cost. An acceptable consecration requires that the candidate completely divest himself of worldly aims, ambitions, desires, and gratification of self. It means that material possessions, our talents, our influence belong to the Lord. To some contemplating this step the decision could be difficult.

Jesus stressed the importance of counting the cost before making a consecration. His counsel is recorded in Luke 14:26-30,33: “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. … So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”

This is a hard saying to most who hear the message and learn of the terms of salvation during the Gospel Age. Yet not withstanding all these things, Jesus said, “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” This statement must be prefaced by a previous verse in order to be understood: “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.” (Matt. 11:25,26) The thought seems to be that only the humble, the meek, and the teachable are invited to become yokefellows with the Lord. The Lord said of himself that he also was “meek and lowly in heart.” (vs. 29) Those with this attitude of mind and heart are not overburdened with the material side of life and are more willing to divest themselves of those things. They are quick to see, appreciate, and evaluate the relative worth of the things of the world and the things of God. To these his yoke is easy and his burden is light.

The Apostle Paul, speaking of those who have consecrated their lives to the Lord said, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Cor. 5:17) This means that whereas previously we were engaged in things that involved satisfying self-interests, we are now occupied only with the things of the Lord. This is a new life. Our aims, ambitions, and desires are at one with our Heavenly Father. His will for us is a work of reconciliation. By preaching the Gospel during this age the yoke-fellows become instruments of God in drawing others to be yokefellows. And when the work of this age is completed those who have been faithful to their consecration covenant will be privileged to be instruments used by the Heavenly Father in reconciling the world to himself in the kingdom.—II Cor. 5:18-21

The Apostle Paul expresses the thought of being a yokefellow with the Lord in this work: “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.”—II Cor. 6:1

Dawn Bible Students Association
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