New Yoke for a New Year December 26-30
“Come to Me, take up My yoke” is a call for stressed and strained souls to find rest in God alone. Jesus calls us to become yoked with Him instead of all the other things we find ourselves burdened with in our daily lives. When two animals are yoked together, their combined strength pulls the load that would have been too much for one animal to pull alone. So it is with Jesus. To take Christ’s yoke upon us is to detach ourselves from the world’s burdens, to obey the gospel of Christ, and to yield ourselves to the Lord. Let that be your 2023 resolution.
Day 1 Matthew 11:28-30
Reflect: What is a yoke? How do Jesus’ words “come to Me” and “take up My yoke” help us understand the gospel? What does it mean that His burden is light, His yoke is easy?
Apply: What yokes do you carry? What are the burdens of your soul? What areas of your life are laboring or weary? Why?
Pray: Jesus, You see what slows me down, what causes me to lose heart. Help me entrust these burdens to You, hearing Your invitation and trusting in Your Word.
Day 2 Romans 6:15-23
Reflect: How does this speak to the types of yokes we chose? How is the yoke of the law burdensome? We are still called to be obedient, so what is different with Jesus?
Apply: How are you experiencing being a slave to sin? A slave to God? What is Jesus calling you to give to Him so you can find rest for your soul?
Pray: Father, I confess that I can easily take up the yoke of sin from my old life. Show me one thing I can do today to live in the freedom found in Christ.
Day 3 1 John 5:2-4
Reflect: Why aren’t God’s commands burdensome? What does John mean by “everyone born of God overcomes or defeats the world”? How does that happen?
Apply: When have you found God’s commands to feel burdensome? Why? When are they not a burden? Why? What is your primary motivation for walking in obedience to Jesus?
Pray: Father, I surrender my will in exchange for Your divine purposes and freely give You access to move unhindered in and through me. I know that Your will is not only what’s best for my life, but also gives me freedom and joy!
Day 4 Hebrews 2:14-18
Reflect: What common misconceptions does this text confront about Jesus? How would you explain verse 15? How does Jesus being fully God and fully human impact us?
Apply: How is it a burden to live in any kind in fear? What fears do you need to give to God? How does the heart of Christ comfort you when you think of His posture toward us?
Pray: Lord, when I’m crushed by my fears and worries, remind me of Your power and grace. Fill me with Your peace as I trust in You alone. Thank You that You paid the ultimate price to lift my burdens.
Day 5 1 Peter 5:5-7
Reflect: How does humility play out in our relationship with God? With others? Why does it take humility to be yoked with Christ? What would it take for you to be clothed in it?
Apply: What does walking in pride, being independent and self-sufficient, cost you? When have you been too tired to pull your load and felt Jesus take over? How can you ensure that He takes over for you more often this New Year?
Pray: Heavenly Father, I confess I have depended on my own sufficiency and tried to work out my problems in my self-sufficient strength. But I thank You that You have promised to carry every anxiety and pain. I praise You that I can draw on Your amazing strength this day and everyday.
Put It Into Practice
Week 6: Putting on Jesus’ yoke really means to make Him Lord of your life, dying to self. Determine where you are in that process and ask Him what needs to happen in the New Year for you to surrender even more of yourself to Him.