A Publication of the Mid-Missouri Church of God
Volume XIV, Issue 1
The Ozark Newsletter
Lake of the Ozarks
JANUARY GREETINGS: Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden light. (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV)
The first day of winter is December 21 and I hope that our rain amounts are not an indicator of snow accumulation. One day in November we had 4.5 inches of rain. I am not complaining, just making a comment. PBS has been showing a documentary about ‘Surviving the Dust Bowl’. For ten years, beginning in 1930, dust storms ravaged the parched and over-plowed southern plains, turning bountiful wheat fields into desert. Can you imagine 27 days of wind, day and night? Many people died from pneumonia brought on by the dust. Desperate times and desperate people.
As I sit here typing this newsletter, I am watching a red squirrel busy getting her nest ready for the winter. She (I think it is a female, probably carrying babies, as she is very fat and round) has made numerous trips up and down the tree to retrieve leaves for her nest. All of the trees in our yard are nut trees, hickory, pecan, or walnut and there is not a single nut in the yard right now. An indication of a severe winter? Could be…….
We will not be having a potluck on the 4th Sabbath in December since many may be planning to be out of town. Instead we invite all to remember the Super Sabbath on January 9th, 2010. There will be a Bible study at 10:30am and services will begin at 11:30am with a potluck to follow. The afternoon will be filled with singing, readings, and whatever talent you might provide. Please refer to the enclosed flyer for more information. Also our special speaker for that day is going to be ‘Wes McWilliams’ and he has asked that we make a special announcement about Camp Fairhaven from Pass It On Ministries. Camp Fairhaven was recently blessed with the opportunity of purchasing a 40ft. by 80ft. metal building for $2000 from a school in Nebraska that was closing. Twelve men took the building down, and it was transported to Camp Fairhaven in Missouri. All the men donated their time, including the trucker, and those loading and unloading. The building will be used for a meeting hall at Camp Fairhaven. We are ready to reconstruct the building. The estimated cost to reconstruct is $20,000 for concrete, insulation, electrical and plumbing. We want to begin work as soon as possible and your donations would be greatly appreciated and are needed for this project. Please give as the Lord would direct. Thank You. Send donations to Pass It On Ministry – Mail to: Kevin Thoene – 801 Ambois – Creve Coeur, Mo. – 63142
The following was in the previous newsletter and is an inquiry about how you would like to receive this newsletter …i.e., email, snail mail, etc. Or you may opt to not receive this newsletter at all – you must make a positive reply to continue receiving this newsletter – the exception is those living in Canada or foreign countries. I will assume that they do want to stay on the mailing list, but should you want to get the newsletter via email, you will need to make a response. Thank you for your participation in this matter and I am always looking for articles to put in the newsletter. You may mail us back the top portion of the next page with your response or you may contact us by email at email@example.com with your response.
The following is from the ACTS Magazine, February 2009
YOKED TOGETHER WITH JESUS
By Sharon Dean
What does Jesus want us to understand from these verses when He invites us to take His Yoke upon us?
A yoke is defined as a wooden bar or frame by which two oxen can be joined together at the heads or necks for working together. Many passages in the Bible associate the word “yoke” with bondage (Galatians 5:1) or as a symbol of oppression or slavery (2 Chronicles 10:4). It seems paradoxical that Jesus offers rest by taking on a yoke.
So, what are the benefits of taking His yoke?
When we take on His yoke, we are being yoked together with Jesus. This creates a close connection with Him and binds us together. He walks alongside of us to help us in a close working relationship with Jesus.
Jesus invites all “who labor and are heavy laden” to come to Him. Jesus is speaking to all people who are burdened with the daily pressures of normal life. Some of you may be physically exhausted from carrying burdens of sickness, grief, disappointment or loss. He invites you to come to Him and find rest. You have the free will to choose to take His yoke.
When two animals are yoked together, they will work as one animal. They have no choice but to go the same way. They must keep in step with each other and move together in harmony. Jesus said His yoke is easy. It is lined with His love and mercy. This makes the yoke fit perfectly and comfortably. His yoke is tailor-made for each individual’s needs, strengths, and capabilities. This enables us to carry the load more easily.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.”
Jesus shares our burdens. A burden is anything that troubles us. We are instructed to cast our cares on Him (1Peter 5:7). He gives us strength to carry out the daily activities of our life. Philippians 4:13 says,
Knowledge and Wisdom
Jesus invites us to take His yoke and learn from Him paying particular attention to the fact that He is “gentle and humble in heart.”
When Jesus lived on the earth, He gave us an example of how to live a victorious life. Jesus lived a pure and holy life. He had compassion for the poor and weak. He touched and healed the outcasts. He lifted up the downtrodden.
We learn about Him by daily reading His Word, the Bible, and applying His life principles in our lives under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Psalm 119: 105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” We can find instructions about how to lead a successful life. In John 8:31-32 Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
When we study the Bible, we learn that Jesus requires obedience. Deuteronomy 10:12-13 says, “…what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord….” In 1John 5:3, we learn that “His commandments are not burdensome.”
When we choose to be yoked together with Jesus, it is a sign of submission and surrender to His authority. When a yoke is attached to plow or carriage, the drive has control over the yoked oxen. When the oxen learn to heed the will and leading of the driver, less pressure on the reins is needed.
Sin or self will no longer control us. It is when we let ourselves take control and resist the leading of Jesus that we get into difficulty.
When we surrender to His leading, He gives us peace and secures our rest.
A yoke is a symbol of service or discipleship. Jesus has a work or a purpose for each of us. James 1:22 tells us to be “doers of the Word.” Colossians 3:23, 24 states, “And whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not to me, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance, for you serve the Lord Christ.”
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thought of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
When the power comes from Jesus, directing our lives, the labor becomes easier and produces a greater quantity and quality of results.
A famous study was done on two horses. The first one could pull 10,000 pounds on a sled. The second could pull 14,000 pounds. What do you think they could pull when yoked together pulling in the same directiohjn? The answer is 49,000 pounds. Remember this: the sum is greater than a combination of the parts.
Consider being yoked together with Jesus. The rewards are great.
Sharon Dean is a member of the Springfield Church of God I(7th Day) in Springfield, Missouri. All Bible references are quoted in the New King James Version.
MID-MISSOURI CHURCH OF GOD
PO Box 92, Eldon, MO 65026/mailing address. Actual physical address is: 602 East North Street. Phone: 573-392-1232 or 573-498-3775; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.mmcg.org The Mid-Missouri Church of God (MMCG) holds Christian Sabbath services each Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at 602 East North Street, Eldon, MO… A Bible Study and song service is scheduled at 10:30am before Sabbath services. Potluck meals after services are planned for the fourth Sabbath of each month. A weekly Bible study is held each Thursday at 6:30pm. It is best to call ahead and confirm times if you are traveling any distance to visit us (see the phone numbers above). Occasionally we will cancel local services to attend en masse elsewhere. Come and enjoy the fellowship! Also, the first Wednesday of each month the ladies meet for a “get together” and you can contact Martha Roberts at 573-496-3203 or Charleen Gitthens at 573-392-5965 for location and time if you plan to attend. You can also check the events calendar on the website.