Evening, February 22
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Bible League: Living His Word
Come to me, all 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 is light."

Jesus' message of compassion and hope was spoken to a generation of people who had been bowed down with legalistic burdens by the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus said that they "tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger" (Matthew 23:4). Although Jesus' message was spoken to the people of His day, it speaks to any generation of people who struggle with the burden and guilt associated with legalistic teachings.

Legalism and humanism are two sides of the same coin. Legalism is the view that salvation must in some way include strict observance of a particular set of moral standards. It goes hand in hand with humanism, because the legalist assumes that human beings have the capability within themselves, if they want to, to observe the standards and thereby ensure salvation. Although those who uphold legalistic and humanistic views do not usually express them in such bald-faced terms as is done here, the message gets across nonetheless. And it is burdensome to people and hard to bear.

Jesus invites those who are listening to take His yoke upon them. "Yoke" in this context should be understood as a metaphor for the "way to salvation." Jesus' invitation is for His hearers to put off the yoke of the scribes and Pharisees and take up His yoke. The scribes and Pharisees laid heavy yokes on people and did nothing to lighten the load. Jesus asks people to take up His yoke and His yoke is easy. His yoke is easy to carry, of course, because it does not consist of strict obedience to a complex system of moral standards, but faith in Him as the fulfillment of every moral standard.

If you are struggling today with the burden and guilt of a legalistic yoke of teaching, then consider exchanging it for Jesus' yoke---for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
Numbers 7


Numbers 7 -- Offerings at the Tabernacle Dedication

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New Testament Reading
Mark 4:21-41


Mark 4 -- Parables of the Sower, Lamp on a Stand, Seed Growing Secretly, Mustard Seed; Jesus Calms the Sea

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Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
        Remind me that my days are numbered—
how fleeting my life is.
Insight
Life is short no matter how long we live. If there is something important we want to do, we must not put it off for a better day.
Challenge
Ask yourself, “If I had only six months to live, what would I do?” Tell someone that you love him or her? Deal with an undisciplined area in your life? Tell someone about Jesus? Because life is short, don't neglect what is truly important.
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
Nahum 1:3  The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power.

Jehovah "is slow to anger." When mercy cometh into the world she driveth winged steeds; the axles of her chariot-wheels are red hot with speed; but when wrath goeth forth, it toileth on with tardy footsteps, for God taketh no pleasure in the sinner's death. God's rod of mercy is ever in his hands outstretched; his sword of justice is in its scabbard, held down by that pierced hand of love which bled for the sins of men. "The Lord is slow to anger," because he is great in power. He is truly great in power who hath power over himself. When God's power doth restrain himself, then it is power indeed: the power that binds omnipotence is omnipotence surpassed. A man who has a strong mind can bear to be insulted long, and only resents the wrong when a sense of right demands his action. The weak mind is irritated at a little: the strong mind bears it like a rock which moveth not, though a thousand breakers dash upon it, and cast their pitiful malice in spray upon its summit. God marketh his enemies, and yet he bestirs not himself, but holdeth in his anger. If he were less divine than he is, he would long ere this have sent forth the whole of his thunders, and emptied the magazines of heaven; he would long ere this have blasted the earth with the wondrous fires of its lower regions, and man would have been utterly destroyed; but the greatness of his power brings us mercy. Dear reader, what is your state this evening? Can you by humble faith look to Jesus, and say, "My substitute, thou art my rock, my trust"? Then, beloved, be not afraid of God's power; for by faith you have fled to Christ for refuge, the power of God need no more terrify you, than the shield and sword of the warrior need terrify those whom he loves. Rather rejoice that he who is "great in power" is your Father and Friend.

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Proverbs 3:24  When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Mark 4:37,38  And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. • Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?"

Philippians 4:6,7  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. • And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 4:8  In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety.

Psalm 127:2  It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

Acts 7:59,60  They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" • Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them!" Having said this, he fell asleep.

2 Corinthians 5:8  we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit //www.lockman.org.

Morning February 22
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