Make a joyful noise unto the Lord,
all ye lands. Serve the Lord with
gladness:  come before his presence
with singing. Psalm 100:1-2


This is not only an exhortation .... it is a prophecy. The
day is coming when all lands will be making a joyful noise

unto the Lord and serving Him with gladness. But in the

Kingdom these things should be happening now. While

Jesus makes clear that the life of following Him is going

to cost us everything we've got, He never presents the

life of following Him as anything less than unspeakable joy.


               "These things I have spoken to you, that
my joy may be in you, and that your joy
may be full."   
John 15:11


The Kingdom of God into which Jesus has now called us is

             - a wedding feast,

- a great banquet,
- a fruitful field,
- a mighty harvest,
- treasure hidden in a field which a man found
  and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and
  sells all that he has and buys that field.


Yet, how often in our lives and ministries we have made
the Kingdom into something almost totally joyless.
When we catch ourselves walking around with
our jaw clenched half the time.


When we find that beneath our missionary

smiles we're seething with "righteous
indignation" at everything and everybody.

When the dominant atmosphere of our daily
life is gloom.


When we find that we can hardly look at
anything without being instantly critical.

When even our sleep is troubled with anxiety.

- We can be sure that our vision of
Jesus and of His Kingdom is warped.

 "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."
Matthew 11:28-30


He promises we will find rest in Him...that His yoke
is easy and His burden is light.


So, if we have no rest, and if our walk with Him is
such a chore,

        a heaviness,
        a weariness,
        a depressing gloom-yielding thing,


- something is wrong!


And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if
a man should scatter seed upon the ground,
and should sleep and rise night and day,
and the seed should sprout and grow, he
knows not how.  The earth produces of it­
self, first the blade, then the ear, then
the full grain in the ear. But when the
grain is ripe, at once he puts in the
sickle, because the harvest has come."

Mark 4:26-29


The man in this parable does only two things -­
-- he scatters the seed,

-- he harvests the grain.

He does not make the seed grow. He doesn't even know
how it grows. It grows by itself. First the blade, then
the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
  If the man under­
stands this his labor is a joy.


But, if the man presumes to take upon himself the matter
of making the seed grow, he will make himself a spiritual
wreck.  And if he produces any results by his efforts,
they will be demonic.


All our frustration,
All our joylessness,
All the spiritual monstrosities we produce, out of our feverish

efforts come from the presumptuous sin of tampering with the

seed which is meant to sprout and grow  (we know-not how),

by God's grace.


Except the Lord build the house, they labor

in vain that build it: except the Lord keep

the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

                                         Psalm 127:1


We call it "Christian work", but our thinking,

                                              our attitudes,

                                              our way of doing things,

             our slovenly neglected

prayer life gives every evidence that we have pushed God

out of the center of this Christian thing we're doing

and put ourselves there. We may think we're under the

yoke with Christ but we're under a strange yoke of our

own ... no wonder it's so heavy.


Some of us are continuously depressed because we're

limping under a cast iron yoke called, "I don't know how I'll
ever make it." "The world is filled with so many devils.
There are so many temptations and I'm so undisciplined."
We think we're being humble when we talk like that. But
underneath our humility is the presumptuous sin of think­ing

our survival depends entirely on us ... our will power,
                                                        our cleverness.

Where is your vision of the Shepherd who promised to keep
you in His hand?


And some of us are such wet blankets because we're

staggering under the concrete yoke called, "I'm the
only one left."


"They've forsaken thy covenant, thrown down
 thine altars...slain the prophets with the

               sword, and I alone am left."`


..."Where would God be if He didn't have me?....

              - That's a heavy yoke.

    - That's enough to make anyone gloomy. 

What a burden to be the only true disciple left! And 

beneath your teeth-gritting total commitment is the

presumptuous sin of thinking it all depends on you.


            Praise ye the Lord:  For it is good to

sing praises unto our God; for it is
pleasant; and praise is comely.

The Lord doth build Jerusalem: he
gathereth together the outcasts of Israel:

He healeth the broken in heart,
and bindeth up their wounds.  He telleth
the number of the stars; he calleth them
all by their names.  Great is our Lord,
and of great power: his understanding
is infinite. The Lord lifteth up the
meek: he casteth the wicked down to the
ground.  Sing unto the Lord with thanks­
giving; sing praise upon the harp unto

our God...     Psalm 147:1-7

God's Kingdom is God's Kingdom,


       - He rules it;

.            - He takes initiative.

  - He builds up Jerusalem.
  - He revives His church.
  - He purifies His people.
  - He gathers the outcasts of Israel.

  - He heals the broken in heart and binds up
                            their wounds, .
- for He alone is Lord.


"Be still and know that I am God. I will

 be exalted among the heathen; I will be

 exalted in the earth."


God's Kingdom is in our midst, by His mercy. And that
Kingdom, like a stone cut out of a mountain without hands
which grows until it fills the whole earth, is now at work,

growing, fulfilling its purpose, with us or without us.  If we

don't cooperate God raises up a people who will.  There is

no way we or any man or any devil can keep it from coming.


Our part is not to make the Kingdom come. The Kingdom is
coming with us or without us.


The earth produces of itself, first the
blade, then the ear, then the full grain
in the ear.


The gospel will be preached in China. The word will

spread across India like a fire. Africa will be saturated
with the word of God's mercy.  And even America, with all
its cheap gospels, will hear a clarion call to repentance.
All this and much more is in the offing.


Our part is simply to fit into this glorious thing which
God is even now doing -- exactly where He wants to fit
us. We are given the high privilege of being part of all
this if we will lay aside our heavy, somber, gloomy, self­
important yoke (where we're in charge) and get under the
yoke of
Christ which is so much easier, (because He's in
charge, and not we)


1. His yoke is easy because under that yoke Jesus gives
us eyes to see the Kingdom of God.


   Nobody sees the Kingdom of God until Jesus opens his eyes:

Then turning to the disciples he said

privately, "Blessed are the eyes which
see what you see! For I tell you that
many prophets and kings desired to see
what you see, and did not see it, and to

hear what you hear, and did not hear it."                                    Luke 10:23-24


The same Lord who opened the eyes of the blind and who
opened the eyes of the apostles so that they could behold

the glory of God's Kingdom is now doing this miracle in us.

If we will but look away from ourselves and our vanities and

pursue His face, He will give us light. And in that light we will

see the finger of God moving on this earth as many a prophet

and king longed to see it.


And we will realize how petty and narrow and limited we
were. We aren't the only ones!, Ours isn't the only
fellowship. We begin to see the hand of
Jesus at work
in places we never dreamed...and we tremble with awe.


"I have heard of thee with the hearing of the
ear, but now my eye sees thee; therefore I
despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

                                                           Job 42:5-6


2.   This yoke is easy because under that yoke Jesus
makes himself the door by which we enter the peace
of God...not only once, but daily, continuously, until

        this body of death falls away and  we are there for good.


        So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly,

I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and
robbers; but the sheep did not heed them.
I am the door; if any one enters by me, he
will be saved, and will go in and out and
find pasture..."         
John 10:7-9


By Jesus we go in before the presence of the Father ---­

- to behold His beauty,

- to drink in His peace,

- to be quickened with His life,
- to enter His rest.


Many professing Christians know all the doctrines about

Jesus yet they haven't come to know Jesus as the door to

the presence of God ... because they hold Him at a distance.

This is why He says, "Come." He's saying it now.


"Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden..."


   "If any one thirst let him come to me and drink..."


   "Come....Draw near.....Get close to me."


If Jesus seems distant it's not His fault, it's yours­
He has
made it possible to draw near--- even if you have
to walk on water you can draw
near to Him if you will.

But Jesus is not only the door in, He is also the door
out by which we go forth from the blazing presence of
God to take His mercy to the world.


3. His yoke is easy because under that yoke, Jesus gives

    us a place of meaningful service in His Kingdom.


- Go into the vineyard and whatever is right I

  will give you.­

- Don't be afraid from now on you will be catching



- As the Father has sent me, so send I you.


- You did not choose me but I chose you and ordained

  you that you should go and bring forth fruit.


What a joy to go out there, free from the presumptuous
sin of thinking it all depends on us ... knowing that the
Lord himself is in charge ... and that as we abide in Him
and His words abide in us miracles, absolute miracles,
will flow from our lives wherever the Lord puts us to


Now we can labor in the harvest,


- free from the disease of prideful ambition.
- It's all His glory.

- free from the paralyzing fear of failure.
- It cannot fail!

- No matter how many failures

  you've known in the past, in this

  you cannot fail.


4. Finally, His yoke is easy because under that yoke

    Jesus clothes us with the Kingdom garment of praise.

- Beauty for ashes.

- The oil of joy for mourning.

- The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

The spirit of heaviness is always, at its core, a presumptuous

spirit. But now we exchange it for the garment of praise. And

as we do we discover that true praise of God is more than an

emotional release. True praise is the very atmosphere of heaven.


"I will bless the Lord at all times: his
praise shall continually be in my mouth."
                                             Psalm 34:1

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,

and into his courts with praise: be thankful

unto him, and bless his name,"

                                                  Psalm 100:4


And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man
should scatter seed upon the ground, and should
sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should
sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth
produces of itself, first the blade, then the
ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when
the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle,
because the harvest has come."

                                                                  Mark 4:26-29


Thank God that we don't have to make the seed grow. We
don't even have to know how it grows. All we have to
do is get under His yoke,

                    sow the seed,

 reap the harvest. The rest is all His.

His yoke is easy and his burden is light.