Tomorrow is January 1st, 2024.
I’m told that the word “January” comes from the Latin word for “door” (ianua). The mythological Roman god of the doorway is Janus (Ianuarius).
January is the door to a new year. We typically think about new beginnings in January. Perhaps we make new year’s resolutions or renewed commitments. We plan to start something new or end something old. January is a time for starting new things.
Today I’d like to focus on something a bit different; I’d like to call our attention, not to starting something new, but to persevering in those things that matter, retaining important commitments into the new year. We continue on with such things no matter what the calendar says; we persevere in these things from year to year. We bring these things with us through the door to the new year.
The biblical authors repeatedly urge us to “hold fast” to certain things and to “continue” in various ways.
2Ti 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Tim 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.
Heb 2:1 … we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
Perhaps in the new year, we may be tempted to let things “slip.” It might be our Bible reading, prayer, church attendance, witnessing, or our moral standards. It’s easy to let things slip. But instead of letting things slip, we must strengthen “the things that remain.”
Rev 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, …
What are the most important things to hold on to and continue in this coming new year? How can we “strengthen the things which remain” into this new year? How can we continue in them?
There are two basic areas in which God expects us to persevere: faith and good works. These are two major obligations that we bring with us through the door of the new year. Let’s think about these two major obligations—faith and good works.