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Summary: We need to look forward the coming year with a new sense of commitment and resolve free ourselves from the impediments that hinder us from being effective servants of God.

January is named after Janus, the god of the doorway; the name has its beginnings in Roman mythology, coming from the Latin word for door (ianua) – January is the door to the year. In ancient Roman religion and mythology, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, thence also of gates, doors, doorways, endings and time. He is usually a two-faced god since he looks to the future and the past. The concepts of January and janitor are both based on aspects of Janus (Wikipedia)

IT’S the time for New Year’s resolutions. A survey of such resolutions shows that losing weight is right there at the top of the list:

Hebrews 12:1-4 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

The word weight comes from the Greek: ógkos; gen. ógkou, which occurs only here in the Bible. It means: A tumor, mass, magnitude, weight, burden, impediment (Heb_12:1 where the apostle speaks of our Christian course under the similitude of a race) (Strong's).

The Amplified Version reads thus: Hebrews 12:1-4 THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, 2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.(1) 3 Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds. 4 You have not yet struggled and fought agonizingly against sin, nor have you yet resisted and withstood to the point of pouring out your [own] blood.

As a Christian separated, we should examine what may be considered a weight in our life

It is not an uncommon thing for a runner to strap on weights when in training. The weight increase the resistance he has to work against resulting in a buildup of strength and endurance to counter a greater body mass. It would be extremely foolish and counterproductive, however, to enter into the actual race with the weights still strapped on. That would be an invitation to defeat and loss!

The biggest weight facing the Hebrew Christians was the burden of keeping the ceremonies and law. It was a legitimate part of the Jewish form of worship, but with the advent of Christ and the ushering in of the New Covenant it had all become a shadow. It nevertheless became a weighty encumbrance to those who were seeking to hold on to both the old and the new.

As Christians today we may not be facing the problem that these Hebrew Christians faced but if we look carefully we may very well find that we have compiled our own set of weights.

The words Lay aside comes from: apotithemi meaning to put away (literally or figuratively): - cast off, lay apart (aside, down), put away (off) (Strong's).

What are some things we should lay aside?

1. THE OLD SELF LIFE WITH ITS FLAWS AND UGLINESS

1 Peter 2:1-3 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Romans 13:11-14 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

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