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LOSE THAT WEIGHT!

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. ITS the time for New Years resolutions. A survey of such resolutions shows that losing weight is right there at the top off the list: A woman walked into her master bathroom and saw her husband standing on the scale weighing himself, sucking in his stomach. The women thought to herself, If he thinks that sucking in his stomach is going to make him weight less, then he is dumber than I first believed. So she sarcastically said to him, Honey, Bunny sucking in your stomach is not going to help. He said sure it will ... that is the only way that I can see the numbers. 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: gkos; gen. gkou, 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). 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). 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. James 1:21-27 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. 27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. Ephesians 4:25-27 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 2. OUR UNSWERVING ADDICTION TO OUR WAY OF DOING THINGS. We are creatures of habit and many times traditions die hard in us. We are accustomed to doing things our way and when it does not go our way we are upset, troubled, disturbed and react in anger or violence to the detriment of those around us.

2 Kings 5:9-12 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. 11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. Jesus refers to tradition in Matthew 15:3-6 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. We are warned in Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Remember Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 1 Peter 1:18-21 3. TIME CONSUMING TRIVIAL AND MEANINGLESS THINGS. He had everything and more that money could buy everything that his heart desired! Yet hear his words to us from Ecclesiastes 1:1-11 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. 3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? 4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. 5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. 6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. 7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. 8 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. 11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after. A young banker was driving his BMW, in the mountains, during a snowstorm. As he rounded a turn the vehicle slid out of control and toward a cliff. At the last moment he unbuckled his seatbelt and jumped from the car.

Though he escaped with his life, his left arm was caught near the hinge of the door and torn it off at the shoulder. A trucker passing nearby witnessed the accident, stopped his rig, and ran back to see if he could be of help. There standing, in a state of shock, was the banker at the edge of the cliff moaning, "Oh no, my BMW, my BMW". The trucker pointed to the bankers shoulder and said "man youve got bigger problems than a car". With that the banker looked at his shoulder, finally realizing hed lost his arm, and began crying ":Oh No, my new Rolex, my new Rolex". The pull of the world can easily steal our affections away, and cause us to live for the wrong things. See, stuff is not bad, and it is not evil to own stuff, to have money, possessions, nice cars, Rolexs. We chase and pursue after things that will in the end be of no use to us: A poet once observed: We squander our HEALTH In search of Wealth We scheme and toil and save Then squander Wealth In search of Health And all we gets a grave. We live and boast of what we own We die and only get a stone. Seriously though we climb the highest mountains, swim the deepest seas, run the hardest trail in an effort to brag and boast of our achievements. Our desire is to do something, achieve something that we can look back to with a sense of accomplishment and say "I did that!" Jesus related in Luke 12:15-21 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. From C T Studd comes these lines... Give me Father, a purpose deep, In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep; Faithful and true what eer the strife, Pleasing Thee in my daily life; Only one life, twill soon be past, Only whats done for Christ will last. Oh let my love with fervor burn, And from the world now let me turn;

Living for Thee, and Thee alone, Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne; Only one life, twill soon be past, Only whats done for Christ will last. Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say,Thy will be done; And when at last Ill hear the call, I know Ill say twas worth it all; Only one life,twill soon be past, Only whats done for Christ will last. When we have sung our last song and have spent our last coin and have breathed our last breath and stand before our God remember Only what's done for Christ will last!" On the morning of Sept. 11, Jeannie Braca switched on the television to check the weather report, only to hear that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. Jeannies husband, Al, worked as a corporate bond trader for Cantor Fitzgerald. His office was on the 105th floor of Tower One A week later, Als body was found in the rubble. Then reports trickled in from friends and acquaintances. Some people on the 105th floor had made a last call or sent a final e-mail to a loved one saying that a man was leading people in prayer. A few referred to Al by name. The Bracas learned that Al had indeed been ministering to people during the attack. When he realized that they were all trapped in the building and would not be able to escape, Al shared the gospel with a group of 50 co-workers and led them in prayer. This news came as no surprise to Jeannie. For years, she and Al had been praying for the salvation of these men and women. According to Jeannie, Al hated his job; he couldnt stand the environment. It was a world so completely out of touch with his Christian values. But he wouldnt quit. He was convinced that God wanted him to stay there, to be a light in the darkness. To that end, Al freely shared his faith with his co-workers, many of whom sarcastically nicknamed him The Rev. They mocked him, Jeannie recalls, but when horrible things happened in their lives, they always asked Al for prayer. He prayed with them and shared the importance of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. On Sept. 11, in the midst of the chaos, Als family was uppermost on his mind. Unable to get through on the phone, Al asked an MCI operator to contact his family. Tell them that I love them, he said. It took the operator more than a month to reach the Bracas, but the message brought them much-needed comfort. The last thing my dad did involved the two things most important to him?God and his family, (his son) Christopher says. He loved to lead people to Christ. That takes away a lot of the hurt and the pain. (Christin Ditchfield, Focus on the Family magazine) What can we look forward to in this coming year in our relation to God, man and our service and allegiance?