Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 1, 1959

The Month With Two Faces

Gordon Wilson, North Sacramento, California

The month of January was named after the Roman god Janus, the god of two faces. This was to represent the fact that the first month in the year is in the position of looking back upon the year just closing, while at the same time looking forward to the year immediately ahead. We cannot approve the Roman system of paganism, but we do see the appropriateness of the idea behind the name of January. It is well as the old year closes and the new year begins, to pause for just a moment and take a look that is both retrospective and prospective — backward and forward.

One thing which we must ever realize is that we cannot possibly recall the past. Whatever our triumphs or our failures, we shall not live them again, for what is done is now gone forever. A second thing which we ought to keep in mind is that, through we cannot bring back the past, yet we shall meet the works of the past in the day of judgement. If we have run well there is the reward awaiting us. Perhaps friends and associates have not appreciated the sacrifices which we have made, and the good that we have done, but God shall reward us according to our deeds. On the other hand, if we have sinned, those sins shall face us when we face our Lord. Perhaps our mistakes are of such a nature that we cannot go back and "undo" them, but a merciful Father has provided a way of escape through Jesus Christ. Looking back should make us realize the importance of correcting, to the best of our ability, whatever wrongs we may have done. Especially should we be determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

There are several points in which we ought to examine our past conduct in order to make any needed corrections or improvements. Through the past year has my moral and spiritual life been all that it must be to please God? Have I kept the grand resolutions which I made one year ago? Has the reading of the word of the Lord been daily, consistent, and profitable? It is said that "He profits most, not who reads the most, but who correctly applies the most of what he has read." Then has my prayer life been regular and in harmony with God's will? Much is missed in the way of spiritual blessings by the one who does not often enter the closet of private prayer. Many people need to seriously ask if their work in the church has been useful and diligent, so far as attendance, sacrificing of their temporal blessings, and leading others to Christ is concerned. Yes, it is well to look into the past in order to get our bearing for the future.

Looking ahead, we cannot know what is in the future, but we can decide in advance to be the right kind of Christians if the Lord permits us to live. We can and should purpose in our hearts to set aside the cares of this earth in favor of a more faithful service in the Master's kingdom. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." Col. 3:1-3.) If we will realize the sufficiency of Christ and learn to depend upon him, keeping ourselves under his authority in all matters of religious conduct, the year 1959 will be a good one; a better year than the old. January is the month with two faces, one looking back down the road already travelled, the other looking ahead into the sun with optimism, confidence, and anticipation of the good things awaiting all who love the Lord.