Thursday, January 25, 2024

A word for 2024 -- Continue


 Before I begin, my usual yearly disclaimer:  I understand, and I'm sure most of my readers do also, that it's not a necessity to choose a word for a new year.  It's not in any way a practice that makes one any more spiritual, any more committed, or any more anything.  Vast numbers of believers don't choose a word for the year, nor do they need to.  I had never thought of doing such a thing until 2013.  I'd read in the past of others doing so and in 2013 I prayerfully considered it for myself.  That year I ended up with the word "Purpose".  I found it incredibly helpful throughout the year to zero in on God's purposes for me.

Each year since (except for 2022, when I just didn't feel led to do so), I have prayerfully chosen a word for the year.  Some times it has seemed as if God laid a particular word on my heart, and that has seemed to be the case this year, although for awhile I was undecided between "persevere" and "continue" (which after all are rather similar words).   I've now settled on "continue" as my word for 2024. 

First, maybe we should look at some definitions. 

I was surprised to learn that perseverance means "Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success."

In thinking of a word for this year, I was more thinking about continuing on faithfully with a number of things, most (but not all) of them related to my spiritual life.  Although I expect there will be difficulties in the year ahead, "persevere" wasn't quite the word I was looking for.

So here is the definition of "continue":

There are a number of facets with this definition that fit with what I hope to do this year.  I'll be sharing those, most likely in a second post.

And I thought it was also important to check out this word in a Bible dictionary.  I discovered that there are quite a number of Greek words translated continue.  My Vine's Dictionary of New Testament words didn't spell out what Greek verb is used in 2 Timothy 3:14, so I looked it up in an online source and found this from the Defenders Study Bible: "Despite all the perilous times and persecutions of the last days, plus all the false teachers and seducing spirits, believers must simply continue believing and obeying the Word of God. The same word (Greek meno) is often translated 'abide' and 'remain'." 

A couple of other verses regarding continuing came to mind.  One is Colossians 4:2:

"Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving."

Another is Romans 12:12 -- "Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer."

Beautiful graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings

Both of these are the Greek  word proskartereo, literally meaning to be strong toward, to endure in or persevere in, to be continuously stedfast with a person or thing, used here of continuing in prayer with others.

Colossians 1:23 exhorts us to "continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel".  That one is the Greek epimeno, meaning to remain on, to continue long, still to abide.

And James 1:25 instructs us that the one "who looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he not being a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."  This use of "continue" is the Greek parameno, meaning to remain by or near; hence, to continue or persevere in anything.

To sum up (for now; look for another post on this topic): I want to continue in the things I have learned; to continue in prayer; to continue in the faith grounded and settled; to continue in the perfect law of liberty -- God's Word.  

Continuing in spiritual disciplines and spiritual growth sounds like just what I want to do for the new year!

Have you picked a word for the year?  Do share, if you have!



  1. I am so glad you have chosen the word "continue". I believe it will be a word that will resonate with you throughout the year and will be a springboard for many thoughts and actions as well. My word for this year is "Strength" I sit here writing, I look over at my tea-mug and it says, "The LORD is my strength and my song." (Psalm 118:14). There are many references to strength in the Bible, and I pray that God will show me His strength throughout the year as I walk faithfully in His power, love and grace. So let us "continue" on in this walk together in 2024 and beyond!

  2. Great word and thoughts; thank you for sharing. My word is for 2024 is faithful.


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