How Faith is Strengthened II


“The people that do know their God shall be strong.” Da 11:32

Every believer understands that to know God is the highest and best form of knowledge; and this spiritual knowledge is a source of strength to the Christian. It strengthens his faith. Believers are constantly spoken of in the Scriptures as being persons who are enlightened and taught of the Lord; they are said to “have an unction from the Holy One”, and it is the Spirit’s peculiar office to lead them into all truth, and all this for the increase and the fostering of their faith. Knowledge strengthens love, as well as faith. Knowledge opens the door, and then through that door we see our Saviour. Or, to use another similitude, knowledge paints the portrait of Jesus, and when we see that portrait then we love him, we cannot love a Christ whom we do not know, at least, in some degree. If we know but little of the excellences of Jesus, what he has done for us, and what he is doing now, we cannot love him much; but the more we know him, the more we shall love him. Knowledge also strengthens hope. How can we hope for a thing if we do not know of its existence? Hope may be the telescope, but till we receive instruction, our ignorance stands in the front of the glass, and we can see nothing whatever; knowledge removes the interposing object, and when we look through the bright optic glass we discern the glory to be revealed, and anticipate it with joyous confidence. Knowledge supplies us reasons for patience. How shall we have patience unless we know something of the sympathy of Christ, and understand the good which is to come out of the correction which our heavenly Father sends us? Nor is there one single grace of the Christian which, under God, will not be fostered and brought to perfection by holy knowledge. How important, then, is it that we should grow not only in grace, but in the “knowledge” of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92)
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The video about Derek Redmond was one of the first videos I ever put on this blog. I think it is fitting for two reasons: 1) Our world faces great challenges and 2) the 2016 Summer Olympics begin today. We must look to a source higher than ourselves for our answers. This message is clear in both the video and the devotion written by Charles Spurgeon.

I published this devotion just before the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in 2012. There were many reactions to the Opening Ceremonies in London. Since those games, articles have been written about the meaning of the four hour long event that most Americans never saw in full.

Only a few hours remain until the 2016 Opening Ceremonies take place in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Once again, millions of people will be connected worldwide by an Opening Ceremony in a “Summer” Olympics. Four years ago, many had questions about so many odd and unexplained items in the Opening in London. Since then, I’ve read several articles about the meaning behind many of the things in the London opening. They are a real mix of opinions, some connected with official and some with unofficial sources. None of the sources I could find seem to be specifically explanatory of many things in the London Opening Ceremonies in 2012. If anyone can find a script (which I have looked for) that helps one to understand the intent of the entire Opening in 2012, I would love to see it. There should be a very good explanation somewhere as the money spent on the opening would warrant one I should think.

Once very interested in Olympic games for the games themselves, I have become more interested because of the different cultures involved. I do appreciate the talent of the athletes but this has become less of a draw to me the older I’ve become. I will join millions to watch the opening this year. I’m curious to see if the Opening ceremonies are as odd as those in London in 2012. I wish the best to all in Rio. I hope that each athlete comes to understand from where his/her talent comes. It is a humbling and wonderful thing.

CR

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6 Responses to How Faith is Strengthened II

  1. SLIMJIM says:

    What a powerful video. I haven’t been able to follow much of the Olympics other the occassional news thus far of the rough situation of the city its at…but I know its because it just started have something to do with that too.

    • Chris says:

      I’ve thought this is a powerful video too, Pastor Jim. I’ve teared up more than once over it.
      I watched the part of the Opening Ceremonies where Rio welcomed the world. They did a good job, I thought, and it was not nearly as strange as the Opening in London. I hope you have a blessed day. 🙂

  2. paulagrace says:

    Out of curiosity, what did you find strange about the 2012 Opening Ceremony? Much of the free-to-air broadcast in my country was consumed with advertising, so I can’t be sure that we saw as you did.

    • Chris says:

      It is a good question paulagrace.

      I’m not a New York Times fan, but the Telegraph quoted a piece of an article back then:

      “US media coverage hailed the British eccentricity of the opening ceremony, praised the humour, puzzled over some in-jokes and mused on what it all said about the country’s search for a post-imperial identity.
      The New York Times headlined its review: ‘A Five-Ring Opening Circus, Weirdly and Unabashedly British’.
      Sarah Lyall, the newspaper’s London correspondent, wrote: ‘With its hilariously quirky Olympic opening ceremony, a wild jumble of the celebratory and the fanciful; the conventional and the eccentric; and the frankly off-the-wall, Britain presented itself to the world Friday night as something it has often struggled to express even to itself: a nation secure in its own post-empire identity, whatever that actually is.
      ‘It was neither a nostalgic sweep through the past nor a bold vision of a brave new future. Rather, it was a sometimes slightly insane portrait of a country that has changed almost beyond measure since the last time it hosted the Games, in the grim postwar summer of 1948.’

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/london-2012/9434319/London-2012-What-the-world-thought-of-the-opening-ceremony.html

      This was one of the kind views, and it had some very good reviews. It also had some reviews that were not so kind. If you Google “2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony,” you will find all sorts of reviews.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Summer_Olympics_opening_ceremony

      I didn’t do a great deal of research, but wiki shouldn’t be at the top of reviews when it comes to explanation of the ceremony.

      The Opening Ceremonies, at the time without the wiki review, was hard for me to follow. At the time, there were many articles connecting the ceremonies to occultist symbolism.

      I put up two posts about it back then:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Summer_Olympics_opening_ceremony

      and

      https://chrisreimersblog.com/2012/08/14/2012-olympic-ceremonies-occultic/

      Unfortunately, the article linked to in the first link above is no longer working.

      Looking back at what I wrote then, what I found strange was the lack of explanation of what was going on during much of the opening ceremonies “show.” It also seemed very dark and mystical which is why I thought at the time there were One World Themes.

      I am mostly going off of memory. After viewing what was put on T.V. originally, I remember thinking that parts of the opening were very strange. A couple of things I remember were a tree that was symbolic of something not explained well and then there was a large baby face in the middle of the stadium. There was something said about the system of medicine in England but little explanation during much of the opening to tell me what the reasons were behind the confusing affair. One had to be up to date on British culture to understand much of it. I do recall a few moments of humor like the part where “Mr. Bean” helped the orchestra perform “Chariots of Fire.” Much of it seemed frenzied to me.
      I’ve since read a few articles to try and understand the meaning behind the event. I’ve checked out the man who created the event and can’t seem to find a good “script” of the events in the opening.
      I would have to watch it again, paula, to see if I had the same reaction. I think there is now a link where one can see the entire event which almost no one besides those there at the time saw.
      Until I can find an official script of the event, I will still have questions about it. I thought it was strange then, and even though I understand much of the meaning behind it now, I still think it was strange.

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