Sun, Jul 27, 2008

CHRIST IN THE TABERNACLE! PT. 5 EXODUS 25-30

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Ministry of Pastor Joe Guglielmo teachings through the Bible, verse by verse for a better understanding of Gods Word.
CHRIST IN THE TABERNACLE!
PART 5
EXODUS 25-30

            This morning we are in part 5 of our study of CHRIST IN THE TABERNACLE, covering Exodus chapters 25-30 for the most part. And we have seen how this tabernacle or portable worship structure that God commanded Moses and the children of Israel to build gives to us a beautiful picture of the person and work of Jesus Christ!

            So far we have entered through the eastern gate, the only way, the only door into the tabernacle, and a white linen fence surrounds us as we stand in the outer court.  Jesus is the only door to the Father, there is no other way in and it is only as we do enter through Him that His righteousness is imputed into our lives by faith, and we are seen as white as snow!

            The first piece of furniture in the outer court that we come to is the brazen altar where the sacrifices were made, the blood of the innocent animal shed for the sin of guilty man. Folks, it is only the cross of Christ, His shed blood, that our debt of sin has been paid in full, our sins are cast as far as the east is from the west to be remembered no more!

            The second piece of furniture that we come to in the outer court as we are moving east to west, is the brazen laver where the priests, when they entered the ministry would be completely washed and then they would have that daily cleansing of their hands and feet as they served the Lord. Again, Jesus has washed us as white as snow in His blood and then we need that daily cleansing to wash off the dirt of the world that clings to our lives, and that is done by the Holy Spirit working in our lives through the Word of God!

            Once that is done we can enter into the holy place, a place of fellowship and service. From the outside it is dull looking, nothing impressive, nothing to draw you into it, but inside, as you would enter, the gold walls with the oil burning lamp set the place ablaze with color and then the multicolored curtains with the cherubim on them covered the ceiling and the beautiful veil that separated the holy place from the holy of holies!

            Last time we looked at one of the three pieces of furniture located in the holy place, the table of showbread, which had 12 loaves of bread upon it and the bread represented the 12 tribes of Israel. And the priests would partake of the bread before the Lord.

            Thus, the table of showbread symbolizes fellowship with God. It is the place of service before Him. It shows a gesture of friendship, as inviting a friend to share a meal. The table in the tabernacle shows God’s desire for fellowship with us. Jesus was a friend of publicans and sinners because He sat and ate with them at the table. God wishes to satisfy our hunger. God’s salvation is likened to a banquet with the table spread for royalty. The world has no interest in us, but almighty God desires that we are before Him in fellowship. And it is out of that fellowship that service is performed!

            And so this morning we will be looking at the second piece of furniture that was located in the holy place, the altar of incense. But before we do, listen to these words of A. W. Pink regarding the tabernacle. He wrote:

            Marvelous is the progressive order of teaching in connection with the various objects in the Tabernacle. At the brazen altar sin was judged, and by blood-shedding put away.  At the laver purification was effected. In the holy place provision was made for prayer, food and illumination; while in the holy of holies the glory of the enthroned King was displayed. Those in the outer court were of wood and brass; whereas those in the inner compartments were of wood and gold. So too the various curtains grew richer in design and embellishment, the inner veil being the costliest and most elaborate. Again, the outer court, being open, was illumined by natural light; the holy place was lit up by the light from the golden candlestick; but the holy of holies was radiated by the Shekinah glory of Jehovah. Thus the journey from the outer court into the holy of holies was from sin to purification, and from grace to glory. How blessedly did this illustrate the truth “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day” (Prov 4:18).

- A. W. Pink

            With that said, let’s continue looking at Christ in the Tabernacle and see the picture the Holy Spirit is painting for us of the person and work of Jesus Christ!

THE HOLY PLACE - THE ALTAR OF INCENSE

            The altar of incense was a 1½-foot square and 3 feet high box made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold.  It had one gold horn in each corner and a molding all around the top that was made of gold. It also had four gold rings, one on each corner, where poles made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold were placed through to carry the altar of incense when the children of Israel were on the move to another location.

            This altar stood between the table of showbread on the right side of the holy place and the seven-branched oil-burning lamp that stood on the left side of the holy place. Thus, right in the middle, before the veil, in the holy place stood the altar of incense. And in the morning and evening Aaron, the high priest, was to place incense upon it before the Lord and I believe this incenses burned all day and all night before the Lord!

            What does this altar of incense represent to us today as Christians? I believe it is a picture of two very important things.  First, it is the unbroken intercession of Jesus Christ for us.  Secondly, it is the prayers of God’s people ascending before Him!

            Let’s first look at this altar of incense as being a picture of Christ, who is our intercessor. In Hebrews 7:25-27 we are told, Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.  He is the prefect intercessor for He alone has paid the price for our sin. And He will save us to the uttermost or completely, forever, we are secure in Him for He rests neither day or night, but continually makes intercession for us based upon His finished work!

            Now, why does He even need to do that in the first place?  I thought the blood of Christ saved us, it is finished, it is a done deal?  So what is up with this? That is a great question or questions I should say! Revelation 12:10 gives to us some insight to this as John tells us, Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.’

            You see, the Devil accuses us before God; he still has access to God according to Job chapter 1. Thus, the Devil goes before God the Father and says something like this, “How can you accept Joe, he blew it again today and not just once!”  Now, is that true? Absolutely it is. I don’t believe he is telling a lie here but he is only partially right!

            You see, Paul put it like this in Romans 8:32-34, He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.  Jesus is interceding for us, and He doesn’t say that we didn’t do those things, but “Father, this one is Mine.  His sins have been paid in full by the shedding of My blood. He is clean and He is forgiven!” And God the Father says, “Case closed!”  But it doesn’t stop Satan!

            Now let’s look at this verse in Revelation 12:10 again, because it is important.  Satan, the accuser of the brethren, at the half-way point of the Tribulation Period, the 3½ year mark of the 7 year Tribulation Period will be cast out of heaven and he will no longer have accesses to God the Father, his time is running out!  We long for that day when he is cast out and the Lord comes back to set up His kingdom on this earth!

            But this is the reality here folk’s!  Satan may accuse us before the Father but Jesus steps in and intercedes for us.  Thus, Here we see the cleansing, in a sense, of heaven as he is cast out.  Now the accuser of the brethren and his hosts will be removed from the presence of God.  This idiom of an accuser was a well-known and well-hated figure during the first century.  This figure was called the DELATOR, or the paid informer.  This person made his living by accusing people before the authorities. They would go around and spy on what others were doing and then report their findings to the proper authorities.  These informers were obviously hated by the people, and the reason is as Tacitus said, “He who has no foe was betrayed by his friend.”  They would turn anyone in for a price!

Satan, in a sense, does the same thing as the DELATOR did. He accuses us before God.  Think of Satan as the prosecuting attorney, who comes before the Father with all kinds of accusing facts about us. He is unrelenting in his case. He continues to spew out all of our failures, and we do have many.  For instance, he might say something like this, “How can this man love you, look at what he did today.  His failures, his weakness. And he says that he loves you, what a joke!”  This kind of condemnation continues day and night, as he batters us with these things.

But as Christians we are not left defenseless.  We are represented by the best defense attorney around, Jesus Christ. In I John 2:1-2, we read, My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

The word that John uses for sin is the Greek word HAMARTE, which speaks of a single act.  There is another word, HAMARTANEI, which speaks of a habitual sin. This habitual state of sin John spoke of in I John 3:6, 8-9 where he said, Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him . . . He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.  Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

John is not encouraging us to sin but he also knows we are not perfect in these bodies of flesh, we will sin.  We will have moments where we fail and when we do, we have a defense attorney who will represent us before the Father.  The word that John uses foradvocate is the Geek word PARAKLETOS, which describes anyone summoned to the assistance of another.  It is the same word that is used of the Holy Spirit, the comforter.  In a legal sense, it is a defense attorney pleading the case of the person on trial. And as I said, our defense attorney is not F. Lee Bailey or any other high priced lawyer, but Jesus Christ.  I need no one else, nor would I want anyone else to defend me!

John tells us that Jesus is the Righteous One, and being righteous He just can't ignore sin. One writer put it this way.  He said, “Our Advocate does not plead that we are innocent, or adduce extenuating circumstances. He acknowledges our guilt and presents his vicarious work as the ground of our acquittal.”

Thus, the atoning work that Christ accomplished on the cross of Calvary, His blood being shed, covers all of our sins. Thus, when Satan accuses us before the Father regarding our failures, Christ does not say that we did not do them, for He is righteous, but He does say “Father, they are cleansed by My blood!” as I have said.  Positionally we are seen as perfect, but practically we still sin, and we have an advocate who will represent us, Jesus Christ!  What a comfort that is to me and I hope to you and that is why I took the time to go over this, it is that important!

            Let’s look at some of the intersession that Jesus has made for us. Hang on; we are going to move quickly through these.  They are:

            Jesus intercedes for sinners. In Isaiah 53:12 we are told, Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

            Jesus intercedes for weak believers .  In Luke 22:32 we are told, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.

           Jesus intercedes for His enemies. In Luke 23:34 we are told, Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’ And they divided His garments and cast lots.

           Jesus intercedes for the church. In John 17:9 we are told, I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.

            Jesus intercedes for God to accept us. In Romans 8:34 we are told, who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

            Jesus intercedes for our salvation. In Hebrews 7:25 we are told, Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

            And lastly, Jesus intercedes for the Holy Spirit to abide with us. In John 14:16-17 we are told, And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever — the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

            Those are some precious promises given to us by God showing us how Jesus is our intercessor, but this altar of incense is also a picture of our prayers ascending up before God. In Psalm 141:2 we are told, Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.  Also, in Revelation 5:8 we are told, Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And in Revelation 8:3-4 we are told, Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand.

            You see, our prayers, like the incense, is sweet before the Lord and they should be part of our daily activity. But, apart from Jesus being our Lord and Savior, His sacrifice appropriated into our lives by faith, God is not under any obligation to answer our prayers. In fact, there is only one prayer that He will answer from the unsaved and that is the prayer to ask Jesus to be Lord and Savior of their lives because sin has separated them from God!

            Arthur W. Pink makes these comments regarding the altar of incense as prayer. He wrote: “It is important to note that the fire on which the incense was laid had been taken from off the brazen-altar, where the sin-offering was consumed. There was, therefore, a very intimate connection between the two altars: the activities of the latter being based upon those of the former; in other words, the incense was kindled upon that fire which had first fed upon the sacrifice; thus identifying the priest’s service at both altars.”

            Is that important to us?  You bet it is. Pink goes on to say, “A most solemn contrast from this is presented in the opening verses of Leviticus 10. There we are told, “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord” (vv. 1, 2). These sons of Aaron were consumed by Divine judgment because they “offered strange fire before the Lord,” that is, the incense in their censers was not burned on fire taken from off the brazen altar, but was of their own kindling.”

            Not only that, but the altar of incense was not a place for atonement as we read in Exodus 30:9, You shall not offer strange incense on it, or a burnt offering, or a grain offering; nor shall you pour a drink offering on it. Then why, once a year, on the Day of Atonement is the blood of the sacrifice placed on the horns of the altar?  Because apart from the sacrifice God will not hear our prayers, as I have already said.  Thus, the blood cleansed the altar of incense so that the sweet smell would be accepted before God!

            Now, in regards to these prayers, one writer put it like this:

            (30:10) Introduction: God answers prayer. When we face severe problems, trouble, or crises, God answers prayer. When we face terrible trial or temptation, God answers prayer. When we face sickness, disease, or accident, God answers prayer. When we face pain, suffering, terminal illness, or death, God answers prayer. When we face the difficult times of life—if we pray, cry out to God from the depths of our heart—God hears and answers our prayers. When we need comfort, guidance, assurance, security, companionship, friendship—God hears and answers our prayers. He meets our need always. This is the significance and purpose of the Altar of Incense. The Altar was used to offer up the most pleasing and acceptable aroma that can be imagined. This symbolized the pleasure and acceptance of God, that He was pleased with the aroma and accepted the offering being made. What was the offering? Prayer, the prayers of His dear people. The Altar of Incense symbolized the prayers of God's dear people ascending up to God. This is the subject of this important portion of Scripture: The Altar of Incense: The Symbol of the Prayers and Communion of God's People Ascending to God, Exodus 30:1-10.

- Source Unknown

            When we speak of prayer some get weird about it and they will even pray using the King James English. That is crazy! Can you imagine coming home to your spouse and saying, “Verily, verily I say to you . . .” Of course you would never do that and if you do, see me after study, we need to talk! Prayer is nothing more than communicating with God, talking with Him and then listening to Him, it is that simple and yet it is that profound!  In fact, Paul tells us in I Thessalonians 5:17 that we should, pray without ceasing. What does that mean?  How can I pray all day when I work?  Folks, throughout the day, no matter where you are at, you can lift up your prayers before God, it is that simple. And lets face it, throughout our day I am sure we have much to pray about!

            We see this in I Chronicles 16:11, Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!  Also, Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:7-8, Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  And in Luke 18:1 w are told, Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.  And Paul, in Ephesians 6:18 tells us, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.  We are to be fervent in our prayers!

            Not only that, but Paul tells us in I Timothy 2:1-3, Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.We are to pray for our friends and our enemies, those we like and those we don’t like that they might come to Jesus Christ and once they do, that they would grow in the Lord!

            And yes, God does hear our prayers and He does answer our prayers every time. Sometimes it is “Yes,” sometimes it is “No” and sometimes it is “Not yet!”  Let me show you how God speaks to us and sometimes when He speaks it is very powerful and sometimes it is His still soft voice, but He is speaking, if we would only listen!  We are told:

While Josh McDowell was attending seminary in California, his father went Home to be with the Lord. His mother had died years earlier, but Josh was not sure of her salvation. He became depressed, thinking that she might be lost. Was she a Christian or not? The thought obsessed him. “Lord,” he prayed, “somehow give me the answer so I can get back to normal. I’ve just got to know.” It seemed like an impossible request.

Two days later, Josh drove out to the ocean. He walked to the end of a pier to be alone. There sat an old woman in a lawnchair, fishing. “Where’s your home originally?” she asked.

“Michigan—Union City,” Josh replied. “Nobody’s heard of it. I tell people it’s a suburb of —”

“Battle Creek,” interrupted the woman. “I had a cousin from there. Did you know the McDowell family?”

Stunned, Josh responded, “Yes, I’m Josh McDowell!”

“I can’t believe it,” said the woman. “I’m a cousin to your mother.”

“Do you remember anything at all about my mother’s spiritual life?” asked Josh.

“Why sure—your mom and I were just girls—teenagers—when a tent revival came to town. It was the fourth night—we both went forward to accept Christ.”

“Praise God!” shouted Josh, startling the surrounding fishermen.

- Our Daily Bread, September 18

            Folks, we just need to be listening to what He is saying, paying attention to Him.  M. R. DeHaan tells us in his book, The Tabernacle regarding this altar of incense and what it is all about. He wrote:

            The same is true of our prayers and our intercession as well. The tabernacle not only speaks of Christ, as a person, but also of those who are in Him, and have entered in by the door. And we, too, have a ministry of intercession. The highest office of the believer is intercessory prayer. Prayer is the sweetest thing that we can offer to God, more acceptable even than testimony and service. God is more pleased with our worship than with our service, for there can be no acceptable service until we have stopped to worship first of all at the golden altar.

            Martha, in the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus, served, but Mary was commended for sitting first at Jesus’ feet before she served.  Martha was not reproved because she served, but because she had served without first stopping to worship. The greatest privilege, therefore, which God has given to us, and the one most neglected, is the privilege of prayer and intercession, in preparation for our service for Him.

            Our prayers, too, are on the basis of the shed blood of Calvary. They are heard and accepted only because of the blood. What a privilege, therefore, is ours, that we can be priests of God to pray for and to intercede for others.  Think of Abraham interceding for Lot; Moses interceding for Israel, and averting the judgment of God. The work of intercession, we repeat, is the greatest privilege of the believer.

       -  M. R. DeHaan M. D., The Tabernacle, p. 107

            And folks, we are not only to bring the needs of others before the Lord but we can cry out to Him with our own requests, the things that are heavy upon our heart!  He wants to hear from us. And think of it like this. The hot coals on the altar are a picture of our prayers, they should be hot, they should be fervent, they should be as hot as those coals were on the altar of incense! Too often today our prayers are lethargic, lackadaisical, and we can become complacent in them. A kind of “Bless my day” type of prayer with no passion, the prayer is not fervent at all.  Our Daily Bread had this to say regarding prayer and why we should pray. They wrote:

One of the great paradoxes of the Christian faith is that God wants us to talk to Him about everything that is going on in our lives, even though He already knows everything. So why pray?

If you’ve ever wrestled with that question, perhaps the thoughts of the 19th-century preacher R. A. Torrey can help. Among the reasons he gave for prayer are these:

Because there is a devil, and prayer is a God-appointed way to resist Him (Eph. 6:12-13, 18).

Because prayer is God’s way for us to obtain what we need from Him (Lk. 11:3-13; Jas. 4:2).

Because prayer is the means God has appointed for us to find “grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).

Because prayer with thanksgiving is God’s way for us to obtain freedom from anxiety and to receive “the peace of God” (Phil. 4:6-7).

Besides these reasons, it’s enough to read the command in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing,” and realize that God wants us to talk with Him. Yes, He is all-knowing, but He also desires our fellowship. When we seek God’s face in prayer, we strengthen our relationship with Him. That’s the most important reason to pray.

- Our Daily Bread, November 25, 1998

            I want to share with you a few verses and again we will move kind of fast through these, but I want you to see the compassion, the fervent prayers that they made as their hearts were overwhelmed in various situations.

            In Psalm 34:17-18 we are told, The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.  In Psalm 40:1-2 we are told, I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.  In Psalm 42:1-2 we are told, As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?  Also, in Psalm 63:1 we are told, O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. And continuing on in Psalm 63:6-8 we are told, When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.  You see, the Psalmist was broken, and he fervently cried out to the Lord!

            Look at Psalm 61 and let’s being reading in verse 1. We are told, Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. For You, O God, have heard my vows; You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your name. You will prolong the king's life, His years as many generations. He shall abide before God forever. Oh, prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him! So I will sing praise to Your name forever, That I may daily perform my vows.  Psalm 61:1-8.

            The Psalmist started out in despair, crying out to God and he ends the Psalm in praise and service unto the Lord. What changed in this situation?  His perspective of things changed. He realized God was in control and it gave him hope and it caused him to praise the Lord and serve Him! Again, in Psalm 42:5 we are told, Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.  You see, cast down, frustrated, overwhelmed in the situation he is facing until he gets focused on God and that changed everything.  His countenance changed and he began to praise the Lord!

            Where are you at this morning? Bring it to the Lord in prayer, give it to Him and then rest in Him. Paul, in Philippians 4:4-9 tells us, Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

            You see, rejoice in the Lord and don’t be anxious, give it to the Lord and let His peace guard your heart or emotions and your mind or thoughts.  Fill yourself up with the good things of God and as you do His peace will fill your life!  What are you filling yourself up with?  You can tell by how you are feeling, what is flowing from your life!

            So we have seen here with this altar of incense that burned day and night with a sweet smelling aroma before the Lord, that it is a picture of Jesus Christ as our intercessor before the Father and it is also a picture of our prayers that arise to the throne of God!

            Let me close this morning with this for you to think about. We are told:

CS Lewis was the author of the widely read children's books, The Narnia Chronicles, as well as many novels for grown-ups and books on issues surrounding the Christian faith. The movie Shadowlands (directed by Richard Attenborough and produced in 1993) tells Lewis' story, focusing in particular on his relationship with his wife, Joy Gresham. Gresham and Lewis meet while Lewis is a don at Oxford University.

After Joy is diagnosed with cancer the couple marry. The movie invites us to witness their love, their pain, their grief, their struggles with faith and God. Eventually Joy dies.

At one point in the story a friend says to Lewis, "Christopher can scoff, Jack, but I know how hard you've been praying; and now God is answering your prayers."

Lewis replies, "That's not why I pray, Harry. I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God, it changes me."

- Film quote found at Internet Movie Database

            May we not forget our Intercessor, Jesus Christ and what we as Christians are to be, intercessors for others and bring our requests before God for He desires to hear from us, He desires that kind of fellowship with Him!  May you come to the ALTAR OF INCENSE!

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