Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. Joel 2:23.
Under the figure of the early and the latter rain, that falls in Eastern lands at seedtime and harvest, the Hebrew prophets foretold the bestowal of spiritual grace in extraordinary measure upon God’s church. The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the beginning of the early, or former, rain, and glorious was the result…. But near the close of earth’s harvest, a special bestowal of spiritual grace is promised to prepare the church for the coming of the Son of man. This outpouring of the Spirit is likened to the falling of the latter rain.
The latter rain, ripening earth’s harvest, represents the spiritual grace that prepares the church for the coming of the Son of man. But unless the former rain has fallen, there will be no life; the green blade will not spring up. Unless the early showers have done their work, the latter rain can bring no seed to perfection….
There must be a constant development of Christian virtue, a constant advancement in Christian experience….
Every individual must realize his own necessity. The heart must be emptied of every defilement, and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit. It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The same work, only in greater degree, must be done now….
There must be no neglect of the grace represented by the former rain. Only those who are living up to the light they have, will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it.
The Faith I Live By p. 333
Prayer Requests
—-Layla, who is 5 years old and has stage 2 kidney cancer, had emergency surgery and it did not go well at all she stopped breathing and so they had to stop the surgery. She is currently in ICU. Please keep her in your prayers. Michelene
—-May you please pray for my brother who is a cancer patient. The pain is too much now. We really need a miracle now. LM
—-Please pray for my husband Theodore. He is in great discomfort in his right calf and is being tested for possible blood clot issues. Heidi
—-Please pray for Ron who is having a lot of pain in his left shoulder. He would like to avoid surgery if possible. Rose
—-Please pray for me. My pancreatitis is getting worse. Connie

The Early Rain of God’s Spirit