Read Joel 1

Highlights:

Destruction (Joel 1:15). The sun and moon grow dark (2:2,9-10). Turn, give me your heart (2:12-13). Worship through prayers of intercession and repentance (2:17) and by rejoicing (2:23); be saved (2:32); dwell with God (3:17,20-21).

Our Lord's message foretold of the Gospel era: Turn ye even to Me with all your heart . . . for He is gracious and merciful. . . . ye shall know . . . that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and My people shall never be ashamed. And it shall come to pass . . . that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions (Joel 2:12-13,27-28).

About 700 years later when this was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, Peter said: This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel. . . . Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) (Acts 2:16,38). At a later date, Peter also said: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (II Pet. 1:4). Here are the only two ways of life: partake of the Divine Life or partake of the corruption in the world through lust.

The two natures of mankind are contrasted: the Adamic nature, which we received at birth and which has brought about all the corruption that is in the world, and the Spirit of Truth (I John 4:6), which we receive when we accept Christ as our Savior (John 14:17). The contrast between life in Adam, before we were saved, and life in Christ, from the moment we accepted Him as our Savior, is the difference between being children of darkness and children of light (Eph.. 5:8).

But spiritual birth is only the beginning of our Christian life; we are to be led by the Spirit of God. We should determine to let the indwelling Christ take full control of our lives. The Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, empowers the believer to do the will of God. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other (Gal. 5:16-17).

Of His own will begat He us with the Word of Truth (James 1:18). Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever (I Pet. 1:23).

Thought for Today:

It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life (John 6:63).

Christ Revealed:

As the One who said: I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh (people) (Joel 2:28) — fulfilled in part on the Day of Pentecost and still being fulfilled today (Acts 2:16-18).

Word Studies:

1:12 languisheth withers away; 1:16 meat food; 1:17 garners storehouses, granaries; 2:6 gather blackness turn pale with terror.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Harold Fegly • Staff: Gina Lesnefsky • Government Official: Gov. Steven Beshear (KY) • Country: Afghanistan (22.7 million) in central Asia • Major languages: Pastu and Afghan Persian (Dari) • Hostile to Christian evangelization. For a Muslim to convert to Christianity is automatic execution • 97.5% Muslim; 1.5% Parsee; .35% Hindu; .1% Traditional ethic; .1% Baha'i; .02% Christian; .02% Sikh; .01% non-Religious • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that your decisions will always be to please the Lord (Ps. 73:24).

Memory Verse for the Week:

John 1:12