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60 Days of Prayer

2016 Spirit pic-colorEMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT

Join us in praying for our Region as we prepare to gather for our Annual Meeting on May 20-21, 2016 at Centerpoint Community Church in Salem, NH. Please use these daily Scriptures, commentaries and prayer suggestions to guide you.
(Please ask permission if you would like to copy a photo. Thanks. Email Malcolm Hamblett at malcolm.hamblett@abcvnh.org.)

 

May 19 – Revelation 2:7 (NASB)May 19
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.   (See also Rev. 2:11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22.)

[The churches mentioned in Revelation 2 and 3] were in such different states as to   purity of doctrine and the power of godliness, that the words of Christ to them will  always suit the cases of other churches and professors. Christ knows and observes their state; though in heaven, yet he walks in the midst of his churches on earth, observing what is wrong in them, and what they want. The Christian life is a warfare against sin, Satan, the world, and the flesh. We must never yield to our spiritual enemies, and then we shall have a glorious triumph and reward. All who persevere, shall derive from Christ, as the Tree of life, perfection and confirmation in holiness and happiness, not in the earthly paradise, but in the heavenly. This is a figurative expression, taken from the account of the garden of Eden, denoting the pure, satisfactory, and eternal joys of heaven; and the looking forward to them in this world, by faith, communion with Christ, and the consolations of the Holy Spirit. Believers, take your wrestling life here, and expect and look for a quiet life hereafter; but not till then: the word of God never promises quietness and complete freedom from conflict here.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
First Baptist Church of Wolfeboro Falls and its interim pastor, Robert Fisher
Pemi Valley Church, Woodstock and its pastor, John Muehlke
The Saturday speaker at the Annual Gathering: Jim Singleton

 

May 18 – Jude 1:20-21May 18
But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord   Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

The grace of faith is most holy, as it works by love, purifies the heart, and overcomes the world, by which it is distinguished from a false and dead faith. Our prayers are most likely to prevail, when we pray in the Holy Ghost, under his guidance and influence, according to the rule of his word, with faith, fervency, and earnestness; this is praying in the Holy Ghost. And a believing expectation of eternal life will arm us against the snares of sin: lively faith in this blessed hope will help us to mortify our lusts.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Wilmington Baptist Church and its pastor, Doug LaPlante
Wilmot Flat Baptist Church and its pastor, Allen Koop
The Friday evening speaker at the Annual Gathering: Akumla Longchar

 

May 17 – 1 John 5:5-6May 17
Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

The real Christian overcomes the world by faith; he sees, in and by the life and conduct of the Lord Jesus on earth, that this world is to be renounced and overcome. He cannot be satisfied with this world, but looks beyond it, and is still tending, striving, and pressing toward heaven. We must all, after Christ’s example, overcome the world, or it will overcome us to our ruin.

We are inwardly and outwardly defiled; inwardly, by the power and pollution of sin in our nature. For our cleansing there is in and by Christ Jesus, the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Some think that the two sacraments are here meant: baptism with water, as the outward sign of regeneration, and purifying from the pollution of sin by the Holy Spirit; and the Lord’s supper, as the outward sign of the shedding Christ’s blood, and the receiving him by faith for pardon and justification. Both these ways of cleansing were represented in the old ceremonial sacrifices and cleansings. This water and blood include all that is necessary to our salvation. By the water, our souls are washed and purified for heaven and the habitation of saints in light. By the blood, we are justified, reconciled, and presented righteous to God. By the blood, the curse of the law being satisfied, the purifying Spirit is obtained for the internal cleansing of our natures. The water, as well as the blood, came out of the side of the sacrificed Redeemer. He loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word; that he might present it to himself a glorious church. This was done in and by the Spirit of God, according to the Savior’s declaration.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Community Baptist Church of Whitefield and its pastor, Greg Vigne
Whitingham Community Church and its pastor, John Brigham
Our Region Minister, Dale Edwards

 

May 16 – 1 Peter 4:14aMay 16
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

By patience and fortitude in suffering, by dependence on the promises of God, and keeping to the word the Holy Spirit hath revealed, the Holy Spirit is glorified; but by the contempt and reproaches cast upon believers, he is evil spoken of, and is blasphemed. One would think such cautions as these were needless to Christians. But their enemies falsely charged them with foul crimes. And even the best of men need to be warned against the worst of sins. There is no comfort in sufferings, when we bring them upon ourselves by our own sin and folly. A time of universal calamity was at hand, as foretold by our Savior. … And if such things befall in this life, how awful will the day of  judgment be! The only way to keep the soul well is to commit it to God by prayer and patient perseverance in well-doing. He will overrule all to the final advantage of the believer.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
United Church of Westford and its interim pastor, Katherine Arthaud
Union Church: Community in Christ of Westmoreland and its pastor, Donna Gage
Final preparations for the Annual Gathering

 

May 15 – Hebrews 9:14May 15
For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Our High Priest entered into heaven once for all, and has obtained eternal redemption. The Holy Ghost further signified and showed that the Old Testament sacrifices only freed the outward man from ceremonial uncleanness, and fitted him for some outward privileges. What gave such power to the blood of Christ? It was Christ’s offering himself without any sinful stain in his nature or life. This cleanses the most guilty conscience from dead, or deadly, works to serve the living God; from sinful works, such as pollute the soul, as dead bodies did the persons of the Jews who touched them; while the grace that seals pardon, new-creates the polluted soul. Nothing more destroys the faith of the gospel, than by any means to weaken the direct power of the blood of Christ. The depth of the mystery of the sacrifice of Christ, we cannot dive into, the height we cannot comprehend. We cannot search out the greatness of it, or the wisdom, the love, the grace that is in it. But in considering the sacrifice of Christ, faith finds life, food, and refreshment.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Water Village Community Church and its pastor, James Waugh
Freewill Baptist Church of West Charleston
Community Church of West Swanzey and its pastor, Robert Robertson

 

May 14 – Hebrews 3:7-8 (NASB)May 14
Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, as in the day of trial in the wilderness….”

The words here quoted are taken from Psalm 95:7, which the apostle tells us was written by David. Hence we learn that David wrote his Psalms by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as our Lord likewise testifies. “The judgments of God executed on sinners in ages past, being designed for the reproof and instruction of those who come after, the Holy Ghost, by David, very properly founded his exhortation to the people of that age upon the sin and punishment of their fathers in the wilderness. And the apostle, for the same reason, fitly applied the words, which the Holy Ghost spake to the people by   David, to the Hebrews in his day, to prevent them from hardening their hearts when they heard God’s voice speaking to them in the gospel of his Son.” Today – Now, at the present time, while the season of grace lasts, and you are favored with the means thereof; if ye will hear his voice – If ye ever intend, or will consent to do it; harden not your hearts – By inattention, by thoughtlessness, by unbelief, and disobedience. Observe, reader, God speaks by his works, particularly those of creation, providence, and grace, and in and by his word; and to hear him, implies that we hearken to, understand, believe, and obey him; and instead of rejecting his counsel, that we suffer it to enter into our hearts, so as to influence our spirits and conduct.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Wardsboro Yoked Parish and its pastor, Peter Carlson
United Church of Warner and its interim pastor, Renee Rouse
The courage for our churches to step out with confidence and engage the culture

 

May 13 – Titus 3:5-6May 13
He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior….

[W]e are delivered out of our miserable condition only by the mercy and free grace of God, the merit and sufferings of Christ, and the working of his Spirit. … [God] is the fountain from which the Holy Spirit flows, to teach, regenerate, and save his fallen creatures; and this blessing comes to mankind through Christ. The spring and rise of it, is the kindness and love of God to man. Love and grace have, through the Spirit, great power to change and turn the heart to God. Works must be in the saved, but are not among the causes of their salvation. A new principle of grace and holiness is wrought, which sways, and governs, and makes the man a new creature. Most pretend they would have heaven at last, yet they care not for holiness now; they would have the end without the beginning. Here is the outward sign and seal thereof in baptism, called therefore the washing of regeneration. The work is inward and spiritual; this is outwardly signified and sealed in this ordinance. The worker therein is the Spirit of God; it is the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Through him we mortify sin, perform duty, walk in God’s ways; all the working of the Divine life in us, and the fruits of righteousness without, are through this blessed and holy Spirit. The Spirit and his saving gifts and graces, come through Christ, as a Savior, whose undertaking and work are to bring to grace and glory. Justification, in the gospel sense, is the free forgiveness of a sinner; accepting him as righteous through the righteousness of Christ received by faith. God, in justifying a sinner in the way of the gospel, is gracious to him, yet just to himself and his law. As forgiveness is through a perfect righteousness, and satisfaction is made to justice by Christ, it cannot be merited by the sinner himself. Eternal life is set before us in the promise; the Spirit works faith in us, and hope of that life; faith and hope bring it near, and fill with joy in expectation of it.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
The Tunbridge Church
Vernon Union Church and its interim pastor, Terry Robinson
Our churches to work in unity with other churches for God’s glory.

 

May 12 – 2 Timothy 3:16-17May 12
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Those who would learn the things of God, and be assured of them, must know the Holy Scriptures, for they are the Divine revelation. The age of children is the age to learn; and those who would get true learning, must get it out of the Scriptures. They must not lie by us neglected, seldom or never looked into. The Bible is a sure guide to eternal life. The prophets and apostles did not speak from themselves, but delivered what they received of God. It is profitable for all purposes of the Christian life. It is of use to all, for all need to be taught, corrected, and reproved. There is something in the Scriptures suitable for every case. Oh that we may love our Bibles more, and keep closer to them! Then shall we find benefit, and at last gain the happiness therein promised by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the main subject of both Testaments. We best oppose error by promoting a solid knowledge of the word of truth; and the greatest kindness we can do to children, is to make them early to know the Bible.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Freewill Baptist Church of Sutton, VT, and its interim pastor, Mark Heinrichs
The Townshend Church and its interim pastor, Jim Scott
Our churches to reach out with mercy to the poor, the widowed, the lonely, and the broken families.

 

May 11 – 1 Thessalonians 1:4-6May 11
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit….

… wherever the Gospel comes, it comes with a mission and commission from God; and being brought unto them by the apostles, who were bringers and publishers of the good tidings of good things, it came unthought of, unsought and unasked for by them; it came not barely into their ears vocally, and into their heads notionally; but into their hearts, and worked effectually there; it was mixed with faith, and was profitable; it  became the ingrafted word, and dwelt richly in them….

The Gospel was not only preached under the influence, and by the assistance of the Holy Spirit, and attended with his extraordinary gifts for the confirmation of it, … but it came by the power of the Holy Spirit to their souls, working and implanting his graces in them, as faith, hope, and love, and every other; and he himself was received along with it, as a spirit of illumination and conviction, of regeneration, conversion, and sanctification, and of faith and adoption; all which gave full evidence of their election….

(They received the Word) not with a carnal joy, or with a mere flash of natural affection, as in the stony ground hearers, and in the Jews, who rejoiced for a while in John’s ministry, and in Herod, who sometimes heard him gladly; but with a spiritual joy of the Holy Ghost’s producing in them, applying the word with power to them, giving them a spiritual gust of it, and pleasure in it, raising in their souls a joy upon the most solid foundation.
(Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible)

Today pray for:
United Church of Strafford, VT and its  interim pastor, Lynn Wickberg
First Freewill Baptist Church of Sutton, NH, & its pastor, Heather Koop Fulton
The ministry of the food pantries our churches run.

 

May 10 – Ephesians 6:18 (NASB)May 10
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints….

Prayer must fasten all the other parts of our Christian armor. There are other duties of religion, and of our stations in the world, but we must keep up times of prayer. Though set and solemn prayer may not be seasonable when other duties are to be done, yet short pious prayers darted out, always are so. We must use holy thoughts in our ordinary course. A vain heart will be vain in prayer. We must pray with all kinds of prayer, public, private, and secret; social and solitary; solemn and sudden: with all the parts of prayer; confession of sin, petition for mercy, and thanksgiving for favors received. And we must do it by the grace of God the Holy Spirit, in dependence on, and according to, his teaching. We must preserve in particular requests, notwithstanding discouragements. We must pray, not for ourselves only, but for all saints. Our enemies are mighty, and we are without strength, but our Redeemer is almighty, and in the power of his mighty we may overcome. Wherefore we must stir up ourselves. Have not we, when God has called, often neglected to answer? Let us think upon these things, and continue our prayers with patience.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Bow Lake Free Will Baptist Church of Strafford, NH and its pastor, Jeff Robie
Second Baptist Church of Strafford, NH and its interim pastor, Robb Dix
The drug problem in our states.

 

May 9 – Ephesians 4:30May 9
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Filthy words proceed from corruption in the speaker, and they corrupt the minds and manners of those who hear them: Christians should beware of all such discourse. It is the duty of Christians to seek, by the blessing of God, to bring persons to think seriously, and to encourage and warn believers by their conversation. Be ye kind one to       another. This sets forth the principle of love in the heart, and the outward expression of it, in a humble, courteous behavior. Mark how God’s forgiveness causes us to forgive. God forgives us, though we had no cause to sin against him. We must forgive, as he has forgiven us. All lying and corrupt communications that stir up evil desires and lusts, grieve the Spirit of God. Corrupt passions of bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil-speaking, and malice, grieve the Holy Spirit. Provoke not the holy, blessed Spirit of God to withdraw his presence and his gracious influences.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Calvary Baptist Church of Springfield and its interim pastor, Michael Pelletier
First Baptist Church of Starksboro and its pastor, Larry Detweiler
Humility, so God can lift us up.

 

May 8 – Ephesians 4:4-6 (NIV)May 8
There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

There is one body – One church – for so the word “body” means here – denoting the body of Christ. The meaning here is, that as there is really but one church on earth, there ought to be unity. The church is, at present, divided into many denominations. It has different forms of worship, and different rites and ceremonies. It embraces those of different complexions and ranks in life, and it cannot be denied that there are often unhappy contentions and jealousies in different parts of that church. Still, there is but one – “one holy, catholic (i.e., universal) church;” and that church should feel that it is one.

There is one and the self-same Spirit that dwells in the church. The same Spirit has awakened all; enlightened all; convicted all; converted all. Wherever they may be, and whoever, yet there has been substantially the same work of the Spirit on the heart of every Christian. All the gifts of prayer, and of preaching; all the zeal, the ardor, the love, the self-denial in the church, are produced by the same Spirit. There should be, therefore, unity. The church is united in the agency by which it is saved; it should be united in the feelings which influence its members.
(Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

Today pray for:
First Baptist Church of South Londonderry and its pastors, Chris and Kathleen Blackey
South Newfane Baptist Church and its pastor, Malcolm Hamblett
Fresh visioning in our churches

 

May 7 – Ephesians 3:16-19May 7
… that according to the riches of [God’s] glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, begin rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend … what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

[The apostle Paul] asks for spiritual blessings, which are the best blessings. Strength from the Spirit of God in the inner man; strength in the soul; the strength of faith, to serve God, and to do our duty. If the law of Christ is written in our hearts, and the love of Christ is shed abroad there, then Christ dwells there. Where his Spirit dwells, there he dwells. We should desire that good affections may be fixed in us. And how desirable to have a fixed sense of the love of God in Christ to our souls! How powerfully the apostle speaks of the love of Christ! The breadth shows its extent to all nations and ranks; the length, that it continues from everlasting to everlasting; the depth, its saving those who are sunk into the depths of sin and misery; the height, its raising them up to heavenly happiness and glory. Those who receive grace for grace from Christ’s fullness, may be said to be filled with the fullness of God. Should not this satisfy man? Must he needs fill himself with a thousand trifles, fancying thereby to complete his happiness?
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
The Federated Church of Sheffield and its pastor, Sean Quinn
South Hampton Baptist Church and its pastor, Jeremy Pataro
Our churches to fulfill Isaiah 61:1-3 in our time.

 

May 6 – Ephesians 1:13-14May 6
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Blessings were made known to believers by the Lord’s showing to them the mystery of his sovereign will and the method of redemption and salvation. But these must have been for ever hidden from us, if God had not made them known by his written word, preached gospel, and Spirit of truth. Christ united the two differing parties, God and man, in his own person, and satisfied for that wrong which caused the separation. He wrought, by his Spirit, those graces of faith and love, whereby we are made one with God, and among ourselves. He dispenses all his blessings, according to his good pleasure. His Divine teaching led whom he pleased to see the glory of those truths, which others were left to blaspheme. What a gracious promise that is, which secures the gift of the Holy Ghost to those who ask him! The sanctifying and comforting influences of the Holy Spirit seal believers as the children of God, and heirs of heaven. These are the first-fruits of holy happiness. For this we were made, and for this we were redeemed; this is the great design of God in all that he has done for us; let all be ascribed unto the praise of his glory.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Christ’s Church, Saxtons River and its interim pastor, Ivy Merrill
Trinity United Church of Seabrook
American Baptist Women’s Ministries of Vermont and New Hampshire

 

May 5 – Galatians 5:22-23May 5
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

The fruits of the Spirit plainly show that such are led by the Spirit. By describing the works of the flesh and fruits of the Spirit, we are told what to avoid and oppose, and what we are to cherish and cultivate; and this is the sincere care and endeavor of all real Christians. Sin does not now reign in their mortal bodies, so that they obey it, for they seek to destroy it. Christ never will own those who yield themselves up to be the servants of sin. And it is not enough that we cease to do evil, but we must learn to do well. Our conversation will always be answerable to the principle which guides and governs us. We must set ourselves in earnest to mortify the deeds of the body, and to walk in newness of life.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Centerpoint Community Church, Salem and its pastor, Bill Swilling
First Baptist Church of Sanbornton and its pastor, Scott Manning
Mountain View Church of Sanbornton and its pastor, Chris McMicken

 

May 4 – Galatians 4:6May 4
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

Although by nature children of wrath and disobedience, [Christians] become by grace children of love, and partake of the nature of the children of God; for he will have all his children resemble him. Among men the eldest son is heir; but all God’s children shall have the inheritance of eldest sons. May the temper and conduct of sons ever show our adoption; and may the Holy Spirit witness with our spirits that we are children and heirs of God.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
First Baptist Church of Rutland and its pastors, Jon and Patti Stratton
First Baptist Church of St. Albans and its pastor, Bill Simmons
American Baptist Men of Vermont and New Hampshire

 

May 3 – 2 Corinthians 5:5May 3
He who has prepared us for this very thing (i.e., a heavenly dwelling) is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

[God] hath given us his Spirit to dwell and to work in us, and to assure us of what we speak of, viz. the house in the heavens, the building of God, that is not made with hands. The Spirit of grace given to the people of God, working and dwelling in them, is a certain pledge of that glory and life eternal, which he hath prepared for them.
(Matthew Poole’s Commentary)

Today pray for:
Randolph United Church and its pastor, Roger Wotton (currently on sabbatical)
First Baptist Church of Readsboro and its pastor, John Brigham
First Baptist Church of Richford and its pastor, Tim Stetson

 

May 2 – 2 Corinthians 3:16-18May 2
But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to glory. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

It is the duty of the ministers of the gospel to use great plainness, or clearness, of speech. The Old Testament believers had only cloudy and passing glimpses of that    glorious Savior, and unbelievers looked no further than to the outward institution. But the great precepts of the gospel, believe, love, obey, are truths stated as clearly as  possible. And the whole doctrine of Christ crucified is made as plain as human language can make it. Those who lived under the law had a veil upon their hearts. This veil is  taken away by the doctrines of the Bible about Christ. When any person is converted to God, then the veil of ignorance is taken away. The condition of those who enjoy and believe the gospel is happy, for the heart is set at liberty to run the ways of God’s commandments. They have light, and with open face they behold the glory of the Lord. Christians should prize and improve these privileges. We should not rest contented without knowing the transforming power of the gospel, by the working of the Spirit, bringing us to seek to be like the temper and tendency of the glorious gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and into union with Him. We behold Christ, as in the glass of his word; and as the reflection from a mirror causes the face to shine, the faces of Christians shine also.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
New Hope Baptist Church, Portsmouth and its pastor, Arthur Hilson
United Baptist Church of Poultney and its pastor, Todd Eaton
Holy Spirit Renewal Ministries

 

May 1 – 2 Corinthians 3:6May 1
[God] has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Even in writing the letter of the New Testament, Paul and the other sacred writers were ministers not of the letter, but of the spirit. No piety of spirit could exempt a man from the yoke of the letter of each legal ordinance under the Old Testament; for God had appointed this as the way in which He chose a devout Jew to express his state of mind towards God. Christianity, on the other hand, makes the spirit of our outward observances everything, and the letter a secondary consideration (John 4:24). Still the moral law of the ten commandments, being written by the finger of God, is as obligatory now as ever; but put more on the Gospel spirit of “love,” than on the letter of a servile obedience, and in a deeper and fuller spirituality (Matthew 5:17-48; Romans 13:9). No literal precepts could fully comprehend the wide range of holiness which LOVE, the work of the Holy Spirit, under the Gospel, suggests to the believer’s heart instinctively from the word understood in its deep spirituality.
(Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary)

Today pray for:
Community Baptist Church of Plainfield, NH and its pastor, Rubin Jennings
First Baptist Church of Plaistow and its pastor, Aaron Goodro
Middle Street Baptist Church, Portsmouth and its pastor, Chris Dunaway

 

April 30 – 2 Corinthians 3:3April 30
And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

If written by the Spirit of the living God, it was far more valuable, and precious, and permanent than any record which could be made by ink. Every trace of the Spirit’s influences on the heart was an undoubted proof that God had sent the apostles; and was a proof which they would much more sensibly and tenderly feel than they could any letter of recommendation written in ink.

Stones, even where laws were engraved by the finger of God, would molder and decay, and the inscription made there would be destroyed. But not so with that which was made on the heart. It would live forever. It would abide in other worlds. It would send its influence into all the relations of life; into all future scenes in this world; and that influence would be seen and felt in the world that shall never end.
(Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

Today pray for:
Penacook United Church and its pastor, Jerry McCann
Community Christian Fellowship of Plainfield, CT, and its pastor, Linda Hirtle
ABC/VNH Institute for Learning: staff, board members and students

 

April 29 – 1 Corinthians 12:1-13April 29
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord….

Wherefore I give you to understand – I make known to you. The force of this expression is, “I give you this rule to distinguish,” or by which you may know what influences and operations are from God. The design of the passage is, to give them some simple general guide by which they could at once recognize the operations of the Spirit of God, and determine whether they who claimed to be under that operation were really so. That rule was, that all who were truly influenced by the Holy Spirit would be disposed to acknowledge and to know Jesus Christ; and where this disposition existed, it was of itself a clear demonstration that it was the operation of the Spirit of God.
(Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

Today pray for:
First Baptist Church of North Stratford and its pastor, Cindy Grassi
Passumpsic Community Baptist Church and its pastor, David Abbott

 

April 28 – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20April 28
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

What! know ye not … – This is the fifth argument against this sin. The Holy Spirit dwells in us; our bodies are his temples; and they should not be defiled and polluted by sin. As this Spirit is in us, and as it is given us by God, we ought not to dishonor the gift and the giver by pollution and vice.

And ye are not your own – This is the sixth argument which Paul uses. We are purchased; we belong to God; we are his by redemption; by a precious price paid; and we are bound, therefore, to devote ourselves, body, soul, and spirit, as he directs, to the glory of his name, not to the gratification of the flesh.
(Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

Today pray for:
North Danville Baptist Church and its pastor, Robert Sargent
North Springfield Baptist Church and its pastor, George Keeler
ABC/VNH Staff Relations Committee

 

April 27 – 1 Corinthians 6:11April 27
And such (i.e. unrighteous) were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

All unrighteousness is sin; all reigning sin, nay, every actual sin, committed with design, and not repented of, shuts out of the kingdom of heaven. Be not deceived. Men are very much inclined to flatter themselves that they may live in sin, yet die in Christ, and go to heaven. But we cannot hope to sow to the flesh, and reap everlasting life. They are reminded what a change the gospel and grace of God had made in them. The blood of Christ, and the washing of regeneration, can take away all guilt. Our justification is owing to the suffering and merit of Christ; our sanctification to the working of the Holy Spirit; but both go together. All who are made righteous in the sight of God, are made holy by the grace of God.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Newton Junction Baptist Church and its new pastor, Scott Griffin, who will be starting in May
North Bennington Baptist Church and its pastor, Rick Gramlin

 

April 26 – 1 Corinthians 2:11-13April 26
For who knows a person’s thought except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

The apostles were not guided by worldly principles. They had the revelation of these things from the Spirit of God, and the saving impression of them from the same Spirit. These things they declared in plain, simple language, taught by the Holy Spirit, totally different from the affected oratory or enticing words of man’s wisdom. The natural man, the wise man of the world, receives not the things of the Spirit of God. The pride of carnal reasoning is really as much opposed to spirituality, as the basest sensuality. The sanctified mind discerns the real beauties of holiness, but the power of discerning and judging about common and natural things is not lost. But the carnal man is a stranger to the principles, and pleasures, and actings of the Divine life. The spiritual man only is the person to whom God gives the knowledge of his will. How little have any known of the mind of God by natural power! And the apostles were enabled by his Spirit to make known his mind. In the Holy Scriptures, the mind of Christ, and the mind  of God in Christ, are fully made known to us.  It is the great privilege of Christians, that they have the mind of Christ revealed to them by his Spirit. They experience his sanctifying power in their hearts, and bring forth good fruits in their lives.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Newmarket Community Church and its pastor, Patty Marsden
First Baptist Church of Newport and its pastor, Steve Hammond
ABC/VNH Department of Professional Ministry

 

April 25 – 1 Corinthians 2:9-10April 25
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” – these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

God has revealed true wisdom to us by his Spirit. In proof of the Divinity of the Holy Ghost, observe, that he knows all things, and he searches all things, even the deep things of God. No one can know the things of God, but his Holy Spirit, who is one with the Father and the Son, and who makes known Divine mysteries to his church. This is most clear testimony, both to the real Godhead and the distinct person of the Holy Spirit.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
New Fellowship Baptist Church of Nashua and its pastor, Bertha Perkins
New Hampton Community Church  and its pastor, Scott Mitchell
First Baptist Church of New London  and its pastor, Charles Glidewell

 

April 24 – Romans 15:30April 24
I appeal to you brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf….

Let us learn to value the effectual fervent prayers of the righteous. How careful should we be, lest we forfeit our interest in the love and prayers of God’s praying people! If we have experienced the Spirit’s love, let us not be wanting in this office of kindness for others. Those that would prevail in prayer, must strive in prayer. Those who beg the prayers of others, must not neglect to pray for themselves. And though Christ knows our state and wants perfectly, he will know them from us. As God must be sought, for restraining the ill-will of our enemies, so also for preserving and increasing the good-will of our friends. All our joy depends upon the will of God. Let us be earnest in prayer with and for each other, that for Christ’s sake, and by the love of the Holy Spirit, great blessings may come upon the souls of Christians, and the labors of ministers.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
First Baptist Church of Nashua and its pastor, Maggie Lewis
First Spanish American Baptist Church of Nashua and its pastor, Isabel Rivera
Rev. Vivan Martindale, Representative to the ABCUSA Board of General Ministries

 

April 23 – Romans 15:13April 23
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

The joy and peace which [God] imparts rest on faith. Hence they are the joy and peace specially flowing from justification and acceptance with God, and the more we have of these, the more we abound in the Christian hope itself. Such an abounding in hope, in the power of the Holy Ghost, is the end contemplated in Paul’s prayer that the God of hope would fill the Romans with all joy and peace in believing.
(Expositor’s Greek Testament)

Today pray for:
First Baptist Church of Montpelier and its pastor, Steve Seipke
Mt. Holly Village Baptist Church and its pastor, Glenn Davis
Comunidade Batista dos Milagres, Nashua and its pastor, Jarbas Filho

 

April 22 – Romans 8:26-27April 22
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the  Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Though the infirmities of Christians are many and great, so that they would be overpowered if left to themselves, yet the Holy Spirit supports them. The Spirit, as an enlightening Spirit, teaches us what to pray for; as a sanctifying Spirit, works and stirs up praying graces; as a comforting Spirit, silences our fears, and helps us over all discouragements. The Holy Spirit is the spring of all desires toward God, which are often more than words can utter. The Spirit who searches the hearts, can perceive the mind and will of the spirit, the renewed mind, and advocates his cause. The Spirit makes intercession to God, and the enemy prevails not.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Bridge Community Church, Milford and its pastor, Ron Bouthillette
Community Church of Milton and its interim pastor, Wayne Santos
ABC/VNH Finance Committee

 

April 21 – Romans 8:11, 16-17April 21
If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellows heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

If the Spirit be in us, Christ is in us. He dwells in the heart by faith. Grace in the soul is its new nature; the soul is alive to God, and has begun its holy happiness which shall endure forever. The righteousness of Christ imputed, secures the soul, the better part, from death. From hence we see how much it is our duty to walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. If any habitually live according to corrupt lustings, they will certainly perish in their sins, whatever they profess. And what can a worldly life present, worthy for a moment to be put against this noble prize of our high calling? Let us then, by the Spirit, endeavor more and more to mortify the flesh. Regeneration by the Holy Spirit brings a new and Divine life to the soul, though in a feeble state. And the sons of God have the Spirit to work in them the disposition of children; they have not the spirit of bondage, which the Old Testament church was under, through the darkness of that dispensation. The Spirit of adoption was not then plentifully poured out. Also it refers to that spirit of bondage, under which many saints were at their conversion. Many speak peace to themselves, to whom God does not speak peace. But those who are sanctified, have God’s Spirit witnessing with their spirits, in and by his speaking peace to the soul. Though we may now seem to be losers for Christ, we shall not, we cannot, be losers by him in the end.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Melvin Village Community Church and its interim pastor, Linda Overall
Meredith Center Free Baptist Church
Memorial Baptist Church, Middlebury and its pastor, Stephanie Allen

 

April 20 – Romans 8:9April 20
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

The favor of God, the welfare of the soul, the concerns of eternity, are the things of the Spirit, which those that are after the Spirit do mind. Which way do our thoughts move with most pleasure? Which way go our plans and contrivances? Are we most wise for the world, or for our souls? Those that live in pleasure are dead (1 Timothy 5:6).

A sanctified soul is a living soul; and that life is peace. The carnal mind is not only an enemy to God, but enmity itself. The carnal man may, by the power of Divine grace, be made subject to the law of God, but the carnal mind never can; that must be broken and driven out. We may know our real state and character by inquiring whether we have the Spirit of God and Christ, or not  (v. 9). Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. Having the Spirit of Christ, means having a turn of mind in some degree like the mind that was in Christ Jesus, and is to be shown by a life and conversation suitable to his precepts and example.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispaña of Manchester and its pastor, Rafael Bonilla
First Baptist Church of Manchester Center, VT, and its interim pastor, Gerard Birney
The Annual Gathering Committee and their work planning the Annual Gathering

 

April 19 – Romans 8:1-2April 19
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

Believers may be chastened of the Lord, but will not be condemned with the world. By their union with Christ through faith, they are thus secured. What is the principle of their walk; the flesh or the Spirit, the old or the new nature, corruption or grace? For which of these do we make provision, by which are we governed? The unrenewed will is unable to keep any commandment fully. And the law, besides outward duties, requires inward obedience. God showed abhorrence of sin by the sufferings of his Son in the flesh, that the believer’s person might be pardoned and justified. Thus satisfaction was made to Divine justice, and the way of salvation opened for the sinner. By the Spirit the law of love is written upon the heart, and though the righteousness of the law is not fulfilled by us, yet, blessed be God, it is fulfilled in us; there is that in all true believers, which answers the intention of the law.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
The Madison Church and its pastor, Sean Dunker-Bendigo
First Baptist Church of Manchester, NH, and its pastor, John Cerrato
First Haitian (French Speaking) Baptist Church of Manchester and its pastor, Renaud Dumont

 

April 18 – Romans 5:3-5April 18
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

By “the love of God” is meant, not that love by which we love God, for hope does not depend upon, nor is it supported by our love and obedience to God; but the love of God to us, of which some instances are given in the following verses: us is said “to be shed abroad in our hearts”; which denotes the plenty and abundance of it, and the full and comfortable sensation which believers have of it: “by the Holy Spirit”: who leads into, and makes application of it: “and is given to us”: for that purpose, as the applier of all grace, the Comforter, and the earnest of heaven. Now the love which the Spirit sheds abroad in the heart is the source and spring, both of justification itself, which is owing to the free grace of God, and of all the effects of it, as peace with God, access to the throne of grace, rejoicing in hope of the glory of God, the usefulness of afflictions, and the stability of hope, and is here alleged as the reason of all.
(Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible)

Today pray for:
First Baptist Church of Lyme and its pastor, Lloyd Wiley
United Church of Lyndeborough and its pastor, Paul Lemire
ABC/VNH Board of Trustees

 

April 17 – Acts 5:30-32 April 17Peter and the other apostles: “The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

Wherever repentance is wrought, remission is granted without fail. None are freed from the guilt and punishment of sin, but those who are freed from the power and   dominion of sin; who are turned from it, and turned against it. Christ gives repentance, by his Spirit working with the word, to awaken the conscience, to work sorrow for sin, and an effectual change in the heart and life. The giving of the Holy Ghost, is plain evidence that it is the will of God that Christ should be obeyed. And He will surely destroy those who will not have Him to reign over them.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Loon Mountain Ministry, Lincoln, NH, and pastor Marcus Corey
Lochmere Free Baptist Church and its pastor, David Daley
Loudon Center Freewill Baptist Church and its interim pastor, Shirley Marcroft

 

April 16 – Acts 4:29-31April 16
“And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

Christ’s followers do best in company, provided it is their own company. It encourages God’s servants, both in doing work, and suffering work, that they serve the God who made all things, and therefore has the disposal of all events; and the Scriptures must be fulfilled. Jesus was anointed to be a Savior, therefore it was determined he should be a sacrifice, to make atonement for sin. But sin is not the less evil for God’s bringing good out of it. In threatening times, our care should not be so much that troubles may be prevented, as that we may go on with cheerfulness and courage in our work and duty. They do not pray, Lord let us go away from our work, now that it is become dangerous, but, Lord, give us thy grace to go on steadfastly in our work, and not to fear the face of man. Those who desire Divine aid and encouragement, may depend upon having them, and they ought to go forth, and go on, in the strength of the Lord God. God gave a sign of acceptance of their prayers. The place was shaken, that their faith might be established and unshaken. God gave them greater degrees of his Spirit; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, more than ever; by which they were not only encouraged, but enabled to speak the word of God with boldness.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
First Baptist Church of Lebanon and its interim pastor, Rick Pinilla
United Church of Lincoln and its pastor David Wood
Camp Sentinel Ministries and Executive Director Kevin Van Brunt

 

April 15 – Acts 2:38April 15
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

From the first delivery of that Divine message, it appeared that there was Divine power going with it; and thousands were brought to the obedience of faith. But neither Peter’s words, nor the miracle they witnessed, could have produced such effects had not the Holy Spirit been given. Sinners, when their eyes are opened, cannot but be pricked to the heart for sin, cannot but feel an inward uneasiness. The apostle exhorted them to repent of their sins, and openly to avow their belief in Jesus as the Messiah, by being baptized in his name. Thus professing their faith in Him, they would receive remission of their sins, and partake of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit.

By God’s grace three thousand persons accepted the gospel invitation. There can be no doubt that the gift of the Holy Ghost, which they all received, and from which no true believer has ever been shut out, was that Spirit of adoption, that converting, guiding, sanctifying grace, which is bestowed upon all the members of the family of our heavenly Father. Repentance and remission of sins are still preached to the chief of sinners, in the Redeemer’s name; still the Holy Spirit seals the blessing on the believer’s heart; still the encouraging promises are to us and our children; and still the blessings are offered to all that are afar off.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Joliette Word of Life Church, Montreal, Quebec and its pastor, Oscar Wakenge
First Baptist Church of Keene and its pastor, Mark Ferrin
United Baptist Church of Lakeport

 

April 14 – Acts 2:17-18 (quoting Joel 2:28-29)April 14
And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.

I will pour out of My Spirit.’ – [T]he Spirit is compared to a flowing stream, such as when our Lord said, “He that believeth on Me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water,’ and when John saw a ‘river of water of life proceeding from the throne.”

What, then, is the significance of comparing that Divine Spirit with a river of water? First, cleansing …. Then, …, refreshing, and satisfying. … there is only one thing that will slake the immortal thirst in your souls. The world will never do it; love or ambition gratified and wealth possessed, will never do it. You will be as thirsty after you have drunk of these streams as ever you were before. There is one spring “of which if a man drink, he shall never thirst” with unsatisfied, painful longings, but shall never cease to thirst with the longing which is blessedness, because it is fruition. Our thirst can be slaked by the deep draught of “the river of the Water of Life, which proceeds from the Throne of God and the Lamb.” “Ho! everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters!”

The Spirit is not only refreshing and satisfying, but also productive and fertilizing. In Eastern lands a rill of water is all that is needed to make the wilderness rejoice. Turn that stream on to the barrenness of your hearts, and fair flowers will grow that would never grow without it. The one means of lofty and fruitful Christian living is a deep,  inward possession of the Spirit of God. The one way to fertilize barren souls is to let that stream flood them all over, and then the flush of green will soon come, and that which is else a desert will “rejoice and blossom as the rose.”

So this water will cleanse, it will satisfy and refresh, it will be productive and will fertilize, and “everything shall live whithersoever that river cometh.”
(from MacLauren’s Expositions: “The Fourfold Symbols of the Spirit”)

Today pray for:
Community Church of Huntington and its pastor, Larry Detweiler
Jamaica Community Church and its pastor, Norma Drosky

 

April 13 – Acts 2:4April 13
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

We cannot forget how often, while their Master was with them, there were strifes among the disciples [about who] should be the greatest; but now all these strifes were at an end. They had prayed more together of late. Would we have the Spirit poured out upon us from on high, let us be all of one accord. And notwithstanding differences of sentiments and interests … let us agree to love one another; for where brethren dwell together in unity, there the Lord commands his blessing.

A rushing mighty wind came with great force. This was to signify the powerful influences and working of the Spirit of God upon the minds of men, and thereby upon the world. Thus the convictions of the Spirit make way for his comforts; and the rough blasts of that blessed wind, prepare the soul for its soft and gentle gales. There was an appearance of something like flaming fire, lighting on every one of them, according to John Baptist’s saying concerning Christ: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. The Spirit, like fire, melts the heart, burns up the dross, and kindles pious and devout affections in the soul; in which, as in the fire on the altar, the spiritual sacrifices are offered up. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, more than before. They were filled with the graces of the Spirit, and more than ever under his sanctifying influences; more weaned from this world, and better acquainted with the other. They were more filled with the comforts of the Spirit, rejoiced more than ever in the love of Christ and the hope of heaven: in it all their griefs and fears were swallowed up. They were filled with the gifts of the Holy Ghost; they had miraculous powers for the furtherance of the gospel. They spake, not from previous thought or meditation, but as the Spirit gave them utterance.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Hinesburg United Church and its pastor, Jared Hamilton
Holderness Community Church and its pastor, Dan Ward
First Baptist Church of Hudson and its pastor, Moa Imchen

 

April 12 – Acts 1:8April 12
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

What in the world should the church be doing…? Jesus’ missionary mandate gives us the answer: You will be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth. The entire preface so undergirds and clarifies this command that we are led not only to the conviction that Acts must be viewed from a missionary perspective but to realize that we too must find our places in fulfilling that mandate, which is also a promise.

Acts 1:8 sets out clearly what the church is to be doing until Jesus returns. Through a command-promise, Jesus tells his disciples of the resources, content and scope of their primary task. The essential resource is God the Holy Spirit, who will come on them at Pentecost. By this Spirit-baptism they will receive the supernatural ability to work miracles and preach effectively. Their witness will be bold and will produce conviction leading to positive or negative decisions.

The whole church, and each member of it, must take up this task. All who receive the apostles’ teaching become witnesses. Richard Longenecker rightly concludes, “This commission lays an obligation on all Christians …. The Christian church, according to Acts, is a missionary church that responds obediently to Jesus’ commission.”

The mandate, expressed with a future-tense verb (will be), can be taken as both a  command and a prophetic promise. Luke may well have intended that it be understood in both ways. Not only does he show the church obediently carrying out this mandate, but he also shows how God intervenes at strategic points to give impetus and direction for taking the mission across another cultural threshold or into a another geographical region. God in his grace makes sure the mandate is completely fulfilled. And so today the call for the church to be a missionary church is still in force.
(www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Acts/Jesus-Postresurrection)

Today pray for:
United Church of Hardwick and its pastor, Evelyn Lavelli
Community Church of Harrisville/Chesham and its pastor, Carol Shelton
Region Staff: Rev. James F. Smith, Placement Consultant

 

April 11 – Acts 1:4-5April 11
And while staying with them [Jesus] ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Our Lord told the disciples the work they were to do. The apostles met together at  Jerusalem; Christ having ordered them not to depart thence, but to wait for the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. This would be a baptism by the Holy Ghost, giving them power to work miracles, and enlightening and sanctifying their souls. This confirms the Divine promise, and encourages us to depend upon it, that we have heard it from Christ; for in Him all the promises of God are yea and amen.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
First Baptist Church of Hampton Falls and its pastor, Ken Lawrence
First Baptist Church of Hanover (Etna) and its interim pastor, Roger Spinney
Trinity Baptist Church of Hanover and its interim pastor, Marion Aldridge

 

April 10 – John 20:21-23April 10
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

When [Jesus] manifests his love to believers by the comforts of his Spirit, he assures them that because he lives, they shall live also. A sight of Christ will gladden the heart of a disciple at any time; and the more we see of Jesus, the more we shall rejoice. He said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost, thus showing that their spiritual life, as well as all their ability for their work, would be derived from him, and depended upon him. Every word of Christ which is received in the heart by faith, comes accompanied by this Divine breathing; and without this there is neither light nor life. Nothing is seen, known, discerned, or felt of God, but through this. After this, Christ directed the apostles to declare the only method by which sin would be forgiven. This power did not exist at all in the apostles as a power to give judgment, but only as a power to declare the character of those whom God would accept or reject in the day of judgment. They have clearly laid down the marks whereby a child of God may be discerned and be distinguished from a false professor; and according to what they have declared shall every case be decided in the day of judgment.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
The Grafton Church and its pastor, Christine Dyke
First Baptist Church of Hampton and its pastor, Mark Lowe
Mr. Al Hall, Treasurer, ABCVNH

 

April 9 – John 16:7-15April 09
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because  I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged….

Christ’s departure was necessary to the Comforter’s coming. Sending the Spirit was to be the fruit of Christ’s death, which was his going away. His bodily presence could be only in one place at one time, but his Spirit is everywhere, in all places, at all times, wherever two or three are gathered together in his name. [Convicting] work is the Spirit’s work; he can do it effectually, and none but he. It is the method the Holy Spirit takes, first to [convict], and then to comfort. The Spirit shall [convict] the world of sin, not merely tell them of it. The Spirit [convicts] of the fact of sin; of the fault of sin; of the folly of sin; of the filth of sin, that by it we are become hateful to God; of the fountain of sin, the corrupt nature; and lastly, of the fruit of sin, that the end thereof is death.

The Holy Spirit proves that all the world is guilty before God. He convinces the world of righteousness; that Jesus of Nazareth was Christ the righteous; also, of Christ’s righteousness, imparted to us for justification and salvation. He will show them where it is to be had, and how they may be accepted as righteous in God’s sight. Christ’s ascension proves the ransom was accepted, and the righteousness finished, through which believers were to be justified.

Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. All will be well, when his power is broken, who made all the mischief. As Satan is subdued by Christ, this gives us confidence, for no other power can stand before him.

And of the day of judgment. The coming of the Spirit would be of unspeakable advantage to the disciples. The Holy Spirit is our Guide, not only to show us the way, but to go with us by continued aids and influences. To be led into a truth is more than barely to know it; it is not only to have the notion of it in our heads, but the relish, and savor, and power of it in our hearts. He shall teach all truth, and keep back nothing profitable, for he will show things to come. All the gifts and graces of the Spirit, all the preaching, and all the writing of the apostles, under the influence of the Spirit, all the tongues, and miracles, were to glorify Christ.

It behooves everyone to ask, whether the Holy Spirit has begun a good work in his heart? Without clear discovery of our guilt and danger, we never shall understand the value of Christ’s salvation; but when brought to know ourselves aright, we begin to see the value of the Redeemer. We should have fuller views of the Redeemer, and more lively affections to him, if we more prayed for, and depended on the Holy Spirit.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Gilmanton Community Church and its pastor, Christopher Stevens
Goffstown Christian Fellowship and its pastor, Ed Young
Goshen Community Church and its pastor, Ed Condict

 

April 8 – John 15:26April 08
But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.

The witness of the Spirit has a two-fold focus. First focus is in the Spirit’s witness on behalf of Jesus. That witness about Jesus has at least two aspects. It is a witness that the mission of the Father and the Son has indeed been completed. The cross was not some travesty or failure of God’s intent. From creation nothing has happened apart from the Word (1:1-2). The Word became flesh and dwelled among us (1:14). It was necessary that the Son be “lifted up” on the cross so as to confirm the depth of the  Father’s love for the world (3:14-17). At the point of being lifted up, Jesus the Son declares the fulfillment of that mission: “It is finished” (19:30).

A second aspect of this witness is that the Spirit gives power to the community of believers not to identify themselves as abandoned or forsaken, but rather as empowered and sent to bear witness to the world that in the events of the Son God’s love has indeed been made real and present for all the world.
(James Boyce, Commentary on John 15:26-27)

Today pray for:
Georgia Plain Baptist Church and its pastor,  Tyler Smith
Gilford Community Church and its pastor, Michael Graham
Rev. Moa Imchen, Second Vice-President, ABC/VNH

 

April 7 – John 14:26April 07
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Would we know these things for our good, we must pray for, and depend on the teaching of the Holy Ghost; thus the words of Jesus will be brought to our remembrance, and many difficulties be cleared up which are not plain to others. To all the saints, the Spirit of grace is given to be a remembrancer, and to him, by faith and prayer, we should commit the keeping of what we hear and know.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Community Church of Christ, Franconia and its pastor, Barry Jacobson
The Baptist Church of Franklin and its interim pastor, Gary Andy
Rev. Isabel Rivera, First Vice-President, ABC/VNH

 

April 6 – John 14:15-17April 06
If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

Whatever we ask in Christ’s name, that shall be for our good and suitable to our state, he shall give it to us. To ask in Christ’s name is to plead his merit and intercession, and to depend upon that plea. The gift of the Spirit is a fruit of Christ’s mediation, bought by his merit, and received by his intercession. The word used here, signifies an advocate, counselor, monitor, and comforter. He would abide with the disciples to the end of time; his gifts and graces would encourage their hearts. The expressions used here and elsewhere plainly denote a person, and the office itself includes all the Divine perfections. The gift of the Holy Ghost is bestowed upon the disciples of Christ, and not on the world. This is the favor God bears to his chosen. As the source of holiness and happiness, the Holy Spirit will abide with every believer forever.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
First Baptist Church of Exeter and its pastor, Dee Swilling
United Church of Fairfax and its pastor, Katherine Arthaud
ABC/VNH Nominating Committee as they seek those willing to serve as officers of the Region and on the Board of Trustees and Nominating Committee

 

April 5 – John 7:37-39April 05
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

On the last day of the feast of tabernacles, the Jews drew water and poured it out before the Lord. It is supposed that Christ alluded to this. If any man desires to be truly and forever happy, let him apply to Christ, and be ruled by him. This thirst means strong desires after spiritual blessings, which nothing else can satisfy; so the sanctifying and comforting influences of the Holy Spirit, were intended by the waters which Jesus called on them to come to Him and drink. The comfort flows plentifully and constantly as a river; strong as a stream to bear down the opposition of doubts and fears. There is a fullness in Christ, of grace for grace. The Spirit, dwelling and working in believers, is as a fountain of living, running water, out of which plentiful streams flow, cooling and cleansing as water. The miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit we do not expect, but for his more common and more valuable influences we may apply. These streams have flowed from our glorified Redeemer, down to this age, and to the remote corners of the earth. May we be anxious to make them known to others.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
The new Hispanic church plant in Dover and its leadership team, led by Rafael Bonilla
East Hampton Union Church and its pastor, Paul Sweet
East Washington Baptist Church and its pastor, John Ward

 

April 4 – John 6:63 (NASB)April 04
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

It is the Spirit that quickeneth. …. It is the spirit of man that quickens him; or which being breathed into him, he becomes a living soul; for the body, without the spirit, is dead; it is a lifeless lump: and it is the Spirit of God that quickens dead sinners, by entering into them as the spirit of life, and causing them to live: and it is spiritual eating, or eating the flesh, and drinking the blood of Christ in a spiritual sense, which quickens, refreshes, and comforts the minds of believers; it is that by, and on which they live, and by which their spiritual strength is renewed.

The flesh profiteth nothing. The human nature of Christ, though profitable, as in union with the Son of God, to be given for the life of his people, and to be an offering, and a sacrifice for their sins, yet not as alone, or as abstracted from the divine nature; nor would his flesh and blood, corporeally eaten, could, or should it be done, be of any avail to eternal life; nor is any other flesh, literally understood, profitable of itself for life; for man lives not by bread, or meat, or flesh alone, but by the word and blessing of God upon it, and along with it; nor flesh, in a figurative sense, as creature acts and   performances, self-righteousness, obedience to the ceremonial law, carnal descent, and birth privileges.

The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. The doctrines which Christ had then been delivering concerning himself, his flesh and blood, being spiritually understood, are the means of quickening souls. The Gospel, and the truths of it, …, are the means of conveying the Spirit of God, as a spirit of illumination and sanctification, into the hearts of men, and of quickening sinners dead in trespasses and sins: the Gospel is the Spirit that giveth life, and is the savor of life unto life, when it comes not in word only, …, but with the energy of the Holy Ghost, and the power of divine grace.
(Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible)

Today pray for:
Danville Baptist Church and its pastor, David Hammer
First Baptist Church of Derry and its pastor, Malcolm Widness
Mr. Rich Warren, President, ABC/VNH

 

April 3 – John 3:34April 03
For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.

For God giveth not the Spirit – The Spirit of God. Though Jesus was God as well as man, yet, as Mediator, God anointed him, or endowed him with the influences of his Spirit, so as to be completely qualified for his great work.

By measure – Not in a small degree, but fully, completely. The prophets were inspired on particular occasions to deliver special messages. The Messiah was continually filled with the Spirit of God. “The Spirit dwelt in him, not as a vessel, but as in a fountain, as in a bottomless ocean” (Henry).
(Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

Today pray for:
United Baptist Church of Concord and its pastor, David Denis
United Church of Cornish and its pastor, Dale Louise Nicholas
United Church of Danbury and its interim pastor, Henry Frost

 

April 2 – John 3:5-8 NIVApril 02
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Birth is the beginning of life; to be born again, is to begin to live anew, as those who have lived much amiss, or to little purpose. We must have a new nature, new principles, new affections, new aims. By our first birth we were corrupt, shapen in sin; therefore we must be made new creatures. No stronger expression could have been chosen to signify a great and most remarkable change of state and character. This new birth is from heaven, and its tendency is to heaven. It is a great change made in the heart of a sinner, by the power of the Holy Spirit. It means that something is done in us, and for us, which we cannot do for ourselves.

But [Nicodemus] acknowledged his ignorance, which shows a desire to be better informed. It is then further explained by the Lord Jesus. It is not wrought by any wisdom or power of our own, but by the power of the blessed Spirit. We are shapen in iniquity, which makes it necessary that our nature be changed. We are not to marvel at this; for, when we consider the holiness of God, the depravity of our nature, and the happiness set before us, we shall not think it strange that so much stress is laid upon this. The regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is compared to water. It is also probable that Christ had reference to the ordinance of baptism. Not that all those, and those  only, that are baptized, are saved; but without that new birth which is wrought by the Spirit, and signified by baptism, none shall be subjects of the kingdom of heaven. The same word signifies both the wind and the Spirit. The wind blows where it lists for us; God directs it. The Spirit sends his influences where, and when, on whom, and in what measure and degree, he pleases. Christ’s stating of the doctrine and the necessity of regeneration, it should seem, made it not clearer to Nicodemus. Thus the things of the Spirit of God are foolishness to the natural man.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Grace River: A Life-Giving Church, Claremont and its interim pastor, Scott Kearns
United Church of Colchester and its interim pastor, Russ Willis

 

April 1 – Luke 12:11-12April 01
And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities,  do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.

The captive disciple planning his defense would be tempted to attempt hypocritical concealment or dissimulation. To prevent this, Jesus admonishes his hearers to rely upon the Holy Spirit for their utterance at such times. How fully such reliance was honored is shown in the apology of Stephen before the Sanhedrin (Acts 7:2-53), in Peter’s defense before the tribunal (Acts 4:8-20), and in Paul’s justification of his course, both before Felix (Acts 24:10-21) and Agrippa (Acts 26:1-29).
(http://www.studylight.org/commentary/luke/12-12.html)

Today pray for:
Congregational-Baptist Church of Chester, NH and its interim pastor, Duke Gray
First Baptist Church of Chester, VT and its pastor, Tom Charlton
Chocorua Community Church and its pastoral team

 

March 31 – Luke 11:13March 31
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

Christ encourages fervency and constancy in prayer. We must come for what we need, as a man does to his neighbor or friend, who is kind to him. We must come for bread; for that which is needful. If God does not answer our prayers speedily, yet he will in due time, if we continue to pray. Observe what to pray for; we must ask for the Holy Spirit, not only as necessary in order to our praying well, but as all spiritual blessings are included in that one. For by the influences of the Holy Spirit we are brought to know God and ourselves, to repent, believe in, and love Christ, and so are made comfortable in this world, and meet for happiness in the next. All these blessings our heavenly Father is more ready to bestow on every one that asks for them, than an indulgent parent is to give food to a hungry child. And this is the advantage of the  prayer of faith, that it quiets and establishes the heart in God.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Community Church of Sandwich, Center Sandwich and its pastor, Marshall Davis
Third Baptist Church of Center Strafford and its pastor, Harold Muzzey
Region Staff: Rev. Kathleen Blackey, Assistant for Communications and Development

 

March 30 – Luke 4:17-18March 30
And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to [Jesus]. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

From Isaiah 61:1-2, Jesus explained to the people of Nazareth what He came to do. The six statements in this passage very aptly summarize His earthly ministry.

The text appears to be originally spoken by Isaiah about himself. He did (believed) that God had chosen and prophetically anointed him to help lead the people of Israel back into righteous obedience to God (see Isaiah 6:7-13). Here, however, Jesus applies the passage to Himself, and by inference, to all who would follow Him.

The passage states that “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me.” This is a reference to the Holy Spirit, and alludes back to the coming of the Spirit upon Jesus at His baptism. He is the source of empowerment for godly ministry, and even the Messiah had to depend on the Spirit for guidance and power.

Prior to Pentecost …, the Spirit only came upon certain individuals (like prophets, priests, kings, and artisans) for a period of time to help them accomplish specific tasks. After Pentecost, the Spirit permanently dwells within all who believe in Jesus for everlasting life. The purpose of this indwelling stays the same: to guide and empower people to accomplish specific tasks. The Book of Acts records how the Spirit that was upon Jesus came also to indwell believers, so that the church could carry on the mission and ministry of Jesus to the entire world.
(The Grace Commentary: A Free Online Bible Commentary.  gracecommentary.com)

Today pray for:
First Baptist Church of Candia and its pastor, Barbara Sander
United Community Church of Canterbury and its interim pastor, William Donoghue
Cavendish Baptist Church and its pastor, Abraham Gross

 

March 29 – Matthew 28:19March 29
Go
therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit ….

(Christ) now solemnly commissioned the apostles and his ministers to go forth among all nations. The salvation they were to preach, is a common salvation; whoever will, let him come, and take the benefit; all are welcome to Christ Jesus. Christianity is the religion of a sinner who applies for salvation from deserved wrath and from sin; he  applies to the mercy of the Father, through the atonement of the incarnate Son, and by the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, and gives up himself to be the worshipper and servant of God, as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons but one God, in all his ordinances and commandments. Baptism is an outward sign of that inward washing, or sanctification of the Spirit, which seals and evidences the believer’s justification. Let us examine ourselves, whether we really possess the inward and spiritual grace of a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness, by which those who were the children of wrath become the children of God. Believers shall have the constant presence of their Lord always; all days, every day. There is no day, no hour of the day, in which our Lord Jesus is not present with his churches and with his ministers; if there were, in that day, that hour, they would be undone. The God of Israel, the Savior, is sometimes a God that hideth himself, but never a God at a distance. To these precious words Amen is added. Even so, Lord Jesus, be thou with us and all thy people; cause thy face to shine upon us, that thy way may be known upon earth, thy  saving health among all nations.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

 Today pray for:
Campton Baptist Church and its interim pastor, Peter Bolster
New Life Church of the White Mountains and its pastors, Shirley and David Marcroft
Region Staff: Rev. Bob Wyand, Finance Manager

 

March 28 – Matthew 10:17-20March 28
Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it.  At that time you will be given what to say, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Be not anxious. … for in vain would Christ have given a hundred exhortations to the  disciples, if he had not, at the same time, promised that God would be with them, and that through his power they would assuredly be victorious. It is, no doubt, a great matter to endure the presence of princes; for not only fear, but even shame, sometimes overpowers well-regulated minds. What, then, may be expected, if princes break out into furious anger, and almost thunder? Yet Christ charges his disciples not to be anxious.

For in that hour shall be given to you what you shall speak. The Spirit will suggest words to them. The more a man distrusts himself through consciousness of his own weakness, the more is he alarmed, unless he expect assistance from another quarter. Accordingly, we see that the reason why most men give way is, that they measure by their own strength, …, the success of their undertakings. Christ forbids the disciples to look at their own strength, and enjoins them to rely, with undivided confidence, on heavenly grace. “It is not,” he says, “your ability that is in question, but the power of the Holy Spirit, who forms and guides the tongues of believers to a sincere confession of their faith.”

That they may not be alarmed by their present deficiency, he assures them that assistance will come at the very instant when it is needed. Frequently does it happen that the Lord leaves believers destitute of the gift of eloquence, so long as he does not require that they give him a testimony, but, when the necessity for it arrives, those who formerly appeared to be dumb are endued by him with more than ordinary eloquence.

Yet it was not the will of Christ that the apostles should be free from all care: for it was advantageous to them to have such a measure of anxiety, as to supplicate and entreat that the Spirit might be given to them; but he desired to remove that deep and uneasy thought which almost always tends to perplex and embarrass. So long as men indulge in conjecture what is to take place, or whether this or the other thing will happen, and do not rely on the providence of God, they are kept in a wretched state of trouble and uneasiness. And, indeed, those who do not render such honor to the providence of God, as to believe that it will seasonably relieve their wants, deserve to be tormented in this manner.
(Calvin’s Commentaries, Vol. 31: Matthew, Mark and Luke, Part I, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at sacred-texts.com)

Today pray for:
First Baptist Church of Burlington and its pastor, Karen Mendes
First Baptist Church of Burlington, Karen Congregation, and its pastor, Thee Say
New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church of Burlington and its pastor, Leroy Dixon

 

March 27 – Matthew 3:11-12March 27
I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.

The Pharisees laid their chief stress on outward observances, neglecting the weightier matters of the moral law, and the spiritual meaning of their legal ceremonies. Others of them were detestable hypocrites, making their pretenses to holiness a cloak for iniquity. The Sadducees ran into the opposite extreme, denying the existence of spirits, and a future state. They were the scornful infidels of that time and country. There is a wrath to come. It is the great concern of every one to flee from that wrath. God, who delights not in our ruin, has warned us; he warns by the written word, by ministers, by conscience. And those are not worthy of the name of penitents, or their privileges, who say they are sorry for their sins, yet persist in them. It becomes penitents to be humble and low in their own eyes, to be thankful for the least mercy, patient under the greatest affliction, to be watchful against all appearances of sin, to abound in every  duty, and to be charitable in judging others. Here is a word of caution, not to trust in outward privileges. There is a great deal which carnal hearts are apt to say within themselves, to put aside the convincing, commanding power of the word of God.  Multitudes, by resting in the honors and mere advantages of their being members of an outward church, come short of heaven. Here is a word of terror to the careless and  secure. Our corrupt hearts cannot be made to produce good fruit, unless the regenerating Spirit of Christ graft the good word of God upon them. And every tree, however high in gifts and honors, however green in outward professions and performances, if it bring not forth good fruit, the fruits meet for repentance, is hewn down and cast into the fire of God’s wrath …. If not fit for fruit, they are fit for fuel.

No ordinances, by whomsoever administered, or after whatever mode, can supply the want of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and of fire. The purifying and cleansing power of the Holy Spirit alone can produce that purity of heart, and those holy affections, which accompany salvation. It is Christ who baptizes with the Holy Ghost. This he did in the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit sent upon the apostles. This he does in the graces and comforts of the Spirit, given to those that ask him. Observe here, the outward church is Christ’s floor (Isaiah 21:10). True believers are as wheat, substantial, useful, and valuable; hypocrites are as chaff, light and empty, useless and worthless, carried about with every wind; these are mixed, good and bad, in the same outward communion. There is a day coming when the wheat and chaff shall be separated. The last judgment will be the distinguishing day, when saints and sinners shall be parted forever. In heaven the saints are brought together, and no longer scattered; they are safe, and no longer exposed; separated from corrupt neighbors without, and corrupt affections within, and there is no chaff among them. Hell is the unquenchable fire, which will certainly be the portion and punishment of hypocrites and unbelievers. Here life and death, good and evil, are set before us: according as we now are in the field, we shall be then in the floor.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Bristol (NH) Baptist Church and its pastor, Wayne Toutaint
First Baptist Church of Bristol, VT and its interim pastor, Todd Goodyear
Region Staff: Mrs. Janet McFaul, Administrative Assistant

 

March 26 – Zechariah 4:6March 26
Then [the angel] said to [Zechariah], “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts.

Zerubbabel was the civic leader of Jerusalem, and had the responsibility to finish the work of rebuilding the temple. The work had stalled, and Zerubbabel needed encouragement to carry on the work. In the vision of Zechariah 3 God spoke to Zerubbabel about the issue of purity. But purity alone is not enough to accomplish the work of God – the work of God needs resources, and not the resources of human might or power.

Might focuses on collective strength, the resources of a group or army. Power focuses on individual strength. God says, “not by the resources of many or one, but by My Spirit. It will not be by your cleverness, your ability, or your physical strength that the   temple will be rebuilt, but by the Spirit of God.”

The necessary resource for God’s work is the Holy Spirit and God promises Zerubbabel a rich resource in the Spirit of God to accomplish His work. When we trust in our own resources – whether they be small or great in the eyes of man – then we don’t enjoy the full supply of the Spirit.

This was the Spirit – the breath – of the Lord which worked in creation, at the Red Sea, to open and close it and that gave life to dead bones.

… earlier in the chapter, we see that God wanted Zerubbabel to know that the Holy Spirit would continually supply his need, just as the oil trees in the vision continually supplied oil to the lamps on the lampstand. God wants His supply and our reliance on the Holy  Spirit to be continual.
(www.enduringword.com/commentaries/3804.htm)

Today pray for:
First Baptist Church of Bradford and its pastor, Lynne Hubley
First Baptist Church of Brattleboro and its pastor, Suzanne Andrews
First Baptist Church of Brentwood and its pastor, John Hastings

 

 

March 25 – Ezekiel 36:25-27March 25
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

Water is an emblem of the cleansing our polluted souls from sin. But no water can do more than take away the filth of the flesh. Water seems in general the sacramental sign of the sanctifying influences of the Holy Ghost; yet this is always connected with the atoning blood of Christ. When the latter is applied by faith to the conscience, to cleanse it from evil works, the former is always applied to the powers of the soul, to purify it from the pollution of sin. All that have an interest in the new covenant, have a new heart and a new spirit, in order to their walking in newness of life. God would give a heart of flesh, a soft and tender heart, complying with his holy will. Renewing grace works as great a change in the soul, as the turning a dead stone into living flesh. God will put his Spirit within, as a Teacher, Guide, and Sanctifier. The promise of God’s grace to fit us for our duty, should quicken our constant care and endeavor to do our duty. These are promises to be pleaded by, and will be fulfilled to, all true believers in every age.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
First Baptist Church of Berlin and its pastor, Dean Stiles
Crossroads Community Church of  Bow and its pastor, Rick Huntley
Region Staff: Rev. Abraham Gross,  Assistant to the Region Minister for  Pastoral Stability and Networking

 

March 24 – Psalm 51:11March 24
Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

David now saw, more than ever, what an unclean heart he had, and sadly laments it; but he sees it is not in his own power to amend it, and therefore begs God would create in him a clean heart. When the sinner feels this change is necessary, and reads the promise of God to that purpose, he begins to ask it. He knew he had by his sin grieved the Holy Spirit, and provoked him to withdraw. This he dreads more than anything. He prays that Divine comforts may be restored to him. When we give ourselves cause to doubt our interest in salvation, how can we expect the joy of it? This had made him weak; he prays, I am ready to fall, either into sin or into despair, therefore uphold me with thy Spirit. Thy Spirit is a free Spirit, a free Agent himself, working freely. And the more cheerful we are in our duty, the more constant we shall be to it. What is this but the liberty wherewith Christ makes his people free, which is contrasted with the yoke of bondage? (Gal. 5:1) It is the Spirit of adoption spoken to the heart. Those to whom God is the God of salvation, he will deliver from guilt; for the salvation he is the God of, is salvation from sin. We may therefore plead with him, Lord, thou art the God of my salvation, therefore deliver me from the dominion of sin. And when the lips are opened, what should they speak but the praises of God for his forgiving mercy?
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
First Baptist Church of Bellows Falls and its pastors, Steve and Terri Walton
First Baptist Church of Belmont and its pastor, Andy Barnes
First Baptist Church of Bennington and its pastor, Bob Wiegers

 

March 23 – Job 33:4March 23
The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

The Spirit of God hath made me, …. As a man; so every man is made by God, and not by himself; Father, Son, and Spirit, are his Makers or Creators …; and this is a proof of the deity of the Spirit, who was not only concerned in the creation of all things, garnishing the heavens, and moving upon the face of the waters on the earth; but in the formation of man: and the breath of the mighty hath given me life; the same with the Spirit of God, the allusion is to the creation of man at first, when God breathed into him the breath of life, and he became a living soul: life natural is from God, he is the God of our life, he gives all the mercies of life, and by him is this life preserved; and the whole is the effect of almighty power: now this is observed by Elihu to Job, to encourage him to attend to him without fear, since he was a man, a creature of God, as he was: it may be understood of his spiritual formation, the Spirit of God remakes men, or makes them new men, new creatures; this is done in regeneration, which is the work of the Holy Spirit; hence regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, are put together; and being a work of almighty power, is proof of the deity of the Spirit of God; it is he that quickens men when dead in trespasses and sins, and makes them alive to God; which appears by their spiritual breathings after divine things, and by the exercise of their spiritual senses, and by their performance of spiritual actions….
(Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible)

Today pray for:
First Free Will Baptist Church of Ashland  and its pastor, Ernie Madden
First Baptist Church of Barre  and its pastor, Craig Ray
Region Staff: Rev. Malcolm Hamblett,  Assistant to the Region Minister

 

March 22 – Nehemiah 9:20March 22
You gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst.

The word will direct and quicken prayer, for by it the Spirit helps our infirmities in prayer. The careful study of God’s word will more and more discover to us our own sinfulness, and the plenteousness of his salvation; thus it calls us to mourn for sin, and to rejoice in him. Every discovery of the truth of God, should render us more unwearied in attendance on his sacred word, and on his worship.

Whatever ability we have to do anything in the way of duty, we are to serve and glorify God according to the utmost of it. When confessing our sins, it is good to notice the mercies of God, that we may be the more humbled and ashamed. The dealings of the Lord showed his goodness and long-suffering, and the hardness of their hearts. The testimony of the prophets was the testimony of the Spirit in the prophets, and it was the Spirit of Christ in them. They spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and what they said is to be received accordingly. The result was, wonder at the Lord’s   mercies, and the feeling that sin had brought them to their present state, from which nothing but unmerited love could rescue them. And is not their conduct a specimen of human nature? Let all remember that pride and obstinacy are sins which ruin the soul. But it is often as hard to persuade the broken-hearted to hope, as formerly it was to bring them to fear. Is this thy case? Behold this sweet promise, A God ready to pardon! Instead of keeping away from God under a sense of unworthiness, let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. He is a God ready to pardon.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
Community Church of Alton and its interim pastor, Sam Hollo
Grace and Hope Community Church of Andover and its pastor, Karen Heavey
Antrim Baptist Church and its pastors, Charlie & Cherryl Boucher

 

MARCH 21 – GENESIS 1:2March 21
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

[H]ere, at the beginning of the sacred volume, we read of that Divine Spirit, whose work upon the heart of man is so often mentioned in other parts of the Bible. Observe, that at first there was nothing desirable to be seen, for the world was without form, and void; it was confusion, and emptiness. In like manner the work of grace in the soul is a new creation: and in a graceless soul, one that is not born again, there is disorder, confusion, and every evil work: it is empty of all good, for it is without God; it is dark, it is darkness itself: this is our condition by nature, till Almighty grace works a change in us.
(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Today pray for:
United Church of Acworth and its pastor, Joel Eaton
Addison Community Baptist Church and its pastor, Stephen Payne
Region Staff: Rev. Dale Edwards, Region Minister

 

 

November 2016 Newsletter

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September 2016 Newsletter

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June 2016 Newsletter, God Stuff Happenings, Calendars of Events

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May 2016 Newsletter, God Stuff Happenings, Calendars of Events

Posted by on April 21, 2016 1:31 pm in Newsletter | Comments Off on May 2016 Newsletter, God Stuff Happenings, Calendars of Events

May 2016 Newsletter (Word doc) May 2016 Newsletter (pdf file) May 2016 God Stuff Happenings (Word doc) May 2016 God Stuff Happenings (pdf file) May 2016 Calendars of Events (Word doc) May 2016 Calendars of Events (pdf...

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April 2016 Newsletter, God Stuff Happenings, Calendars of Events

Posted by on March 31, 2016 12:43 pm in Newsletter | Comments Off on April 2016 Newsletter, God Stuff Happenings, Calendars of Events

April 2016 Newsletter (Word doc) April 2016 Newsletter (pdf file) April 2016 God Stuff Happenings (Word doc) April 2016 God Stuff Happenings (pdf file) April 2016 Calendars of Events (Word doc) April 2016 Calendars of Events (pdf...

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March 2016 Newsletter, Calendars of Events and God Stuff Happenings

Posted by on February 25, 2016 1:41 pm in Newsletter | Comments Off on March 2016 Newsletter, Calendars of Events and God Stuff Happenings

March 2016 Newsletter (Word doc) March 2016 Newsletter (pdf file) March 2016 God Stuff Happenings (Word doc) March 2016 God Stuff Happenings (pdf file) March 2016 Calendars of Events (Word doc) March 2016 Calendars of Events (pdf...

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February 2016 Newsletter, Calendars of Events & God Stuff Happenings

Posted by on January 21, 2016 3:14 pm in Newsletter | Comments Off on February 2016 Newsletter, Calendars of Events & God Stuff Happenings

Feb 2016 Newsletter (pdf file) Feb 2016 Newsletter (Word doc) Feb 2016 God Stuff Happenings (pdf file) Feb 2016 God Stuff Happenings (Word doc) Feb 2016 Calendars of Events (pdf file) Feb 2016 Calendars of Events (Word...

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January 2016 Newsletter, Calendars of Events, & God Stuff Happenings

Posted by on December 22, 2015 10:44 am in Newsletter | Comments Off on January 2016 Newsletter, Calendars of Events, & God Stuff Happenings

January 2016 Newsletter (Word doc) January 2016 Newsletter (pdf) January 2016 God Stuff Happenings (Word doc) January 2016 God Stuff Happenings (pdf) January 2016 Calendars of Events (Word doc) January 2016 Calendars of Events...

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December 2015 Newsletter, Calendars of Events, & God Stuff Happenings

Posted by on December 1, 2015 10:58 am in Newsletter | Comments Off on December 2015 Newsletter, Calendars of Events, & God Stuff Happenings

December 2015 Newsletter (Word doc) December 2015 Newsletter (pdf file) December 2015 God Stuff Happenings (Word doc) December 2015 God Stuff Happenings (pdf file) December 2015 Calendars of Events (Word doc) December 2015 Calendars of Events (pdf file) The Region office will be closed from December 24 through January 3 for Christmas and New Year’s. Have a blessed Advent and Christmas...

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November 2015 Newsletter, Calendars of Events, & God Stuff Happenings

Posted by on October 27, 2015 12:00 pm in Newsletter | Comments Off on November 2015 Newsletter, Calendars of Events, & God Stuff Happenings

November 2015 Newsletter (Word doc) November 2015 Newsletter (pdf file) November 2015 Calendars of Events (Word doc) November 2015 Calendars of Events (pdf file) November 2015 God Stuff Happenings (Word doc) November 2015 God Stuff Happenings (pdf...

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