When Love is Absent

Job 6—8

God will yet fill your mouth with laughing,
and your lips with rejoicing. 8:21


Though Job is filled with immense pain, anguish, and anger, there is beauty in the poetry that flows from his mouth.

Paul’s words from 1 Corinthians 8:1 apply to the attitude of Job’s friends: “Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.” Love, not knowledge, is greater than evil. All the truth in the world, without love, amounts to nothing—amounts to evil. The absence of love allows evil to rush into the vacuum created. In all of Bildad’s judgmental words about Job and his wrongs, Bildad fails to see the arrogance of evil imbedded in his own loveless heart.

If you were to write or cry out the current “chapter” in your life just as Job does in his, how would the words flow? Will you trust the Lord and pour out your heart in prayer, sharing with the Lord how you feel about all aspects of your life?

The above Firestarter is from Tuesday of The Third Week in Lent, Year A. For the Firestarters and readings for every day over the three-year cycle, see “Ebook and Paperback” in the menu options.   The ebook costs only $6.00.  I have it on my phone and can go right to the Firestarter for the day.  It’s a marvelous daily devotional and resource for Bible Study groups.  –Nick

Your Nine-to-Five Job

For the Firestarters and readings for everyday over the three-year cycle, see “Ebook and Paperback” in the menu options.   The ebook costs only $6.00.  I have it on my phone and can go right to the Firestarter for the day.  It’s a marvelous daily devotional and resource for Bible Study groups. Below is a sample –Nick

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. vv. 22–23


“Practical Applications for Life:” such is this third and final division of Paul’s letter to the churches in theprovince of Galatia. Freedom and bondage; life and death: these are the two polarities. Ask the Lord to show you whether you are clinging to the freedom the Lord Jesus gives, or are losing the grip, swept away and bound up in external legalism. The opening inspiration is meant to startle you.

In freedom, you do the clinging; in bondage, an outside force does the clinging to you. God welcomes us to cling to the cross of Jesus to protect us from the vicious tide of evil that seeks to sweep us away.
Here is your “nine-to-five job:” take one of the nine fruits of the Spirit for each hour. The Spirit will birth them in you, one hour at a time.



The Breath of God Upon the Ashes

This post is also posted on “Wesley Without Walls,” an internet Bible Study hosted by Google Groups.  If you wish to join this group, just write to me at njconnolly7@gmail.com, including how it is that you would like to be part of the group.  -Pastor Nick


At The Lakehurst United Methodist Church, there are two Bible study groups that meet to ponder  and discuss the Wednesday and Friday readings for Lent from The Bible Through the Seasons.  Below are the Firestarters and readings for  the Second Week in Lent which begins on Sunday, Feb. 21.

Psalm 131

Total Satisfaction

Does it stretch the imagination to link this quiet, intimate song with throngs of noisy people on the move to Jerusalem? Surely, in the crowd there is many a mother needing to pause by the roadside to nurse her baby. At that moment, no need to think about catching up with the rest. Time stops as she gazes down upon her child—mouth slightly open, lips still dripping with milk as the baby dozes off to sleep in total satisfaction.
    We typically need three meals a day to keep up our strength. Yet more than the food we eat is the nourishment we need from the Lord. Pause regularly in the journey of the day and the week to your Jerusalem. Be fed by the Lord. Rest. All that you need for total satisfaction is given to you right now.

John 12:1–10

Unbelief Is Blind

Do you find situations in your life where you just cannot win? Thus, it was for Jesus as he finds himself caught more and more in the web of the plot against his life. Here is Lazarus whom Jesus had raised to life. Nothing but love consumes the heart of Mary, fed by her joy in who Jesus is. Yet there is no room for joy in Judas; greed pushes it away. Evil poisons his heart.
    Do not miss the irony in verse 10. The chief priests think that they can put to death the One who has power over death. Hatred and unbelief are blind. As for those who are opposed to you: If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

I suggest that you download Questions for Bible Study These five questions are used as a guide for Bible study at the Lakehurst Church, and now, beyond its walls!  Another idea…keep a sheet of paper and pencil ready for you to jot down the words of verses that touch your heart and how come they do so. I recommend that you keep a journal to save your reflections.


Jolted by the Spirit

Check out Proverbs 22. As you read, when your spirit feels a jolt, then that Proverb’s for YOU!


Tuesdays are dedicated to the Hebrew Writings.

Check out the menu options above for more information about the uniqueness of this approach to daily Bible reading.  One minute “Firestarters” introduce each daily reading, with the hope that these Firestarters will help your soul be ignited by the fire of the Holy Spirit.

A New Daily Devotional with God’s Word

Welcome to this unique approach to daily Bible reading. One passage each day offers a life-focus as the hours of the day are filled with the devotion stemming from a prayerful reading of the passage. Each day a “Firestarter” introduces the reading with the hope of quickening the heart as well as the mind so that the passage can be relished more fully.

Here is a sample Firestarter for Psalm 77, “From Anguish to Hope.”

I pray God’s blessing upon you and all those close to you.

Nick Connolly


This Psalm has ten verses of anguish, ten of hope. The psalmist will teach you about how to deal with your own pains of the heart. No matter how strong the suffering, he is praying.

Share your heartaches with the Lord. When you have poured yourself out, a fresh, new space expands in your heart to listen to the Lord who brings you remembrance of God’s gracious presence to you throughout your life. Jesus was there for you on the cross. He unleashed the power of healing love there; it is all that you have ever needed or will ever need. The Lord is with you. Pour out your heart and listen to Jesus. He loves you. He will comfort you in his out-poured Spirit, filling your pain and emptiness with his sweet presence.