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Use the H.E.A.R. Journaling Method for Spiritual Growth

I’m really excited to start a Monday through Friday devotional study through Numbers and Deuteronomy starting Monday, November 25th! Subscribe on my blog or like my facebook page and join me studying select passages through these two very practical books.

As I talked about in yesterday’s post, there are many incredible benefits to being in God’s Word using journaling as a method.

Today I want to tell you about a new journaling format for studying God’s Word called the H.E.A.R. Journaling Method. I’ve really enjoyed it. There are 5 components to this method that make it a great way to stay in God’s Word consistently in a way that helps you grow spiritually.

Component #1- You need a plan.

To stay in God’s Word daily you need a reading plan. There are many ways to systematically read through God’s Word.

  • Some people like to read through the Bible in a year. My church puts a reading plan like this in the bulletin each week.
  • Some people like to read a book at a time. On this blog I will be going verse by verse through the text I’ll be teaching each Sunday in our groups. We are on a 9 year plan to study through every book of the Bible.
  • Some people like to read through a topical plan. You can find reading plans that take you to passages that deal with specific topics you are interested in. I take people I’m discipling in groups through a 16 week plan to learn the fundamentals of the Christian life.

Component #2- Highlight.

The H.E.A.R. Journaling method is formatted based on this acronym. The H stands for highlight. This is where you’ll write out specific verses that you’ve read. Before you read pray and ask for God to speak to you through His Word. As you read through the text pay attention to what you’re reading. After you read decide on a verse or verses that you’ll want to include in your journal. You’ll highlight this verse in your journal by writing it out.

Component #3- Explain.

E stands for explain. Once you’ve chosen the verse to highlight and written in out, you’ll explain this verse in your own words. You definitely want to seek to understand the text in its context. Here are some questions to help you think through it:

  • Who is the original author and audience? What did the author mean by writing this? How would the original audience have understood what was written?
  • What are the key words in the scripture I highlighted?
  • How do the verses that come before and after affect the meaning of the text?

Component #4- Apply.

A stands for apply. Now that you have explained what the verses mean, you’ll want to think about how they apply. Here are some prompting questions to help you think of the application to your life.

  • What is true for me because of the meaning of the text?
  • What should the reader of this text do in response to this verse?
  • How does this apply to my life?

Component #5- Respond.

Now that you’ve read the scripture, highlighted it in your journal, explained it in its context, and thought through how it applies, it’s time to respond in your own life. What are you going to do today in response to what you’ve read, understood and applied? It’s time to be obedient to what God is teaching you through His Word. Give yourself homework, and put God’s Word to action.

One of the things I love about this method is that it expands with the experience and spiritual maturity with the person that is doing it. With the right reading plan a person who has known the Lord for a long time, and the person who is new in their relationship with Christ can both read and get something out of it.

The point is to read, understand, and ultimately to obey. God’s Word brings life as we are obedient to what it says.

What method have you used to get into God’s Word consistently? What has worked for you?