Why I Decided to Do a H.E.A.R. Journal

I hear about people journaling all the time and have always wanted to give it a try. My dad does journal quite a bit, especially now that he is back in the pastorate. I grew up with friends who liked to write their thoughts on paper.

I have always wanted to be like this. I haven’t really had the courage to take the next step in journaling my life. But then I found this resource telling me about a H.E.A.R. journal.

What is a H.E.A.R. Journal?

This journal deals specifically with Bible Study. I actually now use this journal as a part of my daily walk with Christ. I have been reading a certain author named Robby Gallaty. He is the pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN, and one who was discipled by David Platt. Gallaty started a ministry called Replicate. He has written several books on discipleship and also has a blog on this website, among other things.

I was reading about this journal on their website. No, I did not come up with this idea, but it is fantastic and I believe would be a great tool for every believer.

Here’s how it works:

You journal the acronym H.E.A.R.

Before you get into anything of this acronym, it is imperative that you stop, bow your head, and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through the reading of God’s Word. Gallaty says,

“Every time we open our bibles, we should pray the simple prayer that David prayed: ‘Open my eyes, that I may behold your wondrous things out of your law’ (Psalm 119:18).”

Now let’s get to this acronym.

H – The “H” stands for HIGHLIGHT. Within this first stage (or letter) of the acronym, you want to highlight or write the specific verse(s) down that you are reading and meditating on at this specific time. The way to highlight a verse is by naming the following:

  • The name of the book
  • The passage of Scripture
  • The chapter and verse numbers that especially speak to you
  • A title to describe the passage (most Bibles have a title already listed; I would suggest making a new one for yourself)

This practice will help you find the passage again when you revisit it.

E – The “E” stage is to EXPLAIN what the text means. This is the hermeneutics stages. This is where we ask the simple questions, and God’s Spirit reveals the meaning of the text to us. Here are a few questions to help out:

  • Why was this written?
  • To whom was it originally written?
  • How does it fit with the verses before and after it?
  • Why did the Holy Spirit include this passage in the book?
  • What is He intending to communicate through this text?

By now, you are beginning to unfold the very specific word God has for you from His Word. The important part is that you engage and wrestle with the meaning of it.

A – The “A” signifies the word APPLY. This is the heart of the entire process. Here are a series of questions to help you apply the passage to your life:

  • How can this help me?
  • What does this mean today?
  • What would the application of this verse look like in my life?
  • What does this mean to me?

This step bridges the gap between the ancient world and our world today. Challenge yourself to write a few sentences as to how you can apply this passage of Scripture.

R – The “R” is RESPOND. Response to a specific passage can take on many forms. It may be a call to action, it may be how you are going to be different, or may be what you are going to do with what you’ve learned.

This method of Bible study has helped me tremendously in the couple of weeks that I have been doing it. I needed refreshing and happened upon this resource. I hope this will help you in your walk with God to grow closer to him in daily devotion to God and His Word.

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