Early in my Christian life, I made a commitment to spend the first hour of each day in the devotional reading of Scripture and prayer. Many times the Quiet Time will extend beyond the first hour of the day. One of the areas I have struggled with in my Quiet Time is journaling. A few months ago I found a journaling method entitled H.E.A.R. that has been a blessing to me and with those to whom I have shared this plan. If you tackle this method, my recommendation is to read 1 chapter a day from the New Testament for five days a week. This will enable you to read and journal through the New Testament in a year.

The acronym H.E.A.R. stands for Highlight, Explain, Apply, and Respond. These steps will help you as you spend time daily in the Word as well as prepare to teach God’s Word. Before reading the text, pause to sincerely ask God to speak to you. It may seem trite, but it is absolutely imperative that we seek God’s guidance in order to understand His Word. We should pray the simple prayer that David prayed: Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law (Word) (Psalm 119:18)

Highlight: In the course of your reading, one or two verses will usually stand out and speak to you. After reading the passage of Scripture, highlight each verse that speaks to you by copying it under the letter “H”.

Explain: At this stage, you will explain what the text means. Some questions to ask during this step are:

  • 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 the Holy Spirit intending to communicate through this text?

At this point, you are beginning the process of discovering the specific and personal word that God has for you from His Word.

Apply: The application is the heart of the process. The following questions will help you uncover the significance of these verses to you personally.

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

Respond: Your response to the passage may take on many forms. You may write a call to action. You may describe how you will be different because of what God has said to you through His Word. You may indicate what you are going to do because of what you have learned. You may respond by writing out a prayer to God.

Prayerfully yours,
Bro. Tommy