I will not share every one of these I write, but I will, for a bit, share some examples of my HEAR journaling as I get started with the 2023 reading plans. Perhaps this model will help you to pick up a way that you too could take your reading a step deeper.
H – Highlight
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
E – Explain
Not much explanation is needed here. There used to be nothing except for God. God made everything. He did not use existing materials—there were none. He did not borrow from somebody else’s stuff—there was nobody else. God, by his power, for his purpose, made all that exists.
A – Apply
There are some days when the simplest thoughts are the strongest. Here, I look and am reminded of the simple point that, if this verse is true, everything changes. If it is false, nothing matters.
If God did not make everything, then a human being is only a bag of chemicals bouncing through the world. We move. Electrical impulses fire in our brains, we do what we want. We die. There is no basis for truth, for beauty, for morality. What does it matter if one set of chemicals changes the structure of another set of chemicals?
But, if this verse is true, and it is, then our world is not our world. God made it. God is in charge. God has the right of ownership over us all. God determines truth, beauty,. Morality, meaning, everything. Because God made us, we have a reason to live. Because God made us, we know what is allowed and what is not. Because God made us, it matters what we do.
R – Respond
Lord, as I begin this new year of Bible reading, I pray that you will help me to keep in mind the
truth of the first verse of the Holy Scripture. Help me remember that you made everything, and that is what gives us meaning. Help me keep my life centered on the fact that I exist to serve you, to live as an image of God on earth. You are God. I am not. You are Lord. I am your servant. Help me to live under your grace and to your glory.