Keep a Journal

One of the greatest joys in my life has been opening up God’s Word each day and reading to feed my soul. I grab my Bible, a pen, and some paper to journal in order to write down what God impresses upon my heart. The discipline of journaling has proven to be invaluable in my life. It gives me the opportunity to record my thoughts as I study my Bible, and to write down practical takeaways that I might otherwise forget. Even now, I can go back through several years of journals that I have kept and can trace God’s faithfulness in my life. I remember a quote by one of my professors in college who once told me, “A short pencil is always better than a long memory.” That’s so true! We forget most of what we read and hear within a few hours. Yet when we practice journaling, it helps what we read and study to stick with us. It also gives us a reference point and a place to come back to. I am amazed at the number of times in Scripture where we are called upon to “remember” truth, to “meditate” upon truth, and to “take heed” or “pay attention” to how we hear truth.  Journaling is simple way to do this.

If you have never kept a journal as you read God’s Word, I want to encourage you to give it a try.  Take your Bible, read a chapter or follow a reading plan, and then write down key verses and ways that God is speaking to you through His Word.  Here is a simple plan for journaling that was put together by Robby Gallaty and Replicate Ministries that I think you will find quite helpful.  The plan uses the word “HEAR” as an acronym:

H—Highlight
E—Explain
A—Apply
R—Respond

As you come to a passage, read that passage and write down key verses from the passage that God impresses upon your heart. Then, explain the details of the passage and pay attention to key truths, characters, and events. Third, apply the passage to your life and write out your personal takeaways, the things that you are going to “do” in order to obey. Last, respond to God in prayer and have a time of personal worship based on how God has stirred your heart from the text.

I hope this is helpful for you. If you want to see a sample of what this looks like, look at my previous post under this one. It is a sample of what a HEAR Journal entry looks like. You can do this! The rewards it will bring to your soul will be well worth the investment. For more on this, pick up a copy of the book, “Growing Up,” by Robby Gallaty. To order a copy online, you can follow this link:

http://www.amazon.com/Growing-UP-Disciple-Makes-Disciples/dp/1462729983/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413210360&sr=1-1&keywords=growing+up+gallaty

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