“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'”
Before reading the text again, take a moment to ask God to speak to you. It’s vital that we seek God’s guidance in order to know and understand His Word (1 Corinthians 2:12-14). Every time we read the Bible, I encourage you to pray a simple prayer that David prayed: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law (Psalm 119:18).
Reread this passage twice. Pray over it. Let it sink in. This passage is heavy! Now let’s take a walk through God’s Word together to hear deep into our hearts what God would speak to us.
H (Highlight): Who is speaking? What words or phrases jump out to you? Give a title to describe the passage. This is an opportunity to observe and reflect on what you see. As you reread, you may observe new things.
E (Explain): What does this text mean? Why was it written? Who was it written to? How does it fit with the verses before and after? Why did the Holy Spirit include this passage in Scripture? What is the intended message? This is a chance to connect with the ancient world and get a better understanding of what was being communicated to the original audience.
A (Apply): How can this help me? What does this mean for today? What is God saying to me, specifically? Here, we build a bridge from the ancient world to the present. What he communicated is clear and intended meaning is the same across the ages. The intended meaning in the message doesn’t change from one generation to the next or one person to the other. However, how we apply God’s message to our individual contexts could look entirely different from others. God wants to speak to you personally. Pray how God may be using this text to speak to you, personally.
R (Respond): I encourage you to think of 2-3 ways you can respond this this passage. You may write a call to action based on the application. 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. It’s time to take action. Notice how each of the words in the HEAR method are action words. We are to be doers of the Word not only hearers. God’s Word is not given to us for information but transformation.
As you consider your plan of action, I encourage you to share that plan with someone else in the church so they can be praying for you and encouraging you to persevere through your plan. If you don’t have someone else to share it with, let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 469-261-1044). I would love to pray for and with you and see God’s Word radically transform your life.