Do not merely listen to the word and deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22 (NIV) or this same verse from the Message : Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear!
I often ask myself, why should someone read the Bible? In searching for answers, I can encourage others to study. I said in class once reading the Bible is to us what a good national parks guide is to camper: instructor, guide, protector, encourager--with all the wisdom and familiarity as to the directions and paths available to the camper.
Yet, reading is not really the point. The Bible is not just 66 books of inspired information--the purpose of reading the Bible is to do what it says. Not just follow the rules, but to live out all circumstances, all relationships under the direction of the Holy Spirit.
It begs the question: why do I not do what it says more completely? Or perhaps the better question: how might I cooperate with that instruction and not just be a hearer, even agreer, but instead, a doer?
I need to assume it will not be easy, or comfortable. Scripture points to loving God and loving others as really the only essentials, and I love myself too often first, or second--but rarely live out my third place position.
Work at it every day. Doing what it says points to daily application, daily inspiration.
Listen to it with a desire to learn something new, feel something new, see something new.
Act on it--the Bible is not passive, like much reading. It requires a physical, emotional and not just intellectual response.
It's like fuel for an engine or food for the body: the bread of life. That's a great metaphor, I wonder who said that?