I don't know about you but, when I have to study for something, I can't merely read the information that I need to cram--I have to take it and use it. I have to be able to use what I'm studying in an example so I can remember it better. Likewise, if we study God's word but don't apply it, we won't be able to remember what God commands us to do.
James 1:22-25 says, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does."
This passage, written by Jesus' brother James, describes exactly what it is like for us Christians to read God's word without applying it. James warns us if we only listen to God's word, we are deceiving ourselves into thinking we know what God's word is all about. Likewise, we can have all the knowledge about what God's word says, but if we do not use that knowledge in our walk with Christ then the knowledge goes to waste.
When we take God's word and apply it to our walk with Him, we will be consistent with what God's word tells us to do. This passage tells us when we actually do what God's word says to do, and not just listen to what it has to say, all we do WILL be blessed! We cannot truly understand what God's word is about if we do not take the words He has given to us and apply them to our life.
Do you notice a difference in your lifestyle when you read God's word? We can measure the effectiveness of our Bible study time by how much of a difference it makes on our behavior and attitudes. Don't wait until later to take the knowledge God has given you and apply it to your life. Apply today what you read from the Bible! For when we read God's word and put it into action, we will become righteous (Romans 2:13).