Once when I was on a flight returning to California, the captain announced he would have to make an emergency landing. The flight attendants went through the protocol, and I listened carefully. As we went into our descent, we were told to lean forward, grab our legs, and get ready. Thankfully we landed safely, and everything was okay.
When your life depends on something, you listen. That is how we should be as we listen to God's Word. In the parable of the sower, Jesus talked about seeds that fell on good ground: "honest, good-hearted people who hear God's word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest" (Luke 8:15).
These are what I call fruitful hearers. Having heard God's Word, they keep it. One key is how we listen. It is not just hearing the Word of God; it is keeping it. It is no light thing to constantly hear the Scriptures preached and taught. Jesus said in Luke 12:48, "When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required."
It is a great thing to read through the Bible. It is a great thing to read chapters of the Bible. But I would rather read eight verses with comprehension than eight chapters without it. Psalm 1 talks about those who "delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night." The word meditate means "to chew, to contemplate."
Those who hear God's Word are made more responsible than those who did not hear. God expects us to act on what we have heard. God expects us to obey His Word, not just hear it. Good ground is made that way by the work of the Gardener and by our cooperation.