The scriptures are not merely an ancient book of wisdom, or a self-help guide, or a proof-text for a certain brand of theology; they are the very words of God himself. They are not a text book, but a love letter. Therefore, they must be read in a different way than what we are used to.
They are one of the most tangible places we encounter the Living God. They are living and active, they are powerful and authoritative, they are God-breathed and God-saturated. They are the most audible and reliable voice of God that we’ve got. They guide, they correct, they encourage, and (by the power of the Spirit) they transform.
The words of the scriptures are deeply relevant and personal, they speak to each life specifically and to each community corporately. They tell us what God is like and show us how to live like him. They are like a javelin aimed at the target of the human heart, always hitting their mark with their life-giving power.
When we delight in the words of the scriptures, and meditate on them day and night, they produce the fruit of life and love and freedom within us. They plant us in solid soil and keep us from being blown around by the winds of mood and whim and circumstance. They make us more into the people God intended us to be. They make us more able to love the way God intended for us to love.
Thus, when we ignore or dismiss or belittle the words of the scriptures—when we make them less than they were intended to be—we do so at our own expense. If we untether ourselves from their power and their authority, and become the authority ourselves, we drift aimlessly into our own version of the truth, which is not really truth at all.