THINK: What's at the center of your life? What's your top priority? What gets your most focused attention and fondest affections? It's the thing you think about the most - the thing that all other things will shift to accommodate. Does your relationship with God hold this top spot? Does your time with Him take precedence over everything? Are His purposes your purposes? If you're not sure, or if something else occupies that spot, or if your life is so scattered that it doesn't seem to have a center, then it's time to reorganize your life according to God's plan.
RESPOND: What does the fact that "the Lord spoke to Moses" (1:1) tell us about Moses' writings as recorded in Scripture? (See 1:1 first note.) Why do you think this fact is emphasized as often as it is throughout the book? What time period does the book of Numbers cover? (See 1:1 second note.) What was the purpose of the Israelite census? (See 1:2 note.) What did the census mean for the people of Israel collectively (i.e., as a group or country), individually, and as followers of God? (See 1:2 note.) Approximately how many people were part of the nation of Israel at that time? (See 1:46 note.) What do we know about God from the way He sustained this many people in the desert for several decades? (See 1:46 note.) How was the Israelite camp organized and why? (See 1:52 note.) In what way was the positioning of the tribe of Levi different from the other tribes, and what were the Levites' responsibilities (1:47-53)? Why does the Bible emphasize this sort of organization? What was the significance of the tabernacle being at the center of the camp (2:1-2)? (See 1:52 note.)
PRAY: Give God thanks for speaking clearly to us through His powerful Word. Thank Him for caring for you as an individual and for preparing you for a specific purpose.
ACT: Take your Bible with you today (and every day) and read it whenever you have spare time. Consider reading through the Proverbs or one of the gospels. Also, examine your life and take inventory of your priorities. You might even make a list of the top 7 to 10 things that get most of your time, attention and resources. If your priorities are out of sync, reorder them so that they center around your relationship with Christ and serving His purposes.
THINK: How do you respond to God's presence? Understand that His presence is not confined to a dynamic worship service or a good sermon, or even a passionate personal prayer time. His presence is with you at all times. While that fact should provide great comfort, encouragement and faith, it should also inspire an intense reverence that is careful to do only those things that honor Christ and exemplify His character. You must never take God's presence lightly or for granted because His presence brings blessing if you consistently obey and honor God, but judgment if you persistently disregard and dishonor Him.
RESPOND: Why were the priests anointed (i.e., set apart, commissioned)? (See 3:3 note.) In what way is the priests' anointing symbolic of what Christ and His followers have? (See 3:3 note, subpoint 1.) How are New Testament Christians anointed and, for what reason? (See 3:3 note, subpoint 2.) How did the Levites assist Aaron and his family of priests (3:1-10)? In what way did the Levites (the family tribe that filled the ministry and worship-leading roles) have a unique relationship with God (3:11-16,40-45)? Why do you think that God instructed the Levite clans in such detail about how to transport and assemble the tabernacle and its furnishings? The penalty for violating God's instructions regarding the tabernacle (representing God's presence among the Israelites) was death. What does the severity and seriousness of this penalty tell us about God's character and presence and how people should respond to Him? (See 4:20 note.)
PRAY: Express gratitude to God for the anointing of His Holy Spirit on your life. Pray that you will take advantage of the Spirit's empowerment to be a more effective influence for Christ. Praise God for His holiness and His ability to purify your life as you obey His Word.
ACT: Respond to the Holy Spirit's anointing in your life by taking bold steps to start conversations about spiritual issues, which can lead to conversations about Christ. Rid your life immediately of any thing, activity or common behavior that shows the slightest degree of irreverence for God or could dishonor Him in any way.