READ: Numbers 3-4
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.
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