The Ten Commandments

August 16, 2015 — Leave a comment


These are the notes from my message last week at Journey Christian Church. There was interest so I promised to post them here. I’d also like to note that much of my research involved the notes from the class I took on The Law of Moses with Dr. James Smith while I was a student at Florida Christian College.

The Law of Moses

Colorado has some interesting laws on the books.
Statewide: It is illegal to ride a horse while under the influence.
Alamosa–Throwing missiles at cars is illegal.
Arvada–Establishments which sell alcohol must have enough lighting to read text inside them.
Aspen–Catapults may not be fired at buildings.
Boulder–It is illegal to permit ones llama to graze on city property.
Boulders may not be rolled on city property.
Couches may not be placed on outside porches.
Colorado Springs–It is permissible to wear a holstered six-gun within city limits, except on Sunday, Election Day, or holidays
Cripple Creek–It is illegal to bring your horse or pack mule above the ground floor of any building.
Denver–It is unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor.
It is illegal to mistreat rats in Denver, Colorado.
Durango–It is illegal to go in public dressed in clothes “unbecoming” on one’s sex.
Sterling–Cats may not run loose without having been fit with a tail light. I think this one should read, Cats may not run loose except when they are being chased by a vehicle with tail lights.
Vail–It is illegal to crash into obstacles on a ski slope.

Some of these laws seem silly and outdated don’t they?

Maybe that’s how you feel about the 10 commandments God gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai?

This week, week five of The Story, we’re going to read about some laws that too many people feel are silly and outdated.

Jesus says,

Matthew 5:17-19
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Here’s the bottom line I want us to consider as I start this message: If Jesus thinks that the 10 commands are that important, then I do too.

Why are the 10 Commandments important? Like a compass, they point us to righteousness.

What is righteousness? You ask.

This is a true story according to a recent issue of Road and Track Magazine:

Righteousness is not ingesting the sinful junk of this world into our souls.

What is righteousness? Living like Jesus.

How can we live like Jesus? Follow the 10 commandments as a model for holiness.

So, let’s look at each of the ten commandments.

Exodus 20
And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.

The first commandment is foundational to biblical faith for a few reasons.
1) It’s the foundation of theology. God is supreme. He has no competitors.
2) It’s the foundation of morality. Biblical morality is conformity to the character and will of God.
3) It’s the foundation of authority.
4) It’s the foundation of law. There is only one source of right and wrong and it’s Yahweh.

Like us, the Israelites lived in a world that was full of many false gods.

In their day the “other gods” fell into 3 broad categories: 1) Animal deities (Egypt); 2) Astral deities (Mesopotamia); 3) and Natural deities (Canaan).

This first command prohibited the Israelites from having other gods “before me” or lit. “over against my face.”

4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

An idol is anything that takes God’s place.

St. Augustine’s definition of idolatry was right on—

Idolatry is worshipping anything that ought to be used, or using anything that is meant to be worshipped.

Don’t forget: the Children of Israel had been slaves in Egypt for 400 years. Every decision had been made for them (essentially) for generations. In his book, The Sinai Summit, Rick Atchley points out that God gave them the Law—not to enslave them again, but to teach them how to live freely.

7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

There are some names that are special to me?
Tibbs, Norma, Herschel, Hazel—my grandparents’ names
Leigh-Angela, Leslie, Adam—my siblings’ names
Rhonda, Ashton, Levi, Sylas, Payton—my family’s names.
Linda—my Mom’s name
Roger—my Father’s name

It would be upsetting for you to abuse my Father’s name.

My heavenly Father’s name means more to me than anything.
The abuse of God’s name grieves God.

In Isaiah, He lists the evils of the day and says,

“And all day long my name is constantly blasphemed.” Isaiah 52:5

What are the wrong uses of God’s name?
1. As a Curse Word
2. As an Exclamation Point
3. As a Cliché
4. As a Weapon
5. As an Endorsement

What are the proper uses of God’s name?
1. In worship
2. In study and theological discussions
3. In judicial oaths
4. In vows and covenants
5. In blessings

8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

What was the Sabbath? Recognition that one day a week belongs to God. (1)Rest for humans, servants, animals, land, everything
(2)Remember what God has done (Deut. 5:15)—Out of bondage

Why is the Sabbath important? 1) Rest is just as important as work. Man like God is to work and rest. 2) God gave humans a great gift by endorsing a day of rest without guilt A day of delight and joy! 3) Testifies to confidence in God’s work—trust in God to provide. 4) Families brought together for worship 5) Token of submission to God. 6)One of the signs of the covenant

Jewish Scholar wrote: “the Biblical Sabbath was a literal “day of delight” not an onerous burden. Every Sabbath each Jew experienced a marvelous transformation. Six, long days of toil, terror, and persecution in the world, but one day each week with his bride, the Sabbath!”

What do we learn in the New Testament about the Sabbath?
(1)“Sabbath made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mk. 2:27). Jesus saved lives, healed the sick, satisfied hunger, satisfied thirst, rescued animals on the Sabbath.

(2) Paul said the Sabbath was a shadow of things to come (Col. 2:16,17)

(3) There remains a Sabbath rest—a rest in God here on Earth and a rest for eternity with God in Heaven.–Hebrews 4:9-11

Hebrews 4:9-11
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

In looking at the life of Jesus and the example of the early church, they didn’t keep the Sabbath, but began worshipping on Sunday—the day of Christ’s resurrection.

We don’t keep the Sabbath anymore, but we better rest in the Lord and in our lives.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

Exodus 20:12–Why does God want us to honor our parents?

  1. The Law required respect for the source of Life.
  2. The Law required reverence for what our parents have past down—life, wisdom, experience, heritage.

How do we honor our parents?

  1. Obedience
  2. Fearing/Respecting
  3. Support Materially

Dishonoring parents is…

  1. Form of self-hate
  2. Linked to the most despicable acts
  3. Punished in the same way as dishonoring God—Why? Dishonoring parents is an attack of God’s fundamental structure for order in society.

13 “You shall not murder.
“Number 6 don’t get your kicks from killing one another.”

Ex. 20:16 –The term “ratsach”: killing a personal enemy

Not used of :(1) Killing beasts for food–Gen.9:3; (2) Defending one’s home–Exod. 22:2; (3) Accidental killings–Deut. 19:5; (4) Execution of criminals–Gen.9:6; (5) Involvement in wars

Does apply to (1) Killing for revenge–Num. 35:27,30; (2) Assassination–2 Kings 6:32; (3) Manslaughter–Num. 35:16; Deut. 4:41-43; (4) Self-murder; (5) Accessories to murder–2 Sam. 12:9

The Dimensions of the 6th Commandment:
The Social Dimension– (a) Live at peace with men; (b) aid the weak; (c) resist the ruthless; (d) affirm life and battle death; (e) medicine and healing are a positive, social affirmation of the sixth command. “If men do not seek to prevent injury, assault, or murder, they are themselves in part guilty of the offense committed.”

The Religious Dimension–God alone gives life. He alone has the right to take it away. He who takes it away without God’s authority is a murderer.
The Personal Dimension–We are not to commit suicide, or do anything which reflects disrespect for our bodies. God created man in his image and pronounced creation good. Man is not to disfigure the divine likeness. The external appearance of people should reflect their internal status as chosen people. “Therefore, glorify God in your body.” I Cor. 6:20.

Sanctity of Life: The 6th Command teaches us that life belongs to God.
The recent revelations about Planned Parenthood selling baby parts is not a surprise to any informed person.

Why are children aborted? The Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood) states:
1% are victims of incest or rape
1% had fetal abnormalities
4% had a doctor who said their health would worsen if they continued the pregnancy
50% said they didn’t want to be a single parent or they had problems in current relationships
66% stated they could not afford a child
75% said the child would interfere with their lives.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

Adultery—Sexual relations between a married person and another.

Primary meaning of this term in the Bible is “to break covenant”

According to a new study by Tom W. Smith of the National Opinion Research Center, roughly 15 percent of married or previously married Americans have committed adultery.

Adultery of non-sexual type: (1) Looking lustfully—Mt. 5:28; (2) Adulterous generation—Mt. 12:39; Mt. 16:4; James 4:4

Evils of Adultery:
Breaches the marriage covenant which had been made before God
Dishonors God by placing man’s will above God’s—Gen. 2:24
It’s a rebellious act done with deliberation
It’s a theft of the highest sort (stealing a man’s flesh)
It destroys one’s reputation.—Prov. 6:32-33
It’s a sin against God—Gen. 39:9

Penalty in the O.T. for adultery: Death—Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22

15 “You shall not steal.

This is one of the commands directly at keeping order in society. When people respect the boundaries society is better.

Do you know of any communities where people don’t have to lock their doors?

Forms of stealing:

  1. Theft.
  2. Illegal downloading off internet.
  3. Plagiarism
  4. Cheating

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

The picture here is of lying in a legal setting, but the implications are carried over into every day life. We are
(1)To Speak truth—Zec. 8:16
(2) To Be People of Truth
(3) To Walk in Truth—Ps. 86:11; 43:3; 119:30,31

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

Covet lit. “to desire earnestly, long after, to set one’s desire on something”

This is not a prohibition of the experience of desire but of that desire which runs rampant over reason and the rights of others.

When are desires wrong?
When the thing desired is bad.
When the desire can only be gratified by sin.

Problems coveting creates in a society:
Unholy desire can lead to idolatry
Unholy desire can lead to disrespect of God and His name
Unholy desire can lead to disrespect of Sabbath
Unholy desire can lead to disrespect of parents.
Unholy desire can lead to murder
Unholy desire can lead to adultery
Unholy desire can lead to theft
Unholy desire can lead to lying

This command is to the 1st Command what a back cover is to the front cover of a book. It exalts pure devotion to the things of God.

Let me go back to something I said at the beginning.

Why are the 10 Commandments important? Like a compass, they point us to righteousness.

In His sermon on the mountain, Jesus said this:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)

How can we do this?
1) Evaluate the “righteousness” of our environment.
2) Eliminate everything that is unrighteous.
3) Evacuate from places, habits, and patterns that lead us towards unrighteousness.
4) Elevate our lives by striving to follow Christ in everything.

A businessman well-known for his ruthlessness once announced to writer Mark Twain, “Before I die I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the 10 Commandments aloud at the top.” “I have a better idea,” replied Twain. “You could stay in Boston and keep them.” (Moody Bible Institute’s Today in the Word, September, 1991, p. 32.)

This week, as we study about the 10 Commandments. Let’s remember their importance…Not because we are bound by them or because I want you to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, climb Mount Sinai, and read them aloud at the top.

No. As we study about the 10 Commandments, let remember the importance of staying in Greeley and keeping them.


Hey, here’s the song I sang at the beginning of the sermon. You’re welcome! :)


1. “I’m babysitting my kids tonight.”

When they are your kids, it’s not called “babysitting,” it’s called “parenting.” I mean no offense to all of the young ladies who take their jobs very seriously and who also enable couples like me and Rhonda to have important date nights without the kids. But, just keeping it real here, the job of “babysitting” is ordinarily a part-time job young girls do to raise money they can use to have fun. “Parenting” though, is an extraordinary full-time job adults do to raise children God can use to make a difference. Changing one word in this statement communicates to your buddies and your wife that you refuse to be ordinary and that you see the importance of your full-time job as a parent: “I’m parenting my kids tonight.”

2. “Don’t talk to your mother like that.”

What about tweaking that reprimand into something that also more communicates that you and your wife are a united team? “Don’t talk to my wife like that.” When my Dad said this to me, I knew I had crossed an important line that should never be crossed. The relationship between a father and a mother is the primary relationship in the home. All of the other relationships in our homes will thrive when our marriages are strong and when our kids understand that our love for each other is anything but ordinary.

3. “I have to go home.”

This is an ordinary way to announce to your coworkers or friends that you “have to” go home. What if we tweaked it so as to communicate that we “get to” go home? “I get to go home.” One is ordinary and communicates more of a tone of obligation; the other is more extraordinary and communicates that we view it a privilege to be with our wife and kids.

4. “No, I’ll play with you later.”

Wise parents told me and Rhonda to enjoy every moment with our kids because “it flies by.” They spoke truth. It seems like just yesterday that I was holding Ashton in my arms in that hospital room in Abilene, Texas and signing “How sweet it is to be loved by you.” Now, one of my favorite memories is of dancing with her to that song at her wedding. Yes, take it from this now-wiser parent: the time we have with our children does fly by, so don’t be ordinary and say, “I’ll play with you later”; be extraordinary and say, “Yes, I’ll play with you now.”

Dancing with my daughter Ashton at her wedding

Dancing with my daughter Ashton at her wedding last year.

5. “I’m so disappointed in you.”

Too many adult children in this world carry wounds inflicted, not just by what was said to them, but also by what was NOT said to them. Too many of you have wounds caused, not just by too many hurtful words, but also by too few helpful words. You grew up knowing that your Dad was disappointed in you, but not knowing he was proud of you. Fathers, this is not about creating arrogant narcissists who grow up believing they are God’s gift to this world. Not at all! This is me challenging you to seek out opportunities to speak words into your children’s souls that will empower them with the confidence and security found in knowing that you are so proud to be their father, that you love them, and that you wouldn’t trade them for all of the other children in the world. Be an extraordinary father and say, “I’m so proud of you.” 

©2015 Arron Chambers

Why Christian College?

May 21, 2015 — 1 Comment


I’m working on an article for The Christian Standard magazine and I have some questions for both young people who attend Christian Colleges and for their parents.

I’ll pose my questions in the form of surveys:

For students at Christian College:


For Parents of Christian College Students:








Almost 3 years ago, my family approached some of the leaders in our community with the vision to build a playground for our community. It was a vision for an inclusive playground where kids of all abilities can plan together. That vision now has a name, Aven’s Village, and–with your help–can be one step closer to becoming a reality.

Here’s a post explaining Aven’s Village in more detail: Our Great Work.

Well, today we are a finalist (out of over 4,000 nominees!) for a $25,000 grant from State Farm Insurance!!!!

This is a press release on this exciting opportunity.

Votes Needed to Help Greeley’s All-Inclusive Playground
Aven’s Village win $25,000

Aven and Brandy Mondy

Aven and Brandy Mondy

Greeley, Colorado – Aven’s Village All Inclusive Playground and Journey Church Pastor Arron Chambers were recently notified that the Aven’s Village cause made it to the nationwide 200 causes selected to be in the running for a $25,000 State Farm Neighborhood Assist® grant. Only the top voting 40 causes will each win a $25,000 prize in this exciting community challenge. The 200 causes have until June 3rd to rally votes for their cause and anyone voting is allowed up to ten votes per day starting today. On June 16, the top 40 vote-receiving causes will be announced on the Facebook app and each of those top 40 will receive a $25,000 grant.

Voting for Aven’s Village is easy. Starting today, visit Vote for Aven’s Village and vote. Use your 10 daily votes to help Aven’s Village. Then, share, tweet and post for friends to vote too!

Visit again each day until June 3 and vote for Aven’s Village. If Aven’s Village wins, money raised through this grant will be applied toward an amazing sensory garden in the playground.

Aven’s Village is an all-inclusive playground planned for Island Grove Regional Park. It will be the first of its kind in this area and will serve people of all abilities. Its namesake, Aven Mondy, is just 6 years old and confined to a wheelchair. Currently, her family drives more than an hour to the nearest all-inclusive playground.

“Receiving $25,000 will get us even closer to our financial goals and bring the dream of amazing playground to our area,” said Arron Chambers, pastor of Journey Christian Church and local project champion. “We need everyone’s votes and everyone asking friends to vote using the State Farm® Facebook app. With your votes, we can win.”

Almost 4,000 submissions were received through State Farm Neighborhood Assist®, a youth-led philanthropic program that empowers communities to identify issues in their neighborhoods. The State Farm Youth Advisory Board, a group of 30 students who are passionate about social responsibility, reviewed the submissions and selected the top 200 finalists based on criteria they created: the Aven’s Village project being one of the 200 finalists.

According to Chambers, “Every dollar raised for this project goes right into its construction—helping area people with disabilities have access to an amazing universally accessible playground.”

Thanks for helping us to make the dream of Aven’s Village a reality.

To vote for Aven’s Village: Vote for Aven’s Village

To donate to Aven’s Village: GoFundMe for Aven’s Village


10. “Always wear clean underwear. You never know when you’ll be in an accident.” (I think about this almost every time I leave the house.)

9. “Eat everything your host sets before you.” (All well and good until that missions trip to Guatemala!)

8. “Brothers don’t hit each other.” (Unless, we hit each other every time she left the house!)

7. “Act like you belong.” (When you find yourself in a situation in which you feel completely out-of-place, under-dressed, under-qualified, and generally out-of-your-league.)

6. “Good boys don’t pass gas at the dinner table.” (I was often a bad boy…just sayin’.)

5. “Treat everybody with respect.” (Especially, the more vulnerable in our world.)

4. “Don’t forget that older people have a lot to teach us. Get to know them, don’t forget that they’ve lived full lives, and listen to their stories. You’ll learn a lot.” (My Mom worked at an Assisted Living Facility for over 20 years. She loved her residents and loved to have them share their stories with me. I once met a sweet shriveled up little lady who was one of the original Radio City Music Hall Rockettes.)

3. “Don’t chew with your mouth open.” (To which I would often reply, “But it’s SEE food!”  Get it? “See food.” You’re just like my Mom!)

2. “The most important thing you can do in life is love and serve Jesus.” (Mom always told us that we really belong to God…she and Dad were only raising us for Him.)

1. “Remember who you are.” (Which served as both a burden and a blessing.)

Me and my Mom, Linda Chambers

Me and my Mom, Linda Chambers

I love you, Mom.

Happy Mother’s Day!


©2015 Arron Chambers


I  was honored with the opportunity to partner with Geoff Surratt for a couple of workshops yesterday at the 2015 Orange Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

I was asked to share my notes from our breakout, “Building a Team from Scratch.” 

I’m proud of the team we’ve built at Journey Christian Church. When I came to Journey seven years ago, we only had a three full-time staff members. Now we’re blessed to have a much larger staff, which grows every year. I’ve either hired or supervised the hiring of all of our current staff–full and part time. Through this experience and over the past twenty plus years of ministry, I’ve learned a lot about building a team from scratch. I’ve arranged them in 6 E’s.

Here you go:

6 E’s of Building a Team from Scratch


1) Go after people you know.

2) Go after people you like

3) Go after winners (not just someone looking for a job).

4) Go after a good fit for YOU & your team.

The DISC Personality test is a great tool for assessing potential staff members and for assessing their compatability with you and your team.

5) Go after special generalists. (not necessarily the perfect fit for the job, but the perfect fit for the team). 

6) Go after team players.

or 7) Raise up all of the above.

When it comes to enlistment, we invest a lot of time in working to ensure that new team members fit our culture.

Here are a few distinctives of our culture:

1) All leaders are to reproduce themselves.

2) You don’t have to earn trust, you arrive with it.

3) We are not a policy driven church.

4) We eat with sinners.

5) Enjoy the journey, but don’t enjoy it alone.

6) Your first ministry is to your family.

7) Failure is not the unpardonable sin.

8) We don’t do micromanagement.


It’s not all about money, it’s also about vision.

Six of our staff members are part-time and we are blessed with a lot of great volunteers.

Legend has it that Shackleton posted an advertisement in a London paper, stating: “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.” Shackleton received more than 5,000 applications for places on the expedition. 

Why? Vision is powerful. So many people are longing for so much more. Don’t just hire people. Call people to join you on an important mission.

The vision…

1) Must be clear

2) Must be compelling

3) Must be communicated

4) Must be a committment.


1) Tools

2) Training

3) Team Members 

Do what you can to give your team members the staff and volunteers they need to do what God has called them to do.

4) Time to Try

It’s important to give your team opportunities to use the tools they have and the tools you’ve given them.


1) With resources

2) With information (about what’s happening, why it’s happening, and how what’s happening will help us to fulfill God’s plan for us.)

3) With opportunities.

4) With authority

5) With rest (We give our full-time staff a sabbattical day each month.)


There’s nothing worse than having all responsibility but no authority. Give your team the responsibility AND the authority to do their job and then trust them to get it done.

Trusting is easier for all involved when you…

1) Tell them what you want them to do.

2) Equip them to do what you want them to do.

3) Release them to do what you want them to do.

4) Support them as they do what you want them to do.


I’ve found the best encouragements are specific. (eg. “Great job yesterday! is not a meaningful as “Great job with your lesson yesterday morning. It was well-prepared and very impactful.”)

1) Write it.

2) Speak it privately.

3) Speak it publically.

4) Invest in it (bonuses, meals out, days off, etc.)

©2015 Arron Chambers

As I reflected on last Sunday (Easter) and this Sunday (the week after Easter). This list came to mind.

Here are 10 Reasons to Come Back to Church This Sunday

10. Not as crowded, so you’ll have an easier time finding a parking space, a seat, and a doughnut in the cafe.

keep-calm-there-s-parking-available9. You’ll immediately lose your “Creaster” status (a person who only comes to church on Christmas and Easter…get it?  Christmas + Easter= Creaster).

353-christmas-bunny8. The Pastor may start to learn your name and not have to refer to you as, “Brother,” “Sister,” or “Brocephus.”


7. You’ll hear a sermon on something other than the resurrection or birth of Jesus. (I’m starting a series entitled, Journey to the Ends of the Earth.)


6. You won’t have to “answer” that true–but slightly annoying–Easter “jingle” a gazillion times, “He is Risen!” to which you have to respond “He is risen indeed!” immediately or risk being branded a Pagan or worse….an Oakland Raiders Fan!

Oakland Raiders v San Diego Chargers

5. You’ll get the chance to take “regular” communion and not the kind of communion you need a degree in engineering to enjoy.


4. You’ll make your Mom happy, because when she asks you on Sunday afternoon, “Did you go to church this morning?” you’ll be able to say, “Yes!”


3. You’ll discover that the coffee is still free.

2. Peeps! No…not those Peeps! You’ll get the chance to get to know some of the amazing and interesting people (aka Peeps!) you met last week and start to build lasting and meaningful relationships. Just don’t try to eat them or put them in the microwave for 45 seconds! :)
1. You won’t get hit in the head with a beach ball! (It’s a Journey & Mosaic thing, you wouldn’t understand!)