God's Top Ten
The 10 Commandments
Do Not Covet | Week 10
God's Top Ten • March 8, 2020 • Aaron Young
Even though the word "covet" isn't a word we probably use on an everyday basis, "coveting" is something we probably all do on an everyday basis. When we see what others around us have, it is very easy for us to "crave, envy, lust after, begrudge, want, aspire to, have eyes on, long for, wish for" what others have. We are naturally jealous and envious creatures. The problem is this jealousy and envy often leads to ill will towards others. In this sense, God's Top 10 #10 deals with the root cause of many of the other relationship-destroying sins our Heavenly Father is trying to steer us clear of with the 10 commandments. #10 is aimed directly at the heart, at our minds, at our inner thoughts. After all, what happens when we covet our neighbor's house, our neighbor's spouse, our neighbor's job, our neighbor's personality, our neighbor's stuff? Coveting leads us to steal, kill & destroy others. So what's the cure for coveting? #1, be content. #2, be grateful. #3, be giving. The reality is #1 leads to #2 and #3. It all starts with being content with what you have, as we talked about on Sunday, "compare down, not up". The reality is for every person who is above you, odds are, there are many more who are below or behind you. Unfortunately in our world, we are trained to always compare up to see what we're lacking, instead of comparing down and seeing how we've been blessed. Being content enables us to be grateful for our blessings. Gratitude repels coveting. Being content and grateful enables us to be giving, to look to others interests ahead of our own. Ultimately being content, being grateful, and being giving enables us to have healthy, life-giving relationships with one another.
You Shall Not Give False Witness | Week 9
God's Top Ten • March 1, 2020 • Aaron Young
Many of God's Top 10 present what we called "worst-case scenarios", a certain sin or violation carried out to its worst possible endpoint. When it comes to #9, the worst possible endpoint of giving false witness against our neighbor would be in a court of law where our testimony is a matter of life and death. What happens when people take the stand in a court of law and lie, stretch the truth, exaggerate, withhold key information? Justice becomes elusive. The guilty are set free and the innocent are condemned. And while most of us will probably never be in such an extreme situation, the reality is giving false testimony, lying about ourselves or others, is something which occurs every day in our world today. While we may not at first recognize how this can be deadly, we believe the lie that lies are harmless, we need to see the truth, which is that lies and giving false testimony, whether in a court of law or in the court of public opinion, are equally deadly. We destroy people's reputations. We kill people's good names. Lying breaks trust, which breaks relationships, which leads to a broken world. Ultimately while Satan is the father of all lies, our heavenly Father is the God of all truth. As God's adopted children, we need to reflect our heavenly Father's character, and not the character of our "birth" father. In a world consumed by lies, we need to be people of truth. Our father is a God of justice, so we should be children of truth and justice. So how are we doing?
Do Not Murder | Week 7
God's Top Ten • February 16, 2020 • Aaron Young
In the original Hebrew, God's Top 10 #6 is only 2 words long, "no murder". While this may seem pretty simple, perhaps one of the only 10 commandments that we can all confidently assert "never have I ever" too, the reality is there is a whole lot more going on with this command than first meets the eye. While we may have never murdered anyone physically, how many of us have murdered someone relationally? Jesus takes #6 back to its root cause, all the way back to its inception and says if you've ever been angry at your brother or sister, you're guilty of breaking #6. Murder starts with the heart. So how do we prevent things like murder & assault, whether physical or relational? First off we need to follow Jesus' lead and love those who hate you. While that may sound unrealistic, perhaps a first baby step in the right direction would be to simply "bear with each other" and tolerate those you disagree with. Second we need to nip anger in the bud. We cannot afford to give the devil that kind of foothold in our hearts and lives. We must root out things like anger and hatred before they take root and have time to metastasize. Third we need to clothe ourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Just like we choose the clothing we will wear each day, we need to choose to clothe ourselves in Jesus' character. In the end, murder is something we are all capable of. According to Jesus, relational murder is something we are all culpable of. Either way, murder is not the way to the full and abundant life that God, our Heavenly Father, desires for us.
The Sabbath | Week 5
God's Top Ten • February 2, 2020 • Aaron Young
Could the reason so many of us suffer physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, even spiritually, be because we never stop, we never cease, we never rest, we never stop? As the Creator of Life, our Heavenly Father knows a thing or two about how to live the best life possible, and shares that inside information with us in the 10 commandments, "God's Top 10". God's Top 10 #4 is a positive command, do this, not a negative command, don't do this. Our Heavenly Father tells us to "remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy". In other words, don't forget to take your day of ceasing, your day of desisting, your day of resting. Keep the Sabbath day separate. Treat it differently than you do every other day of the week. This is your day to stop. Our Father knows that if we work, if we are active nonstop, we will burnout. We weren't created to operate 24/7, we were created to need these natural rhythms of both work and rest. Plus, it is when we cease striving that we are able to know that He is God. It is in resting that we are able to acknowledge and become aware that He is God. So what are you doing to build in these much-needed Sabbath breaks in your busy schedule? How can you protect this time to rest, to be with your family, to laugh, play, relax, rejuvenate, refresh? How can you create this time and space to spend with your Heavenly Father so you can know him better? With our busy lifestyles, this is something we are going to have to be intentional about. We are going to have to be disciplined. Jesus promises us that if we will come to him, if we will move in his direction towards God's plans and blueprints for our lives, even if we are burdened, worn out, tired, Jesus will give us rest. I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty good! Don't forget the Sabbath!
The Lord's Name | Week 4
God's Top Ten • January 26, 2020 • Aaron Young
What does it mean to not take the Lord's name in vain? Is there more to God's Top 10 #3 then simply not having a potty mouth and watching your OMG's? If you think about it, there is something really special, and extremely powerful, about the fact that God has let us in on his name. God doesn't want to be complete strangers with us. God doesn't want us only knowing him in some distant way, calling him solely by his title and position, "Mr. God". God wants to be in a much deeper and more intimate relationship with us. He wants us to be on a first-name basis with him, so tells us his name, YHWH, I am! And now that he has revealed his name to us, how do we treat the name that is above all other names? Do we treat his name flippantly, as if it doesn't mean anything? Or do we treat his name as hallowed, set apart, distinctly special? Do we use God's name falsely to invoke his blessing, backing & support on things God has not blessed, backed or supported? Do we profane God's name by our lifestyles? As believers, do we damage God's name and reputation by our conduct, actions and words? At the end of the day, we bear our Heavenly Father's name. We represent YHWH! May our prayer each and every day be the same prayer that Jesus taught us, "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by your name", today, tomorrow, and the day after that in my life!
No Idols | Week 3
God's Top Ten • January 19, 2020 • Aaron Young
If God's Top 10 #1 is all about who or what we worship, then God's Top 10 #2 is all about how we worship. There's a big difference between who and how! We as human beings are extremely creative and imaginative creatures. Look around you and you'll see evidence of human creativity in architecture, engineering, writing, art, etc. This capacity to create is what sets us apart from every other living creature on planet Earth. Could this be a result of our being created in God's own image? And what happens when we take that creative capacity and point it towards God? Here's what happens, we run the danger of creating our own versions of God, versions of God created in our own image. We put God in a box, a box of our own creating. But how can you put a God who is "indescribable, uncontainable, untamable" in a box? So here are 3 quick implications of God's Top 10 #2: 1. Don't Put God in a Box, 2. Discover God, Don't Create God, and 3. Worship God as God dictates.
Honor Your Mother and Father | Week 2
God's Top Ten • January 12, 2020 • Aaron Young
One of the saddest verses in the entire Bible is Judges 2:10, "After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel." We often make the mistake of thinking that God's Top 10 #5, "honor your father & mother", is addressed primarily to all of the kids. As if God stops half-way through giving us 9 adult commands for a children's moment where he gives 1 child command. That's not the case. This command, and this bit of counsel and advice from our loving heavenly father, is just as much for us as parents as it is for the little ones. This word "honor" literally means "weight", "heaviness". Our kids should be able to give us as parents "weight", not because our words or commands to them are weighty, heavy & burdensome, but because we are worthy of trust and therefore weight. Just like our heavenly father, everything we do and say as earthly parents with our kids should be for their best interest, not ours. The Bible doesn't say who was to blame for a generation growing up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for them. The Bible doesn't fault the older generation for failing to pass their faith on, and the Bible doesn't fault the younger generation for failing to receive what the older generation may have been trying to pass on to them. The Bible just states fact, another generation grew up who neither the Lord nor what he had done for them. Will the same be said of us? Or will we do whatever it takes to raise up the next generation who both knows God and what God has done for us in Jesus?
Are the 10 Commandments from a Good God? | Week 1
God's Top Ten • January 5, 2020 • Aaron Young
What kind of year 2020 will be for you, and what kind of decade the 2020's will be for you, will be largely dependent on the health and quality of your relationships. What if God, as our loving Heavenly Father, knows that? As the Author of Life, the Giver of Life, the Creator of Life, the Sustainer of Life, our Heavenly Father knows how to live the best life possible. He has the inside scoop. He has inside information. So what if God, out of his great love for us as his children, has given us his top 10 list for how to have the best relationships, specifically your relationship with God and with others, and thus inside information on how to live the best life possible? Would you listen? Would you obey? Would you see God's Top 10 as a threat to your independence and autonomy or would you see God's Top 10 as a sign of his care and concern for us as a good, good Father? Over the next 9 remaining weeks of this series, we'll be taking a fresh look at the 10 commandments, and how they are as relevant to us today as they were 3300 plus years ago when Moses first brought them down from the mountain.