Summary: This message is from a series that looks at God's desire for us to live life in a way that avoids being overloaded and overextended.
If overloading ourselves has the ability to cause emotional, relational and spiritual dysfunction, why do we continually do it? The number one reason is that we do not see this as a problem. We simply assume that this is the way that life is and there is nothing that we can do about it. The second reason is that we do not realize that there is an alternative. So we continue to follow the lead of our culture living a life trapped on the exercise wheel going full speed but getting nowhere. We don’t set out to overload ourselves but we mistakenly believe that one more thing will not hurt. Guess what, God did not design us to live life this way. In fact as we have explored the last couple of weeks God’s will for us is for us to live within the boundaries and limits that He has set. When we begin to live within these boundaries we begin to develop what is known as margin. Margin is simply the space in between our load and our limits. Margin is that space that allows for the unexpected situations that life throws our way. In our text, Jesus provides us with a powerful example of how to maintain margin in our lives. As the sun was setting the line of those seeking healing continued to grow. Jesus apparently works through the night but at day break enough was enough and He withdrew to a solitary place for some renewal and refreshment. Jesus realized that life should never get so busy that there is no time for those quite times alone with God. Today we are going to discover the Great Physicians prescription for breaking the cycle and stepping off the exercise wheel.
I. Life often becomes a frenzy of activity causing us to be stretched way too thin.
A. Peaceful days can often unexpectedly turn into a stressful frenzy of activities.
1. This world is far from perfect, due to that fact we can count on our life being will interrupted by unexpected demands.
2. There is an Ecuadorian proverb that states, “Everything takes longer than it does.”
3. On average we experience one interruption every eight minutes. Over the course of twenty-four hours that translates to one-hundred-sixty-eight interruptions per day. The average interruption requires five minutes. So interruptions cut fourteen hours out of an average day.
4. Our problem is that there is no room in our lives for the unexpected. We are scheduled so tightly that anything unexpected throws everything out of whack.
5. Living lives that have next to no margin allows us no breathing room and no room for those unexpected things that always seem to appear out of nowhere.
6. Because of the lack of margin in our lives the unexpected usually has the ability to knock the props out from under us.
B. Even Jesus was not exempt from having a peaceful day suddenly turning into a frenzy of activity.
1. As our text begins Jesus is enjoying a quiet Sabbath at Peter’s house. The Sabbath was designed for man to be able to enjoy a day of renewal and worship.
2. Word has spread about Jesus’ miracles but not wanting to violate the laws in regard to travel on the Sabbath the people waited to sunset when the Sabbath was over to come to Jesus.
3. As the sunset people were now able to travel, carry loads and be healed so they came to Peter’s house bringing all those who needed to be healed.
4. The Greek word used here for brought is phero which means to carry a burden or to move by carrying. This verb is in the imperfect tense which means this was a continuous action.
5. Then we have the demons proclaiming Jesus’ identity as they are cast out. This had to be stressful since the timing was not right.
6. Jesus’ way of handling the unexpected shows that the way we respond to those unexpected interruptions speak volumes about the depth of our love.
7. Jesus shows that we were put on this earth to love and serve others. The extent to which we accomplish this is the only true measure of success.
II. To remain healthy emotionally, relationally and spiritually we need to make space for times of refreshment and renewal.
A. Jesus’ example shows that regardless of how hectic our lives are we need to make room for God.
1. During His earthly ministry Jesus consistently withdrew to quiet places for times refreshment and prayer.
2. Despite that busy evening of healing, Jesus got up early the next morning and went out to a quiet place to be alone with the Father even though He was probably exhausted by all the activity.
3. It would not be a stretch to say that it was difficult for Jesus to find time to spare but He saw the time alone with God as being essential.