Brothers and sisters,
This is the fifth and final week of our series Breathing Room – the gap, the space, the margin between our current pace of life, and our limits. We all have limits, and when we better understand our limits, we have space to love God and love others; without breathing room, we become selfish because we are so often just fighting to survive. We are looking at how to establish breathing room in our lives: counting the cost in relationship to our limits and making wise decisions based on a better understanding of our limits; coming back to God when we feel overwhelmed; fighting for financial breathing room by learning to live beneath our means; and avoiding the undisciplined pursuit of more, which so often can drive out breathing room in our lives.
To conclude this series, we are going to look at concrete steps we can take. Mark 10:46-52 is the story of Jesus’ encounter with the blind Bartimaeus at Jericho. A crowd of people are following Jesus into the town, and Bartimaeus cries out, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me” (10:47) – which, by the way, is a great prayer to say whenever we are frustrated or anxious. The blind Barimaeus persists in his cry, even though other people are telling him to be quiet. Eventually Jesus calls him, and then: He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way (10:50-52). The first step we can take to establish breathing room is this: like Bartimaeus, there might be something that we need to throw away, like a credit card, or an unhealthy relationship, or some responsibilities at work that need to be delegated, or our need to control everything, or a grudge we are holding onto, or our fear of failure. The second step is responding to Jesus’ question: Jesus asks us what he wants to do for us – and we should tell him what we need. All of us have unhealthy “addictions” in our hearts that need to be “thrown away” and healed. This is the greatest step in our lives to maintain breathing room. Questions for Small Groups:
Last week we discussed the undisciplined pursuit of more. Did you make any changes to your life based on last week’s discussion?
Read aloud Mark 10:47. Where do you need God’s mercy in your life?
Read aloud Mark 10:50. Was this a bold move?
What are you holding onto that is driving breathing room or margin out of your life? What do you need to throw aside?
What does it look like for you to follow Jesus this week?
What are the biggest changes you are making as a result of this series?