Margin: Room for Life

Do you enjoy your life?

Margin: Room for Life

Categories: Sermons


Do you often feel stressed? What about financial tension? Do you wish you had more time for yourself and for others that are important to you?

You might be thinking “but isn’t it normal for life to feel like this? Being busy is normal…” You need to face the hard reality… Normal is insane

The normal person has little to no Margin in their life. In his book, Margin, Dr Richard Swenson defines margin as the space between ourselves and our limits.

Mastering this space brings health to our finances, peace to our relationships, and enjoyment to our lives.


Margin: Room for Life

Sermon notes by Chris Fluitt

Redemption Church Plano

**Bumper Video –

We will be looking at Luke 10 today.  So get out your bible or your favorite app and join me in Luke chapter 10.

Welcome everyone to Redemption Church. My name is Chris Fluitt, I’m lead pastor here and I am glad to get to preach to you today. I believe that I have something to say that will change your life for the better.  I am excited to share it with you.

Before we get to Luke 10 I want to ask you…

  • How many of you say you often feel stressed?   Raise your hand…
  • How many of you often feel some financial tension?
  • How many of you often say I wish I had more time for myself and for others that are important to me?

Just about everyone in here raised their hand…


But isn’t it normal for life to be like this?  Aren’t these normal feelings?  Being busy is normal

I want to tell you that… Normal is insane

Our world is crazy. It is always telling us to…  Buy more, do more, have more success, go to more places… what we have is never good enough… we need MORE…  and this is normal.

Our schedules are crazy… and the schedules of our kids are even crazier…  If this is normal… can we wake up and say… This is insane.

 What we call normal is unsustainable, unbiblical, and insane.


Dr. Richard Swenson wrote a great book called Margin. I’d recommend you go check it out.  His book, along with listening to other pastors talk about surviving their hectic schedules, inspired this series.

Dr Swenson for margin. Margin is the space between ourselves and our limits.

If you are human, you have limits. We all have margins.. limitations.. that effect our lives.

Margin is the space between ourselves and our limits.  It is the space between us and what is possible.


Margin is further complicated by what we need.  You see, in between us and what is possible is what we need.

Example: You have 30 dollars in your wallet.  30 bucks is your limit.. it is all that is possible in your wallet…  BUT you NEED to buy 20 dollars worth of Gas… The space between your need and your limit is the space between 20 and 30 dollars… a margin of 10 dollars.

If the meeting starts in an hour and it takes 40 minutes for you to drive to the meeting location… then margin tells us we better be leaving in 20 minutes.  We have 20 minutes of margin.

Margin is about what we have and what we need.  How do we best use the space between what we have and what we need?

Today we use margin just to get by. We aim to get to the meeting right as it starts…  but what happens…  You made the terrible decision of driving on Interstate 635 and now you are late..  Or maybe you arrived on time but you are so stressed from your commute…  Perhaps a better use of margin would have been to leave 5 minutes earlier.

Our world doesn’t know how to use margin.  We are going to talk about it over the next weeks.

Here is what margin could look like.

Spending more time and better time with your loved ones.  Being careful as you spend money so that you have money left over at the end of the month.  Scheduling time for yourself… time to reflect and think.  Margin could be making time for God.   …significant time with God, in prayer and in His word.

All too often Margin is what we DO NOT have.


There are two women in the Bible who had the same opportunities, but one of them made margin in their life and the other didn’t.

Luke 10:38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.(NIV)

Luke 10:39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.(NIV)

Luke 10:40a But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.


These 2 had had the same opportunity.  Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, the Alpha & Omega, the creator of the World, God wrapped in flesh, the savior of the world… IS IN THEIR HOME!  He is sitting on their couch!  He is standing in their kitchen!  What an amazing opportunity.

But these sisters use their margin differently.  Let’s talk about it…

Both of these women probably had things that needed to be done.  They probably had laundry and dishes that needed cleaning. They probably had chores needing their attention.  There is ALWAYS work to do around your house.  And the home owners said… AMEN!

Mary was found sitting at the Lord’s feet.  Whatever else she needed to do… whatever else was on her schedule… all the urgent things of life where put on hold as she sat at the feet of Jesus.

But Martha was distracted, the Bible says. There were preparations that had to be made…  We have to do this… we have a schedule to keep, these dishes aren’t going to wash themselves…

Martha is distracted.  She isn’t distracted by bad things… She is actually distracted by good things.  It’s not like Martha is off doing drugs are some shameful thing… she is preparing her house. She is cleaning her house and that is a good things…  But is wasn’t the BEST THING.

Jesus was in the house.  He is the Best thing!

We are often Distracted by good things from the best things


Have you ever been distracted by the best thing by good things.

Your job is a good thing, but it isn’t a best thing.

Your new house, new car, new stuff are good things, but not best things.

Soccer practice and the activities are kids do are good things, but not best things.

Martha was missing out on the BEST THING because of good things.


Luke 10:40b Martha came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

Get this!  Martha was absolutely certain that she was doing the best thing.  She was sure that her sister Mary should get up and help her do these urgent chores.

“Jesus my sister is sitting there being lazy!  Jesus take my side.”

This is going to be the struggle in preaching this sermon series to us. Because we think the way we are living is the best way to live. We think that the normal things we do are the correct things to do. We think that we are handling the important things and not overlooking them… But so did Martha.

“Pastor Chris, this is the way we have to live.  We are supposed to be insanely busy.  Busyness is success. We need more stuff. Everyone is living this way…”

Listen up Martha!  Normal is insane


Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.(NIV)

Do not be like everyone else!  Be transformed!  Be different! Be changed!


Don’t miss the moment

Martha was filling all of her MARGIN with work so that she had no room for the moment.  She was missing a moment that would pass all too quickly.  Jesus was in the house but he wouldn’t always be…

You who have kids in your home. Listen up!  They won’t always be there. Don’t miss the moment because you have overcrowded your schedule.

You only have so many dinners with your family. Stop playing on your phone during dinner and talk to your family. You are missing the moment.

Stop being so busy that you have no time to hear God calling you to prayer. You are missing the moment Martha…

Do you know that you only have so many days…?

Psalm 39:4 “Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life.(NIV)

Someone should make that their prayer today.  God, SHOW ME…  Reveal to me how short my life is.  Help us to realize how important this day is… how important this moment is…


Psalm 39:5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. Selah(NIV)

Don’t miss the moment!  The moment is gone like a vapor, a mist, a breath…


Are you really enjoying your life?

God loves you so much.  He loves you so much that He doesn’t want you to live a life that you don’t enjoy.

If you paused even for a moment at the question “are you really enjoying your life” then you have got to make a change today!  And I am not talking about a minor tweak to your schedule.  I am not talking about a small change to your routine.

You are smart intelligent people.  If a tiny tweak was all you needed you would have figured this out by now.  WHAT I NEED, WHAT YOU NEED IS FOR GOD TO COME RADICALLY CHANGE OUR LIVES!


Rest is Radical

What I am about to tell you is 100% counter culture. You may hear this and think it is stupid and just doesn’t fit your life… But listen up Martha!

Rest is important for mankind.

On the 7th day God rested. Why did God rest? Was it because he needed a nap? Was he tired from all that creating? No! Psalm 121:4 says God never slumbers nor sleeps.

The rest was for mankind. On the 7th day God rested. On the 6th day God created man.

You see the world was created on days 1 through 5 and then Man was created on day 6 to rule over the world. Man was created for this world… to have dominion over it.

It is after man is created that God decides to rest.  God did not bring rest into the world for cows or birds, or for sun and moon.  Rest was created on the 7th day… and it was created for man.

Jesus backs this up in Mark 2:27 “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.(NIV)

Get this picture…  Man is created… the next day what does he do… he rests.  DO YOU THINK GOD IS TRYING TO TELL US REST IS IMPORTANT!?

Fast forward to Israel in the wilderness.  They had just been set free from a life of slavery.  Slaves don’t get rest. But God wants them to understand they are not slaves anymore so He gives them 10 commands… These are God’s top 10 rules for how to have the best life possible.  Of those 10 rules one of them is THOU SHALT HAVE A DAY OFF.

God gave His people a Sabbath, a day of rest. It is so important that it was in the 10 commandments.


God wants His people to have margin. Space. Breathing room. He wants them to enjoy life.


Let’s look further in the context. These where ancient times with no refrigeration and limited food preservation.  If you did not work hard every day you might not eat.  You might not have a roof over your head unless you worked.  And it is in that cultural context that God said… Thou shalt take a day off.

What is God doing here?  He is saying… trust me.  God is asking you to do less so that He can do more.  He is asking you to give Him room to work in the margins.

We live in a culture that says you need to give 100%.  But no one can give 100% 100% of the time.  This leads to us living stressed out MARGINLESS lives.

God is asking you to trust Him today.

You need a day of rest in your life. You need to trust that God is able to take care of the space between you and your limits.  Margin is the space between ourselves and our limits.



Here is what Jesus said to Martha..

Luke 10:41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,(NIV)

Luke 10:42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”(NIV)

Is that you today?  Are you worried about many things?

One thing is Needed

I don’t know what you have on your schedule this week, but don’t miss the moment.  Don’t fill your schedule up so much that you miss the one thing that is needed.

As for Mary… She chose what is better.. and it will not be taken away from her.


Who wants to radically change their life today?  Who is ready to sit at the feet of Jesus for a while?  Who is ready to stop being distracted by good things from the best thing.

Author: Pastor Chris Fluitt

Chris Fluitt serves as Lead Pastor at Redemption Church. He is husband to Sarah, and Daddy to Will, Hudson & Joshua.

Worshipper, Husband, Father, Musician, Songwriter, Blogger, Nerd, Social Media Buff, Sportaholic

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