"Redeeming Our Time"
Our scripture today is from John, chapter 10 verses 1-10 from the Common English Bible.
1 I assure you that whoever doesn't enter into the sheep pen through the gate but climbs over the wall is a thief and an outlaw. 2 The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The guard at the gate opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 Whenever he has gathered all of his sheep, he goes before them and they follow him, because they know his voice. 5 They won't follow a stranger but will run away because they don't know the stranger's voice." 6 Those who heard Jesus use this analogy didn't understand what he was saying. 7 So Jesus spoke again, “I assure you that I am the gate of the sheep. 8 All who came before me were thieves and outlaws, but the sheep didn't listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 The thief enters only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.
Leader: This is the word of God for a people of God.
All: Thanks be to God.
The Me I Want to Be Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths: Lives with an internal standard of what is good, noble, and beautiful. Calls others to live better lives
Weaknesses: Can be arrogant when unredeemed. Has high standards that can lead to a secret, inner sense of inadequacy
Example: The prophet Amos, who carried a plumbline to show Israel the standard God expected of society
Strengths: Lives out love in action. Has a natural other0centerdness that makes people feel cared for
Weaknesses: Can use “giving” to manipulate others. Sometimes mistakes servanthood with fear of low esteem
Example: Martha, who was busy serving while her sister Mary sat at Jesus’ feet
Strengths: Strong desire to grow. The ability to accomplish things and add value in the lives and world around them
Weaknesses: Temptation to be preoccupied with one’s own success. Sometimes uses other people to receive applause or approval.
Example: Solomon, who sought achievement in education, finance, culture, statecraft, and the arts
Strengths: Loves beauty and goodness. Brings imagination to life, love and faith
Weaknesses: Finds that the need to be different can become an end in itself. Can be tempted to give in to impulses and live an undisciplined life
Example: Kind David, who had strong gifts as a poet, dance, and composer of many psalms
Strengths: Discoverer, inventor, and lover of logic. Holds passion for truth-even when it is costly
Weaknesses: Conviction of being rights can lead to arrogance. Can be tempted to withdraw from relationships and love
Example: The apostle Paul, who loves to study, reason, explore, and teach
Strengths: Faithful and dependable when the chips are down. Loves to be a part of a great team
Weaknesses: Prone to skepticism or cynicism. When threatened, cam be pushed into isolation by fear
Example: Elisha, who became Elijah’s steadfast companion and protégé
Strengths: High capacity for joy and emotional expression. Enthusiasm that is contagious for others
Weaknesses: Can have a need to be the center of attention. Has a need to avoid pain that can lead to escape or addiction
Example: The apostle Peter, who was the first one to leap out of the boat-even if it meant sinking
Strengths: Passion for justice and desire to champion a great cause. Charisma to lead that inspires others
Weakness: Need for power that can cause others to feel used. Sometimes relies on fear and intimidation to get one’s own way
Example: Nehemiah, who was moved to action-rallying followers and defying opponents-when he heard Jerusalem was in ruins
Strengths: Has a natural ability to listen well and give wise counsel. Has an easygoing, low-maintenance relational style
Weaknesses: Has a tendency to smooth things over and avoid conflict. Is passive
Example: Abraham, who was a peacemaker with his wife, nephew Lot, and foreign leaders-even attempting to mediate between God and Sodom and Gomorrah