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Give Your Lives to God

12 So brothers, since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him. Your offering must be only for God and pleasing to him. This is the spiritual way for you to worship. Do not be shaped by this world. Instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you. And you will be able to know what is good and pleasing to God and what is perfect. God has given me a special gift. That is why I have something to say to everyone among you. Do not think that you are better than you are. You must see yourself as you really are. Decide what you are by the amount of faith God has given you. Each one of us has a body, and that body has many parts. These parts all have different uses. In the same way, we are many, but in Christ we are all one body. Each one is a part of that body. And each part belongs to all the other parts. We all have different gifts. Each gift came because of the grace that God gave us. If one has the gift of prophecy, he should use that gift with the faith he has. If one has the gift of serving, he should serve. If one has the gift of teaching, he should teach. If one has the gift of encouraging others, he should encourage. If one has the gift of giving to others, he should give freely. If one has the gift of being a leader, he should try hard when he leads. If one has the gift of showing kindness to others, that person should do so with joy.

Your love must be real. Hate what is evil. Hold on to what is good. 10 Love each other like brothers and sisters. Give your brothers and sisters more honor than you want for yourselves. 11 Do not be lazy but work hard. Serve the Lord with all your heart. 12 Be joyful because you have hope. Be patient when trouble comes. Pray at all times. 13 Share with God’s people who need help. Bring strangers in need into your homes.

14 Wish good for those who do bad things to you. Wish them well and do not curse them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy. Be sad with those who are sad. 16 Live together in peace with each other. Do not be proud, but make friends with those who seem unimportant. Do not think how smart you are.

17 If someone does wrong to you, do not pay him back by doing wrong to him. Try to do what everyone thinks is right. 18 Do your best to live in peace with everyone. 19 My friends, do not try to punish others when they wrong you. Wait for God to punish them with his anger. It is written: “I am the One who punishes; I will pay people back,”[a] says the Lord. 20 But you should do this:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if your enemy is thirsty, give him a drink.
Doing this will be like pouring burning coals on his head.” Proverbs 25:21-22

21 Do not let evil defeat you. Defeat evil by doing good.

Footnotes

  1. 12:19 “I . . . back” Quotation from Deuteronomy 32:35.

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