Living for God
1Brothers and sisters, God has shown you his mercy. So I am asking you to offer up your bodies to him while you are still alive. Your bodies are a holy sacrifice that is pleasing to God. When you offer your bodies to God, you are worshiping him. 2Don't live any longer the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely changed. Then you will be able to test what God wants for you. And you will agree that what he wants is right. His plan is good and pleasing and perfect.
3God's grace has been given to me. So here is what I say to every one of you. Don't think of yourself more highly than you should. Be reasonable when you think about yourself. Keep in mind the amount of faith God has given you.
4Each of us has one body with many parts. And the parts do not all have the same purpose. 5So also we are many persons. But in Christ we are one body. And each part of the body belongs to all the other parts.
6We all have gifts. They differ in keeping with the grace that God has given each of us. Do you have the gift of prophecy? Then use it in keeping with the faith you have. 7Is it your gift to serve? Then serve. Is it teaching? Then teach. 8Is it telling others how they should live? Then tell them. Is it giving to those who are in need? Then give freely. Is it being a leader? Then work hard at it. Is it showing mercy? Then do it cheerfully.
9Love must be honest and true. Hate what is evil. Hold on to what is good. 10Love each other deeply. Honor others more than yourselves. 11Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive. Serve the Lord.
12When you hope, be joyful. When you suffer, be patient. When you pray, be faithful. 13Share with God's people who are in need. Welcome others into your homes.
14Bless those who hurt you. Bless them, and do not call down curses on them. 15Be joyful with those who are joyful. Be sad with those who are sad. 16Agree with each other. Don't be proud. Be willing to be a friend of people who aren't considered important. Don't think that you are better than others.
17Don't pay back evil with evil. Be careful to do what everyone thinks is right. 18If possible, live in peace with everyone. Do that as much as you can.
19My friends, don't try to get even. Leave room for God to show his anger. It is written, "I am the One who judges people. I will pay them back," (Deuteronomy 32:35) says the Lord. 20Do just the opposite. Scripture says, "If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
By doing those things, you will pile up burning coals on their heads." (Proverbs 25:21,22)
21Don't let evil overcome you. Overcome evil by doing good.