Dedicate Your Lives to God
1 Brothers and sisters, in view of all we have just shared about God’s compassion, I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate for you. 2 Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect.
3 Because of the kindness #Or “grace.” that God has shown me, I ask you not to think of yourselves more highly than you should. Instead, your thoughts should lead you to use good judgment based on what God has given each of you as believers. 4 Our bodies have many parts, but these parts don’t all do the same thing. 5 In the same way, even though we are many individuals, Christ makes us one body and individuals who are connected to each other. 6 God in his kindness gave each of us different gifts. If your gift is speaking what God has revealed, make sure what you say agrees with the Christian faith. 7 If your gift is serving, then devote yourself to serving. If it is teaching, devote yourself to teaching. 8 If it is encouraging others, devote yourself to giving encouragement. If it is sharing, be generous. If it is leadership, lead enthusiastically. If it is helping people in need, help them cheerfully.
9 Love sincerely. Hate evil. Hold on to what is good. 10 Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other. 11 Don’t be lazy in showing your devotion. Use your energy to serve the Lord. 12 Be happy in your confidence, be patient in trouble, and pray continually. 13 Share what you have with God’s people who are in need. Be hospitable.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Bless them, and don’t curse them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy. Be sad with those who are sad. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be arrogant, but be friendly to humble people. Don’t think that you are smarter than you really are.
17 Don’t pay people back with evil for the evil they do to you. Focus your thoughts on those things that are considered noble. 18 As much as it is possible, live in peace with everyone. 19 Don’t take revenge, dear friends. Instead, let God’s anger take care of it. After all, Scripture says, “I alone have the right to take revenge. I will pay back, says the Lord.” 20 But,
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him.
If he is thirsty, give him a drink.
If you do this, you will make him feel guilty and ashamed.”
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil with good.