Give Your Lives to God
1So brothers and sisters, 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, which is the spiritual way for you to worship. 2Do 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; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect. 3Because God has given me a special gift, I have something to say to everyone among you. Do not think you are better than you are. You must decide what you really are by the amount of faith God has given you. 4Each one of us has a body with many parts, and these parts all have different uses. 5In 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. 6We all have different gifts, each of which came because of the grace God gave us. The person who has the gift of prophecy should use that gift in agreement with the faith. 7Anyone who has the gift of serving should serve. Anyone who has the gift of teaching should teach. 8Whoever has the gift of encouraging others should encourage. Whoever has the gift of giving to others should give freely. Anyone who has the gift of being a leader should try hard when he leads. Whoever has the gift of showing mercy to others should do so with joy.
9Your love must be real. Hate what is evil, and hold on to what is good. 10Love each other like brothers and sisters. Give each other more honor than you want for yourselves. 11Do not be lazy but work hard, serving the Lord with all your heart. 12Be joyful because you have hope. Be patient when trouble comes, and pray at all times. 13Share with God’s people who need help. Bring strangers in need into your homes.
14Wish good for those who harm you; wish them well and do not curse them. 15Be happy with those who are happy, and be sad with those who are sad. 16Live in peace with each other. Do not be proud, but make friends with those who seem unimportant. Do not think how smart you are.
17If someone does wrong to you, do not pay him back by doing wrong to him. Try to do what everyone thinks is right. 18Do your best to live in peace with everyone. 19My friends, do not try to punish others when they wrong you, but wait for God to punish them with his anger. It is written: “I will punish those who do wrong; I will repay them,” says the Lord. 20But you should do this:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him a drink.
Doing this will be like pouring burning coals on his head.”#Proverbs 25:21–22
21Do not let evil defeat you, but defeat evil by doing good.
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