Give Your Lives to God
So I beg you, brothers and sisters, because of the great mercy God has shown us, offer your lives*
as a living sacrifice to him—an offering that is only for God and pleasing to him. Considering what he has done, it is only right that you should worship him in this way. 2
Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.
3 God has given me a special gift, and that is why I have something to say to each one of you. Don’t think that you are better than you really are. You must see yourself just as you are. Decide what you are by the faith God has given each of us. 4 Each one of us has one body, and that body has many parts. These parts don’t all do the same thing. 5 In the same way, we are many people, but in Christ we are all one body. We are the parts of that body, and each part belongs to all the others.
6 We all have different gifts. Each gift came because of the grace God gave us. Whoever has the gift of prophecy should use that gift in a way that fits the kind of faith they have. 7 Whoever has the gift of serving should serve. Whoever has the gift of teaching should teach. 8 Whoever has the gift of comforting others should do that. Whoever has the gift of giving to help others should give generously. Whoever has the gift of leading should work hard at it. Whoever has the gift of showing kindness to others should do it gladly.
9 Your love must be real. Hate what is evil. Do only what is good. 10 Love each other in a way that makes you feel close like brothers and sisters. And give each other more honor than you give yourself. 11 As you serve the Lord, work hard and don’t be lazy. Be excited about serving him! 12 Be happy because of the hope you have. Be patient when you have troubles. Pray all the time. 13 Share with God’s people who need help. Look for people who need help and welcome them into your homes.
14 Wish only good for those who treat you badly. Ask God to bless them, not curse them. 15 When others are happy, you should be happy with them. And when others are sad, you should be sad too. 16 Live together in peace with each other. Don’t be proud, but be willing to be friends with people who are not important to others. Don’t think of yourself as smarter than everyone else.
17 If someone does you wrong, don’t try to pay them back by hurting them. Try to do what everyone thinks is right. 18 Do the best you can to live in peace with everyone. 19 My friends, don’t try to punish anyone who does wrong to you. Wait for God to punish them with his anger. In the Scriptures the Lord says,
“I am the one who punishes;
20 But you should do this:
“If you have enemies who are hungry,
give them something to eat.
If you have enemies who are thirsty,
give them something to drink.
21 Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil by doing good.