Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.(A) “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous(B) for us.(C) 10 Come, we must deal shrewdly(D) with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.”(E)

11 So they put slave masters(F) over them to oppress them with forced labor,(G) and they built Pithom and Rameses(H) as store cities(I) for Pharaoh. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites 13 and worked them ruthlessly.(J) 14 They made their lives bitter with harsh labor(K) in brick(L) and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.(M)

15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives,(N) whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.”(O) 17 The midwives, however, feared(P) God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do;(Q) they let the boys live. 18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”

19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”(R)

20 So God was kind to the midwives(S) and the people increased and became even more numerous.

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A Living Sacrifice

12 Therefore, I urge you,(A) brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,(B) holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform(C) to the pattern of this world,(D) but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.(E) Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is(F)—his good, pleasing(G) and perfect will.

Humble Service in the Body of Christ

For by the grace given me(H) I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,(I) so in Christ we, though many, form one body,(J) and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts,(K) according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying,(L) then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith;(M) if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;(N) if it is to encourage, then give encouragement;(O) if it is giving, then give generously;(P) if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Love in Action

Love must be sincere.(Q) Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.(R) 10 Be devoted to one another in love.(S) Honor one another above yourselves.(T) 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor,(U) serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope,(V) patient in affliction,(W) faithful in prayer.(X) 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.(Y) Practice hospitality.(Z)

14 Bless those who persecute you;(AA) bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.(AB) 16 Live in harmony with one another.(AC) Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.(AD)

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil.(AE) Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.(AF) 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.(AG) 19 Do not take revenge,(AH) my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d](AI) says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e](AJ)

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Footnotes

  1. Romans 12:6 Or the
  2. Romans 12:8 Or to provide for others
  3. Romans 12:16 Or willing to do menial work
  4. Romans 12:19 Deut. 32:35
  5. Romans 12:20 Prov. 25:21,22

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