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Give Your Lives to God

12 ·So [Therefore] brothers and sisters, since God has shown us great mercy, I ·beg [urge; appeal to] you to offer your ·lives [selves; L bodies] as a living sacrifice to him. Your offering must be ·only for God [holy] and pleasing to him, which is the ·spiritual [or authentic; true; or appropriate; fitting; or rational; reasonable] way for you to worship. Do not be ·shaped by [conformed to; pressed into a mold by] this ·world [age]; instead be ·changed within [transformed] by ·a new way of thinking [or changing the way you think; L the renewing of your mind]. Then you will be able to ·decide [discern; test and approve] what ·God wants for you [is God’s will]; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect. Because God has given me ·a special gift [his grace], I have something to say to everyone among you. Do not think you are better than you are. [Instead] You must ·decide what you really are [think sensibly; think with sober discernment] ·by [based on; in accordance with] the amount of faith God has given you. [L For just as] Each one of us has ·a [L one] body with many parts, and these parts all have different ·uses [functions]. In the same way, we are many, but in Christ we are all one body, and each part belongs to all the other ·parts [L members]. We 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 [or in proportion to their faith]. Anyone who has the gift of serving should serve. Anyone who has the gift of teaching should teach. Whoever has the gift of ·encouraging [exhorting] others should ·encourage [exhort]. Whoever has the gift of giving to others should give ·freely [generously]. Anyone who has the gift of being a leader should ·try hard when he leads [lead diligently/enthusiastically]. Whoever has the gift of showing mercy to others should do so with ·joy [cheerfulness].

Your love must be ·real [sincere; unhypocritical]. ·Hate [Abhor; Despise] what is evil, and ·hold on [cling] to what is good. 10 ·Love [Be devoted to] each other ·like brothers and sisters [with family/brotherly affection]. ·Give each other more honor than you want for yourselves [or Outdo one another in showing honor; or Be eager to show honor to one another]. 11 Do not be ·lazy but work hard [L lacking in zeal], serving the Lord with ·all your heart [L a fervent/eager/enthusiastic spirit]. 12 ·Be joyful because you have hope [L Rejoice in hope]. ·Be patient [Endure] ·when trouble comes [L in suffering/tribulation], and pray ·at all times [faithfully; with persistence/perseverance]. 13 Share with ·God’s people [T the saints] who need help. ·Bring strangers in need into your homes [Pursue/Be eager to show hospitality].

14 ·Wish good for [Bless] those who ·harm [persecute] you; ·wish them well [bless] and do not curse them. 15 ·Be happy [Rejoice] with those who ·are happy [rejoice], and ·be sad [weep] with those who ·are sad [weep]. 16 Live in ·peace [harmony] with each other. Do not be ·proud [arrogant; haughty], but ·make friends with those who seem unimportant [associate with the humble/those of low social status; or be willing to do lowly tasks]. Do not think how ·smart [wise; superior] you are.

17 ·If someone does wrong to you, do not pay him back by doing wrong to him [L Repay no one evil for evil]. ·Try to do [or Consider carefully] what ·everyone thinks is right [others view as good/honorable; L is good/noble before all people]. 18 ·Do your best to [L If possible, from your part,] live in peace with everyone. 19 My friends, do not ·try to punish others when they wrong you [take revenge; avenge yourselves], but ·wait for God to punish them with his anger [L leave room for (God’s) wrath]. [L For] It is written: “·I will punish those who do wrong [L Vengeance is mine]; I will repay them [Deut. 32:35],” says the Lord. 20 But 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 [heaping] burning coals on his head [Prov. 25:21–22].”

21 Do not let evil ·defeat [conquer; overcome] you, but ·defeat [conquer; overcome] evil by doing good.