Romans 12 [Clear Word]
9. SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES
1 Therefore I plead with you, my brothers, because God loves you and has shown such compassion, don't offer yourselves to Him like dead sacrifices, but as sacrifices pulsating with life, holy and pleasing to God. That is the kind of worship that should be rendered to God. 2 Don't conform to the patterns of this world, but continually renew your mind by focusing on the Lord Jesus Christ, letting Him transform you from the inside out. Then show by the way you live that God's will for you is good, acceptable and just. 3 In light of the responsibility God has given me, I want to tell you never to think of yourselves as being better than anyone else or that you are the only ones who are an honor to God's cause. Think seriously of how God gives everyone a measure of faith. 4 The church is something like your own body. It has numerous parts and each part has to carry out its particular function or the body won't perform properly. 5 So you need to learn to work together as the different parts of your body does. Each part of your body has a different function from other parts, yet they all work together. 6 In the church we have different responsibilities, depending on our natural talents and spiritual gifts. If you've been given the gift of prophecy to reveal truth, then you need to do it with confidence in harmony with the measure of faith God has given you, trusting that He will help you. 7 If you've received the gift of pastoral concern, then do that. Or, if you have the gift of teaching, then concentrate on that. 8 If God has given you the gift to counsel and encourage others, do it. If you've been blessed monetarily, then feed the poor and help support God's cause, but do it without display. If you have the gift of administration, take your responsibilities seriously. If you've been given the capacity to show kindness and compassion, do it joyfully. 9 Love each other sincerely, not hypocritically. Turn away from everything evil and hold on to everything good. 10 Be kind and courteous to one another as true brothers and sisters in the family of Christ, honoring each other above yourselves. 11 Don't be lazy; do your work enthusiastically, just as if the Lord Himself had employed you. 12 Rejoice in the hope you have, hold to your faith when you're going through troubles and never stop praying. 13 Take care of your brothers and sisters in Christ who have lost their jobs because of their faith and open your home to them. Don't restrict your kindness only to church members but be ready to help everyone. 14 Ask God to bless those who persecute you. Bless them; don't curse them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy and cry with those who are crying. 16 Show the same concern for everyone, member and nonmember alike. Don't be proud and favor the rich but associate with the poor and respect them. Don't keep thinking about how great you are. 17 Don't function from the premise of getting even with someone who does you wrong. Do everything openly and honestly for anyone to see. 18 As far as is humanly possible, try to get along with everyone. 19 Dear friends, never take revenge but turn your hostility over to God. The Scriptures make it clear. "I will see that justice is done. I will take care of it," says the Lord. 20 "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he's thirsty, give him something to drink." By doing this, you're placing him in the hands of God for judgment. 21 So don't let wicked people get to you; counteract the bad things they do to you by doing good things for them.