1 I urge you, then, brothers, remembering the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, dedicated and acceptable to God; that is the kind of worship for you, as sensible people.
2 Do not model your behaviour on the contemporary world, but let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God -- what is good and acceptable and mature.
3 And through the grace that I have been given, I say this to every one of you: never pride yourself on being better than you really are, but think of yourself dispassionately, recognizing that God has given to each one his measure of faith.
4 Just as each of us has various parts in one body, and the parts do not all have the same function:
5 in the same way, all of us, though there are so many of us, make up one body in Christ, and as different parts we are all joined to one another.
6 Then since the gifts that we have differ according to the grace that was given to each of us: if it is a gift of prophecy, we should prophesy as much as our faith tells us;
7 if it is a gift of practical service, let us devote ourselves to serving; if it is teaching, to teaching;
8 if it is encouraging, to encouraging. When you give, you should give generously from the heart; if you are put in charge, you must be conscientious; if you do works of mercy, let it be because you enjoy doing them.
9 Let love be without any pretence. Avoid what is evil; stick to what is good.
10 In brotherly love let your feelings of deep affection for one another come to expression and regard others as more important than yourself.
11 In the service of the Lord, work not halfheartedly but with conscientiousness and an eager spirit.
12 Be joyful in hope, persevere in hardship; keep praying regularly;
13 Share with any of God's holy people who are in need; look for opportunities to be hospitable.
14 Bless your persecutors; never curse them, bless them.
15 Rejoice with others when they rejoice, and be sad with those in sorrow.
16 Give the same consideration to all others alike. Pay no regard to social standing, but meet humble people on their own terms. Do not congratulate yourself on your own wisdom.
17 Never pay back evil with evil, but bear in mind the ideals that all regard with respect.
18 As much as possible, and to the utmost of your ability, be at peace with everyone.
19 Never try to get revenge: leave that, my dear friends, to the Retribution. As scripture says: Vengeance is mine -- I will pay them back, the LORD promises.
20 And more: If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat; if thirsty, something to drink. By this, you will be heaping red-hot coals on his head.
21 Do not be mastered by evil, but master evil with good.
Bishop Robert Baron discusses how we are offered false happiness and presents what will arm our soul.
Lord Jesus... I thank You for the great suffering You endured to save us from our own weaknesses.
Lord Jesus... I acknowledge that my own poor health does not compare with what we inflicted upon You.
Lord Jesus... Allow my trials to give me insight on what You had to bear and the wounds You continue to bear.
Lord Jesus... Let my distress be calmed with the knowledge I may offer it up to You.
Lord Jesus... I am powerless but You can restore me to health.
Lord Jesus... I turn myself over to Your care, as I trust in Your eternal healing.
Lord Jesus... Help me search my past actions; admit my wrongs to You, myself and others, and to make amends.
Lord Jesus... I humbly ask You to heal not only my body, but my shortcomings and defects of character.
Lord Jesus... Allow me to hear Your will for me and receive the power from You to carry this out.
Lord Jesus... May I carry the good news of Your divine mercy to others.
Lord Jesus... I trust in You.
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