"Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice - alive, holy, and pleasing to God - which is your reasonable service. Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God - what is good and well-pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:1-2 NET
Because of the wonderful work of salvation that God has done in our lives, we must now give back to God a life of service dedicated to Him.
Paul first asks us to live our lives in humility. Each of us has been given gifts by God. Though our gifts my not be the same as that of our neighbor, we must not think more highly of ourselves. Instead, we should learn to use the gifts that God has given to us in ways that are pleasing to Him.
Paul then asks us to live a life of love.
Romans 12:9-21 MSG
- Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.
- Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing the second fiddle
- Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder.
- Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
- Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.
- Laugh with your happy friends when they are happy; share tears when they're down.
- Get along with each other; don't be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don't be the great somebody.
- Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone.
- After you've got it in you, get along with everybody.
- Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it."
- Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.
- Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
Father we pray that we might renew our minds each day in Your Word. Make our hearts into that of a servant. Make us into humble creatures, ready to walk with You. Let us live lives of love, dedicated to You. We pray in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.