ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 208


chose their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For God’s gifts and his
call can never be withdrawn. Once, you Gentiles were rebels against God,
but when the people of Israel rebelled against him, God was merciful to
you instead. Now they are the rebels, and God’s mercy has come to you so
that they, too, will share in God’s mercy. For God has imprisoned everyone
in disobedience so he could have mercy on everyone.
Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!
For who can know the Lord’s thoughts?
Who knows enough to give him advice?
And who has given him so much
that he needs to pay it back?
For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended
for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to
God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform
you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn
to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of
you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest
in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God
has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special
function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and
we all belong to each other.
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things
well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as
much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them
well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be
encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for
showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong.
Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and
take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and
serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient

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