Blowing Bubbles In The USA

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I urge you, then, brothers, remembering the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, dedicated & acceptable to God; that is the kind of worship for you, as sensible people…

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Do not model your behavior 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…

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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 dis-passionately, recognizing that God has given to each one his measure of faith…

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Just as each of us has various parts in one body, and the parts do not all have the same function:  in the same way, all of us, though there are so many of us, make up one body in Christ, and as different parts are all joined to one another…

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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 prophecy as much as our faith tells us;  if it is a gift of practical service, let us devote ourselves to serving;  if it is teaching, to teaching;  if it is encouraging, to encouraging…

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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… 

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Let love be without any pretense.  Avoid what is evil;  stick to what is good.  In brotherly love let your feelings of deep affection for one another come to expression and regard others as more important than yourself…

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In the service of the Lord, work not halfheartedly but with conscientiousness and an eager spirit…

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Be joyful in hope, persevere in hardship;  keep praying regularly;  share with any of God’s holy people who are in need;  look for opportunities to be hospitable…

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Bless your persecutors; never curse them, bless them.  Rejoice with others when they rejoice, and be sad with those in sorrow.  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.  Never pay back evil with evil, but bear in mind the ideals that all regard with respect.  As much as possible, and to the utmost of your ability, be at peace with everyone.  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.  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.  Do not be mastered by evil, but master evil with good.

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Saint Paul

Romans Chapter 12

The New Jerusalem Bible

standard edition

1999

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