1 So, dear brothers and sisters, in light of everything I’ve said up to this point and because God is kindly stepping in to make it all happen for you, I want you to present your entire selves as living breathing sacrifices to God. Offer up your everyday activities -- your thinking, your sleeping, your eating, your working, your everything -- and offer it all to God as a holy sacrifice. This is the kind of offering that will bring a smile to God’s face. 2 Don’t get suckered into doing things the way that the rest of the world operates. Instead, allow God to change you so that even the way you think is totally new. Once you do that you’ll be able to start figuring out God’s agenda. That which is good, pleasing, and mature in God’s sight will begin to take over your life.
3 God has authorized me to say this: each of you needs to think of others before thinking of self -- and when you are thinking of yourself don’t overestimate your importance. Instead, consider that God has dished out a portion of faith to each and every one of you.
4 Consider the human body, which has a lot of different parts -- all important, even though they don't each perform the same function. 5 It’s the same way in the body of Christ -- lots of different parts -- all important, even though they don’t perform the same function. We are united with Christ -- and thus we are united with each other through Christ. 6 God has graciously made us this way with lots of different callings and abilities. So, for example, if your calling from him involves preaching the good news of Jesus -- exercise all the faith you have and preach! 7 Likewise, if he has called you to be a helper working in the background -- focus on helping -- devote yourself to serving without distraction. Then if your gifts and calling put you in a position to teach -- do that without reservation. 8 And if encouragement is your God-given thing, make sure that encouragement oozes from your life 24/7. If God has put you in the position to give -- be super generous. And do all of this with no strings attached. Make sure that you’re not subtly angling to advance yourself. Likewise with people gifted to lead -- throw yourself into that -- 101 percent. And -- final example -- those who work with the broken and hurting, applying mercy to their wounds, keep smiling -- even when there isn’t so much to smile about.