The Body of Christ: Paint by Number

SCRIPTURE: Romans 12:9-21

New International Version, The Message, New Living Translation
[What is bracketed] and circled numbers were added for our reading last Sunday.

9 Love must be sincere. Don’t just pretend to love others. Hate what is evil, what is wrong; cling to what is
good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring one another above yourselves.
[In other words:]
➀ 9-10 Love from the center of who you are;
➁ don’t fake it.
➂ Run for dear life from evil;
➃ hold on for dear life to good.
➄ Be good friends who love deeply;
➅ practice playing second fiddle.
➆ 11-12 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame, and serve the Lord enthusiastically.

12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Be inventive in hospitality.
➇ 14Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath; pray that God will bless them.

15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! [I.e.,] Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
➈ 17 Don’t hit back. Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are
honorable 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 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.”
➉ 20-21 On the contrary: [Conquer evil by doing good.]“If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are
thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” [OR]
Your generosity will surprise [them] with goodness. 21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.