15 February 2015 Sunday Morning Service

Bible
OT Genesis 30 : 25 – 43
NT Romans 12 : 1 – 21

Genesis
30:25 After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me on my way so I can go back to my own homeland.
30:26 Give me my wives and children, for whom I have served you, and I will be on my way. You know how much work I’ve done for you.”
30:27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you.”
30:28 He added, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.”
30:29 Jacob said to him, “You know how I have worked for you and how your livestock has fared under my care.
30:30 The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the LORD has blessed you wherever I have been. But now, when may I do something for my own household?”
30:31 “What shall I give you?” he asked. “Don’t give me anything,” Jacob replied. “But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them:
30:32 Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages.
30:33 And my honesty will testify for me in the future, whenever you check on the wages you have paid me. Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted, or any lamb that is not dark-colored, will be considered stolen.”
30:34 “Agreed,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.”
30:35 That same day he removed all the male goats that were streaked or spotted, and all the speckled or spotted female goats (all that had white on them) and all the dark-colored lambs, and he placed them in the care of his sons.
30:36 Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban’s flocks.
30:37 Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches.
30:38 Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs, so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat and came to drink,
30:39 they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted.
30:40 Jacob set apart the young of the flock by themselves, but made the rest face the streaked and dark-colored animals that belonged to Laban. Thus he made separate flocks for himself and did not put them with Laban’s animals.
30:41 Whenever the stronger females were in heat, Jacob would place the branches in the troughs in front of the animals so they would mate near the branches,
30:42 but if the animals were weak, he would not place them there. So the weak animals went to Laban and the strong ones to Jacob.
30:43 In this way the man grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and maidservants and menservants, and camels and donkeys.

Romans
12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.
12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
12:4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,
12:5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
12:6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.
12:7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;
12:8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
12:11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
12:13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
12:19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
12:20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.