Laying Down Our LivesWhat sometimes holds you back from laying down your life for others?
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Called to Kindness
Julius was very kind to
The baby threw up her breakfast—all over the
kitchen. She was crying and both of us were
covered in pureed pears. Then, a telemarketer
called, followed by a prerecorded political message.
When the phone rang a third time and it was the
handyman announcing his imminent arrival, I yelled:
“Will you have to come inside to fix the vent?” As I hung
up the phone, I felt terrible for being so unkind.
As Christians, we’re called to be kind (Ephesians 4:32).
It may sound basic, but in a society that worships sarcastic
comebacks and “me-first” attitudes, kindness is a lost art.
Julius, a high-ranking Roman official, was kind to his
prisoner Paul. On their maritime voyage to Rome, Julius
let Paul “go ashore to visit with friends so they could
provide for his needs” (Acts 27:3). Julius was lenient
when he could have been strict; permissive instead of
controlling—all to ensure Paul’s comfort. Kindness lends
a helping hand.
Kindness also protects the lives of defenseless people.
At one point in Paul’s journey, powerful waves began
to shred the boat into toothpicks. The guards decided
to kill the prisoners rather than let them escape into the
water. “But [Julius] wanted to spare Paul” (v.43), so he
put a stop to their evil plot. Amazingly, everyone made
it safely to Malta. The islanders were very kind there; in
the cold and rain, they kindled a welcoming fire (28:2).
Like the people of Malta, kindness may require us to show hospitality and greet
newcomers with open arms.
Maybe kindness is calling you to feed the hungry or to protect the defenseless.
Whatever you do, remember that each selfless act reflects God’s kind heart
toward us: “[God] is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our
freedom with the blood of His Son” (Ephesians 1:7). —Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Read Matthew 25:35-40
to see why kindness
matters to Jesus.
In what ways has God
showered His kindness
on you? What can you
do to show kindness to
someone this week?
Jeremy Camp - The Way (Slideshow with lyrics)
- Laying Down Our Lives - What sometimes holds you back from laying down your life for others?...read more
- A Little Farther - Do you hear much about lament in your local church?...read more
- Distraction - What’s your biggest distraction as you strive to follow Jesus?...read more
- Intentional Defiance - Be encouraged by a God who is with you to discipline and lead you away from wrong turns....read more
- The Family Name - How do you show appreciation for the reconciliation God has offered?...read more
- Unwavering Love - What does it mean for you to rest in God’s unwavering love?...read more
- Far Better - What are you most looking forward to when God calls you home?...read more
- A Good Name - When you consider your reputation, what might you change to better reflect Jesus to others?...read more
- Light the Path - How have others illumined the path for you to Jesus?...read more
- More Than Feelings - God created us to live in the fullness of His image—emotions included....read more
- Of Penguins and People - Who needs your committed, enduring love today?...read more
- Big and Small - What do you do with your worries?...read more
- A Way Out - Do you have a tendency to overestimate or underestimate?...read more
- Extravagant Love - When have you encountered God’s extravagant love?...read more
- Income vs. Investment - How will you be “rich in good works” today?...read more
- Famous in God’s Eyes - Who needs you to humbly, lovingly serve them today?...read more