And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band. And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us. And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself. (Acts 27:1-3)
Today's Morsel: Paul's journey across the sea to stand trial in Rome was probably made a little bit more bearable because of Julius the guard placed over him. Julius seemed to be a very kind-heart man. Just because one carries the title of a Christian, doesn't mean that they are always kind and compassionate with others, even though they should be. I believe that kindness is one of those good and perfect gifts that comes from God. Pharaoh showed kindness to Joseph and to his father Israel and his family. But it was the other Pharaoh that did not know Joseph that arose that got Egypt into trouble with God.
Kindness is a great thing, but it's not going to get you into heaven. Maybe Julius was at a point that he was tired of seeing so much unfair treatment and so he gave Paul liberty. Or maybe while on ship, he heard Paul preaching to the others about Jesus. Maybe he had parents who had taught him to respect an elder. Who knows, but Julius showed Paul much kindness. As our world spins, we will probably see less and less of people who are kind and compassionate. But those who know Jesus must allow the fruit of the Spirit to manifest itself within them each and every day. As Paul said, "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:32). The desire of a man is his kindness. Peter said that if we add brotherly kindness to our godliness and charity, we'll never be unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Why? Because kindness is a part of God's character.
Sing: Thy loving-kindness, is better than life. Thy loving-kindness, is better than life. My lips shall praise Thee, thus will I bless Thee, I will lift up, my hands unto Thy name.