wsFJP_k" /> Spiritual Poems by Nicholl: Thoughts & Prayers to Encourage & Convict: Worthwhile Article about Expressing Love

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Worthwhile Article about Expressing Love

I thought this article was worth including on this blog since it demonstrates true love! Check it out...

Jesus taught that the first great commandment is, “Thou shalt love the lord thy god with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” Then the Lord Jesus went on to tell us what the second great commandment in the Law is, “ ....and the second is like it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 KJV) By the instruction of the Lord Himself we know that upon these two directives hang the Law and the Prophets. Obedience to these will lead men into the obedience of all the Lord's commandments. This article is devoted to the second great law, which is that we must love one another as ourselves. Why is it referred to as the second great commandment? I would say it is because it is the second hardest thing for men to do, the first hardest is to love God with all our heart, soul and strength. Why are these so difficult for men to do? Because man is profoundly self-centered. For other then by surrender to the grace of God no man can get past “self” to live in a manner that is firstly God-ward, and beyond that to live a life directed toward others. Only one man has ever completely filled this bill and that was the Lord Jesus. Every other man who has lived has failed these commandments, however, that does not take away our responsibility to, by the grace of God that is at work with in us, give our selves to the fulfillment of the Biblical commandment to love our neighbor as our self.
So we find that we are commanded to love one another as we would our own self. In order to emphasize and maintain this love the Lord Jesus gave to the Church two admonitions: The practice of foot washing, and the practice of the holy kiss. Although both practices are commanded by the Scripture, neither would have any significance if it were not that they are to reinforce brotherly love among the members of the family of God. This gives them extreme significance.

THE HOLY KISS-or-THE KISS OF LOVE

Through ignorance I was totally negligent in the practice of this commandment for many years, although I had an open godly testimony. It was not rebellion on my part, but rather simply the working of ignorance and confusion. I, although a “son of the Church”, was never instructed by her to do this commandment. A blindness being on the eyes of the Church and myself in regards to this practice. It is impossible to understand the need to practice the holy kiss until one can open his heart to understand the need for brotherly love in the house of the Lord. There is absolutely no need for the holy kiss, or the kiss of love if we have no intention on loving our brother as our self. If we are not interested in warmth of heart among God's people. If we are not interested in dealing with each other in respect, in dignity, in tenderness, in humility, in forgiveness, in the building up of each other, in the comfort of each other, then there is no purpose in the practice of the holy kiss. The holy kiss, which in my determination is exercised the man to the man, and the woman to the woman, is to emphasize the great importance that we see for the other person. It is the act of saying, I LOVE YOU, YOU ARE AS IMPORTANT AS I AM. It is to humble one's self before his brother. It is to say, I respect you. It is to say, I honor you, and give you value. It is to show affection and warmth.

When I make mention of this Scriptural commandment others often say to me, “it's a cultural thing that is being spoken of, therefore I do not need to do that.” To that statement I answer, “yes, every culture ought to obey God's word and fulfill this commandment.” For the commandments of the Scripture ought not to be influenced by society, but it is man's cultures that ought to be influenced by the Holy Scripture.

Some may say, “do I have to kiss another on the lips?” No, not as far as I am concerned, but to kiss your brother on the lips is not necessarily evil. However, to kiss your brother on the cheek certainly fulfills what we are commanded to do.

Is the western practice of a hand shake equal to the holy kiss? First of all if the Lord would have desired a hand shake I am persuaded that He would have commanded that. Secondly, I do not believe that the depth of brotherly affection and honor that can be transferred in the practice of the holy kiss can be transferred in the practice of the handshake.

Again, I say that this practice finds its total need of existence in the fact that we must love one another. Knowing that the fulfillment of love, the one to the other, is to stop evil in the world, ought we not to pursue love? For is it not true that if true love could exist in every heart then there would be no evil among men? So love is paramount. Love is supreme. Love is to be sought above all things. Therefore, that which is basic to the bringing forth of love is of extreme value. The holy kiss is found commanded in these verses: Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:20, 1 Thessalonian 5:26, 1 Peter 5:14

FOOT WASHING

The practice of foot washing as is spoken of by the Lord Jesus in John 13:12-17 is not directly a commandment, but a point of wisdom we are encouraged to follow. The which in my mind is an equal to a commandment. For when a superior desires something of us, is that not to be taken as a commandment? If a father says to a son, “I sure wish you would do this certain thing”, or, perhaps he puts it this way, “I'd like it if you would get this done for me.” is not his stated desire an equal to an order? I think so. Therefore, I view the Lord's encouragement of us to wash one another's feet as an equal to His commanding it. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garment, and was set down again, He said unto them, know ye what I have done for you? Ye call me master and lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your lord and master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord; neither is he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if you do them. ( John 13:12-17KJV)

Jesus, having washed the disciple's feet uses the example of his own actions to instruct them to humble themselves toward each other. He did this by instituting the practice of brother washing brother's feet. No, it is not to clean your brother's feet as if they were dirty, but to humble one's self before his brother in order to serve him in this basic manner. Why do this? What is the need for this practice? The need is found in that we of nature are not humble the one to the other, but self seeking. We need this action to help break down the wall of “self” that separates us from an open, honest, pure relationship of genuine love and service to our brother. The practice of washing our brother's feet is a tool to empower us to be able to be genuine, honest, pure, devoted, sincere, openly affectionate, loyal, devoted, and if there is any other word that sums up brotherly love, then it ought to be done and not left undone.

As I see it, the bottom line of this issue is expressed in this question. Do I have faith, and the commitment of love toward God and my brother to follow Jesus in greeting my brother with the kiss of love, and to wash his feet?”

Written by  someone who calls himself, "A Watchman"

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