• Kerri Kenyon Dern

Power of Love

Updated: Dec 28, 2018



MONDAYS WITH KERRI

The power we walk in is dependent on and equal to the love we receive from our Heavenly Father. It is the great anti-venom for every weapon designed by our enemy to deceive and sabotage us. When we begin to taste and understand how deeply we are loved, we will be drawn in and intoxicated by it – we will know we are the signet ring on our Father’s hand. 1 John 4:16-18 says:

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in him. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we are like Christ here in this world. Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that his love has not been perfected in us. We love each other as a result of his loving us first.

This passage clarifies that because God is love, it is not possible for Him to separate His love from His children. Love is His identity. All that is His belongs to us, so we are to find ourselves in His love as well. His love for us has written our identity, The Beloved. A paraphrase of these verses could read, “Hey sweetheart, I know you are still afraid. You have a lot of fear in your life. I want you to know that I am not judging you or condemning you. My name is love, so I have enough love to cover you. I understand that the only reason you are afraid is that you just don’t understand how big my love is. When you do, you will live in love. You will come to fully grasp that I am love and I am in you. You are my Beloved; therefore, you have nothing to fear.” We were created to be fearless warriors for the Kingdom of God, we were created to win! When we ask Him, and allow Him, He will overwhelm us with His love. When we are basking in His love, there can be no fear. The two cannot co-exist, they are always mutually exclusive. We are called to accept the fact that we are chosen, loved, accepted and never alone. When this becomes our identity, we will no longer be afraid. We have been given an unlimited love supply and when we remember this truth we can accept our superhero status for the Kingdom. We become a “bullet of love” that breaks through the darkness around us and shatters it with a million watts of light.

A mother’s love is one of the best illustrations (even though it pales in comparison!) we have of God’s love here on earth. I have always experienced the power of love through my mother, but never more poignantly than when I was young and in rebellion. I remember one particular time she came to see me, shortly after college, when I was living in Columbus, Ohio. I was angry, hard, and emotionally paralyzed. She didn’t know the details of what I was involved in; I hadn’t talked to her in months. As soon as she arrived at my apartment, she walked straight up to me and reached out her arms to hold me. I stood there rigidly as she tightly embraced me. Then, she stepped back and looked deeply into my eyes. Afraid she would see my pain, I tried to pull away and avert her gaze. But, lovingly and firmly, she reached up to my jaw and turned my face back toward her own. To my horror she stepped into me so that our noses were just inches apart. She just held my face to hers. Standing absolutely still she waited, saying nothing as big, hot tears splashed down her cheeks. She didn’t bother to wipe them away and several of them hung on her face. I remember in that moment needing to muster every ounce of strength in my body to keep from collapsing into sobs of despair. Then, when she knew I could see the consequences my choices were having on her, she whispered quietly:

“Kerri, I don’t know what you are doing. I don’t know what kind of darkness you are involved in but I do know that you are not okay. I want you to know and see that my heart is breaking for you but, more importantly, I want you to know that I love you. I will never stop loving you Kerri; I don’t care what you have done or what has happened to you. I don’t care how many times you push me away I will always come back and fight for you and believe in you. You are my little girl Kerri; nothing could ever make me stop loving you! I will never stop praying for you, I will never stop believing that God will answer my prayers on your behalf. I will never stop believing in the woman you were created to be.”

I stared blankly into her eyes as those words pierced my soul and stung my heart.

For years my mother never saw the impact of her love or the hours she spent on her knees in prayer for me. But she never stopped believing, never stopped praying, and she never stopped loving me. She knew then what I know now–love always wins! I know that I am standing in my identity as His Beloved today because my mother prayed for me. She saw the woman I was created to be and was convinced that the love in her was bigger than the fear and deception that was consuming me. She always believed I would be rescued by the God of the universe and that He cared enough to answer the cries of her broken heart on behalf of her daughter.

Love is the most powerful weapon we possess. It is so powerful that if it was the only rifle we had in our arsenal, we would be more than adequately armed for battle! We serve The One who brings the prodigals home. At times we are the prodigal and at times it is someone close to us. Either way, we can pray in faith, believing our Heavenly Father hears and specializes in showing Himself to the world through His love. When we love each other in His love, we are shining as his Signet Ring to the world.

Unfortunately, at times we try to fix ourselves and others outside of this powerful source of love. We want to prescribe the pill, book, counselor, or seminar as the remedy. But no one is in need of more information. What we all need is more love. We can’t give away what we haven’t received for ourselves, so we must start here. When we truly embrace that we are His Beloved, that our identity is love, we can freely receive it and freely give it away.

Love is the most significant gift we have received from our Heavenly Father and we are deceived if we believe it is possible for us to love apart from Him. Love, as it is defined in this passage in Ephesians, is not humanly possible; we are absolutely dependent on Jesus Christ to receive it. He was the perfect love sacrifice the Father sent to die. He demonstrated the ultimate love when He hung on the cross for you and me. Without His love in and through us, nothing we do or say matters. We can be the most brilliant, gifted, generous, perfect people on the planet and have no relevance whatsoever. The only thing that has any value and the only thing that will last forever is love. Lies, shame, and fear bow to the power of love. They are rendered powerless in its presence because the ultimate weapon of darkness, death, was defeated by love on the cross. Even faith and hope cannot compete with this extraordinary weapon we possess. For it is only through love that faith and hope are even possible. Yes, love really is all we need and yet we have been given so much more!

Finally, 2 Timothy 1:7 promises us self discipline. Many translations read “sound mind” instead of “self-discipline,” but either paints a powerful picture. A sound or disciplined mind responds to the Holy Spirit instead of reacting in the flesh. It is a mind that, through the love of God, can see redemption on the other side of any trial–a mind that knows to be blessed is to be satisfied in His presence, not satiated with His gifts. Self-disciplined minds choose gratitude, while the rest of the world is grumbling. It is a mind that knows mourning, suffering, or persecution that serves an important purpose: to remind us of Heaven, our home, and that we are not yet there. As Romans 5:3-5 says:

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us--they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Our natural human propensity, when faced with trials and temptations, is to allow The Betrayer’s lies to convince us that we are victims. We become consumed with our failure and depravity, essentially staring at our spiritual nakedness instead of considering the redemptive work that may be taking place in our lives. So, a self-disciplined mind is one that understands that endurance leads to character development and that character leads to a new confidence in the power and love that belongs to us as His Beloved.

//QUESTIONS//

  • Do you believe in this love? Do you believe it can rescue you? Do you have faith that it will reach your husband, children, parents, or your friends?

  • Have there been times you have tried to love someone in your life on you own, in other words, in your own strength? How did that work out for you?

  • How must you order your daily life to make receiving God’s love a priority?

  • Once you are aware of how to receive His love, what tangible ways can you display or give His love to others?

//ACTION STEPS//

  • List the ways you are daily aware of God showing His love to you.

  • Pray now and ask the Holy Spirit to give you His plan for your life and how you can receive and show His love to others.

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