RICHARD: -just say it over and over again. No. How do you get to that place? I believe that the focal point of the enemy’s attack on our lives is to keep us from receiving the Father’s love. When we have an encounter with the Father’s love, beyond our intellect, beyond meditating and reciting something, when it gets into our spirit, loving our self is a by-product, because we just begin to join hands with Him and love what He loves-and if we can love our self we are going to be able to love others. Began to look at love throughout scripture, every reference of love. It’s kind of how I dive into different subjects-I like to go from Genesis to Revelation, every healing passage, every faith passage, I like to look at the Hebrew and the Greek in every context. And I was looking at love and what blew me away is I began to see the God of the Old Testament like I had never seen Him before. And it was like we have the God of the OT as the God of judgment and wrath and anger and he’s just ticked off at all these sinful people. And then we’ve got the God of the New Testament and He’s love and roses and sunshine. Deuteronomy 7: 7 through 13, and I’m just going to quote one part of it. The Lord chose you because He loves you. He chose Israel, He chose Abraham, He chose them to bless them because He loves them. I was reading one of Sid’s books and-one of the men that he talks about in the different stories talked about how someone had told them that the Jews were chosen to receive God’s punishment. I was like that isn’t founded on the word of God, he chose them because he loves them. Jeremiah 31: 3-
RICHARD: [READS JEREMIAH 31:3]
RICHARD: God was drawing them with loving-kindness. First time the Lord impressed upon me to preach a message of love, I was invited to Africa, I was travelling with 3 other preachers and the reason they invited me to go-we need a healing guy, we need the deliverance guy on our team. Okay û it’s the Assemblies of God guy, and the spirit filled African-American pastor and they bring the Baptist guy to bring the healing and deliverance! And I get there and I’m in-this season of creating a study Bible, “God Speaks Bible” and I’ve been studying every passage where God speaks form Genesis to Revelation, learning more and more how to hear His voice. And I get to Africa and I’m looking forward to speaking, I’ve got a repertoire of stuff I can pull from and the Holy Spirit says, ‘I want you to tell the pastors that I love them.’
RICHARD: Ok, God, this is a pastors’ conference, you know we’re not talking to the kindergarten, we’re talking to the pastors. And the Lord [said], ‘I want you to tell them that I love them.’ And I said, ‘Okay God.’ Because you’ve got to be honest with yourself and I’ll be honest with you. When you’re with 3 other preachers, it’s a preaching competition. You know you at least want to show up, you at least want to bring your “A-Game,” and I’m going, “No, Lord, tell them you love them?” I was beginning to sweat and I’m a day away from speaking. And the Holy Spirit goes, ‘Richard, they don’t know that I love them. Because they don’t know that I love them they don’t know how to love their wives, they don’t know how to love their children, they don’t know how to love the sheep.’ I [think] ‘God, these men look awesome, they all look happy, and they’ve been hugging me, and they’ve been nice, they want to carry my stuff.’ I was like they got to know about your love. And then the Lord said, ‘I don’t want you to speak to their heads, I want you to speak to their hearts.’ Okay, at this point I was ready to just call it quits and go home. It’s like [I’m thinking], ‘Lord, what are you talking about?’ There’s times when I hear God that He makes me really nervous and this was one of those times.
RICHARD: And so then He said, ‘Richard, You’re a great Father’-[I say], ‘Thank you, what does that have to do with any of this?’ And He said it again, ‘You are a great father.’ I said, ‘Thank you, Lord.’ You can see one of my children here. And Philip’s right here on the front row. I’m always proud of all my kids. I’m more proud of my kids and my spiritual kids than I am of anything that I accomplished. But I was [thinking], ‘Okay, how does this relate?’ And the Lord said, ‘I want you to tell them how you loved Nathaniel. I want you to tell them how you sang over him.’ When we first took Nathaniel to the hospital it was against my better judgment, against my desire, but it was the only way free way to get blood work done. It doesn’t make any sense, why you can’t just go some somewhere and get blood work done. We had to check in to the hospital, spend the night there to get free blood work done. During that 36 hours we were in the hospital he saw 30 doctors, they’re poking and prodding him, they took a biopsy which means they gouge a piece of skin out. He’s one almost two [years old]. And I have dealt with people in ministry that are traumatized as infants and the trauma in their infancy in the hospital. And so I’m [thinking], ‘That isn’t happening with my son!’ So I’ve got him up on a table and they’re gouging skin out of him and I’m just singing over him.
RICHARD: [SINGING] ‘Don’t you know the Father loves you? Don’t you know how much He cares? Don’t you know He’s thinking of you? Don’t you know He sees you there? He sees right in to every part of you. He sees right in the very heart of you. He loves you like no other could. He loves you like no other would. He sees the hurt, the pain that you’ve been through. And He longs to comfort and rescue you. He loves you like no other could. He loves you like no other would-‘