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Time to Reveal Your Hidden Value

Pastor John Gray says God sees your hidden value and is growing you for better things. Read Transcript


NARRATOR: John Gray is the associate pastor

at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, the largest

church in the US.

John's talent doesn't stop at the pulpit.

He's toured with Kirk Franklin, lead worship

at national conferences, and entertained thousands

as a stand-up comic.

But growing up, John was unpopular,

and never imagined he could do any of those things.

In his book, "I Am Number 8," John

says everyone has a purpose, even if they feel forgotten.

His new show, "The Book of John Gray,"

airs on the OWN Network on Saturdays at 10:00 p.m.

He hopes viewers will see how God's love can

help you overcome obstacles to reach your destiny.

GORDON ROBERTSON: Well, joining us now

is John Gray, and thanks for being here.

It's an honor to have you.

JOHN GRAY: I'm honored to be here.

Thank you.


Well, tell us your childhood.

You're growing up with a single mom, and what was that like?

JOHN GRAY: Mom and Dad divorced when

I was about four and a half, probably close to five.

My father was not a strong influence on my life

as far as his presence.

I saw him four times in my life.

But my mother didn't allow his absence and his addictions

and the choices he made to stop her from raising

me to know the Lord.

She didn't just talk about the Bible, she lived it.

She was the example of Jesus to me and to many others.

She was the church pianist.

This is a woman who was a woman of prayer every day,

every night, morning and evening.

And when my father walked away from our family,

it did not stop her from going after her goals.

She worked full time during the day, went to college at night,

ended up graduating with honors to get

her degree in social work.

Went on to an extremely successful career

in social work in the state of Ohio.

And so my mother was always an overachiever,

but she always gave credit to the Lord Jesus.

So at 7 years old, I knew who Jesus was.

At 13, I knew I was called to ministry.

At 21, I gave my first sermon.

But those markers were also highlighted

by the places of feeling undervalued, overlooked,

laughed at.

Kids can be very cruel when you don't

fit in to the cultural norms.

My mother made it clear I was going

to be a virgin when I got married,

and she told me that very early on.

So I was always made fun of because I

wasn't sleeping with the girls, and I

wasn't at the parties drinking.

And there was a time when I did kind

of resent all of this investment that my mother was

making into my spirit.

But now I'm so grateful that she didn't

move from her convictions, because my mother wasn't

called to be my friend.

She was called to be the spiritual influence.


GORDON ROBERTSON: Let me stop you with that.

Why did you feel the resentment?

Because I think a lot of children raised in the church

share that.

JOHN GRAY: Because you are a product of the society that you

live in.

And so whether it's culture, whether it's media, arts,

entertainment, the things that my mother was espousing

were not things that were constantly

reinforced on television.

So she was raising me against the grain of a society that

says there are no limits.

Live how you want, do what you want, drink what you want,

sleep with who you want.

My mother says, no, that's not the Word.

And as for me and my house, we're going to serve the Lord.

This is a woman who at one point didn't

let me watch football on Sundays, because they

were working.

And she was like, you got to have the Sabbath to keep it--


JOHN GRAY: --holy.

I'm like, Mom, we're Baptist.

We can watch TV.

We can watch TV.

GORDON ROBERTSON: But I love that.


GORDON ROBERTSON: Because that is one of the Commandments.

JOHN GRAY: I know.

My mother made sure that I understood the standard,

but it wasn't just legalism.

She was committed, because she had a personal encounter

with Jesus.

And now I look at the life that I'm living, which

is a supernatural touch of God.

There's nothing in my background that

says I should be sitting here across from you.

They asked me earlier when I was speaking

with one of your staff members, what do you

think of when you think of CBN?

And I said, legacy.

To know that your grandfather was a senator,

and then your father started this,

and now you are here in this seat.

Me, I have a son and a daughter now.

And where my father didn't leave me

a legacy of a good husband and a father, I can now begin that.

Even though I didn't start there,

I can begin something new.

And so that was instilled by a woman who

wouldn't stop praying for me, and that's what to me,

my life represents.

The power of a praying parent who would not let it go.

GORDON ROBERTSON: What would you say to somebody

that is in that same position?

That they were raised in the church,

they felt called to ministry, but they had that resentment.

You know, I'm not able to participate in the culture.

I'm not able to celebrate Halloween or whatever.


GORDON ROBERTSON: And what would you say

to them to fulfill that call?

JOHN GRAY: I think this is what I learned.

God wasn't keeping me from things,

He was keeping me for a thing.

And I think what the church needs

to do is stop apologizing for the Anointing.

And many times, we offer alternatives,

because we don't lift up the value

of having a godly heritage.

We are fighting against culture when

I believe the church should be the epicenter of faith

and culture and family life.

The first church in Acts had all things common and distributed

to each one as they had need, and the church grew daily.

And so there was an aspect of not just the spiritual side,

but the interaction of one to the other.

Building families together.

We didn't have that sense of community,

and so when you're living in a culture that doesn't celebrate

your value system, of course resentment is going to rise up.

But if you surround yourself with like-minded believers--

and I'm not saying to shut off society.

That's not what Jesus ever wanted us to do.

GORDON ROBERTSON: No, that's not--

JOHN GRAY: But I do believe this.

Yeah, what I believe is that we are called

to be influencers of culture.

But if you're young like I was, I said this to God.

I said, Lord, I'm really frustrated

because I don't want to be like the preachers that I've seen.

They seem to say one thing and live another.

I want to be me.

I want to laugh.

I want to joke.

I want to do all these other things.

Can I be that?

And He said, that's why I called you, to be authentically you.

See, when God saves you, He saves your soul,

but He sanctifies your personality.

I don't become someone else because I'm saved.

He enhances who I am, so my salvation

unlocks the other parts of my personality.

So my laughter and my singing and all of that

is now filtered through the Holy Spirit.

And that's what I had to learn.

So being overlooked and marginalized

and being anonymous and made fun of

were actually the foundation for where I am now as a man.

And so the idea of the book, "I'm Number 8"

or even the TV show is that God can take somebody that's

really normal and do something supernatural if you stay




Hearty amen.

You have a chapter in the book called, "Dear Dad."

Is that to your dad?


It's a play on words, because the Bible

says we cry out with the spirit of adoption, "Abba Father."

But also "Dear Dad" in the sense that my father,

even though I did not have a deep relationship with him.

I still honor him.

Because that's the first command with a promise.

And if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here.

And God intended for him to be my earthly father.

And so, to me, at the end of his life--

I was there the day that he passed.

And I told him when he was in a coma,

I said I'm going to make your name good in the earth.

I'm going to bring value to the name John Gray.

And I prayed over him and I told him you can accept Christ even

in your--

they said that he could hear me.

And so I went through that whole thing.

And by the time I got back home, they

called and said he had passed.

But I told him I forgave him for not being there.

I told him that I was grateful that he married

my mother, that he honored her.

And so I don't live with the regret

of bitterness of unforgiveness.

So that letter is saying, you know

what, I know he can't read it, But it

was for me cathartic to say that this person who I didn't have

a relationship with, whose name I carry,

now that name has a legacy attached

and it's a godly heritage.


And I just want to honor that intent to leave that legacy.

JOHN GRAY: Yes, sir.

GORDON ROBERTSON: That you're going to break

the curse, if you will.

And now that name is going to be famous,

and it's going to be famous through you

and through your children and through your grandchildren.

JOHN GRAY: Yes, sir.

GORDON ROBERTSON: And that is biblical.

JOHN GRAY: Don't make me cry, because that's exactly--

GORDON ROBERTSON: That is biblical.

JOHN GRAY: That's exactly what I want to leave is a legacy.

I don't want to be known for TV or books.

Those things are nice.

I don't want to be known just because I'm

on Oprah Winfrey's network.

I want to be known as a man who loved his wife,

and who raised his kids right.

And I'm going to preach an uncompromising gospel.

And if people want watered down, they won't get it here.

I'm going to preach Christ and him crucified

until there's no breath left.

GORDON ROBERTSON: A righteous man

leaves a legacy, leaves an inheritance--

JOHN GRAY: For his children.

GORDON ROBERTSON: --for his children's children.

JOHN GRAY: Yes, sir.


We can talk a long time, but we've got a book.

"I Am Number 8."

It's available wherever books are sold.

And you can check out John's TV show, "The Book of John Gray"

Saturday nights 10:00 p.m.

Eastern Time on the OWN channel.

And, John, thank you.

JOHN GRAY: Thank you so much.

GORDON ROBERTSON: Thank you for your life.

JOHN GRAY: Thank you.



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