Saturday, April 22, 2017

I Am Number 8 by John W. Gray III

I like Gray's idea. David was son number eight. He was a nobody out in the fields when his brothers were being inspected for a potential anointing as king. Nonetheless, David was chosen by God, transformed, and played a big part in God's story.

Gray's book is for those of us who feel like we are nobody. Hang in there, Gray encourages. Just like with David, God is training us and cultivating leadership and ministry skills. We might feel hidden away but Gray says that is for a purpose. We are not hiding from but are being hidden for a future, being kept for something to come.

Gray shares his own story as an example of this principle. He combines it with lessons from David's life. We learn about fighting giants, worship, and how we don't always get it right. Gray provides good encouragement for when we fill like we don't fit in or that we are just sitting on the sidelines. He has some good teaching on how to have the strength to carry on.

There is one area where I think Gray projected his own life experience on to David. Gray's father was absent. He says of David, “I believe that everything in David's life, good and bad, can be traced to his relationship with his father.” (113) That is a bit much, I think.

This book is good encouragement for those of us who don't think much of ourselves. We might feel we are just unknown and ordinary people who could never be used by God in an extraordinary way. But then, so was David.

Anonymity is the cloak God uses to develop, foster, prune, and then ultimately produce greatness.” (23)

My rating: 4/5 stars.

John W. Gray III is the associate pastor of America's largest church, Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. He preaches at Lakewood's midweek service, where attendance has quadrupled over the last several years. He is also a popular speaker, emcee, and comedian for “Acquire the Fire” youth rallies held all over the United States. He lives in Houston with his wife and their children.

FaithWords, 224 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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