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The 700 Club

Pursuit of the God Life

Chasing Shadows

Everyone is searching for happiness.  Many spend money, time, and energy chasing after "the good life," only to run themselves into physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion on the way. Derwin Gray was no exception. When he was young, he grew up in the West Side ghetto of San Antonio, Texas, without a father. Bitterness grew in his heart as he saw his friends' dads show up to games. Derwin’s dad lived close to him, but he never showed up. The pain of rejection fueled Derwin to succeed. He wanted to show his father that he was worth something. Eventually, Derwin played professional football for the NFL and found his identity in the game. He explains, "Football was my ticket to the heaven called 'the American dream' to escape the hell that I was in." But he learned that chasing happiness is like chasing your own shadow. 

He played with the Indianapolis Colts and the Carolina Panthers until injuries caused his dream and his identity as an NFL player to slip away. Derwin explains, “Over the next two years, God graciously and sovereignly allowed the circumstances of life to peel the layers of my pride. My body began to break down… Who would I be without the game?” God began humbling Derwin by showing him how spiritually poor he was. It was then that Derwin realized how much he needed Jesus. On August 2, 1997, he gave his heart to the Lord.  

Pursuit of Happiness

At a time when there is so much discord and divisiveness among Americans, Derwin shows us how followers of Christ can be unified by following His teachings in the Beatitudes on how to mirror Him. 

He asks the question, “What if the happiness we’re all striving for isn’t the happiness we were created for? In his latest book, The Good Life, Derwin answers those questions through the Beatitudes where Jesus invites us to experience His kind of happiness, as citizens in His kingdom. Derwin delves deeper into each Beatitude and reveals the shocking, countercultural path to thriving. A path that comes not through wealth, fame, or laughter but poverty, obscurity, and mourning. This is where happiness and holiness work hand in hand. The more we become like Jesus, the happier we are. 

The book has a chapter dedicated to each Beatitude, where Derwin discusses: 

  • Happy are the beggars-Being poor in spirit means we see and accept our spiritual bankruptcy so we can make room for Jesus. 
  • Happy are the sad-Suffering not only brings pain but produces endurance. 
  • Happy are the humble-Humility is placing yourself under the grace, glory, and mission of God. 
  • Happy are the hungry and thirsty-As God’s agents when we see brokenness in the world, it’s our job to do something about it. 
  • Happy are the merciful-Mercy is God presenting himself to us in the middle of our mess.
  • Happy are the pure-The higher we view God, the more we want to be like him. 
  • Happy are the peacemakers-Making peace with others seems great until we are called to do so with others who are the aren’t but forgiveness is the pathway to peace. 
  • Happy are the persecuted-God uses persecution to teach us how to rely solely on him. 

Derwin explains, “The deeper we immerse ourselves in Jesus and his kingdom the more we are supernaturally sculpted into his image, and the happier we will become.” The pursuit of the good life will let you down, but the pursuit of the God life will lead to joy.

Transformation Church

Led by Pastor Derwin L. Gray, Transformation Church (TC) began with a group of 178 people who believed in God’s vision to be a multiethnic, multigenerational, mission-shaped community. God provided and transformed a warehouse with green Astroturf, batting cages, and no parking lot, into a worship space. On its first Sunday of services, February 7, 2010, the church welcomed over 700 people. Since then, TC has continued to grow exponentially, and thousands of ethnically and generationally diverse people have experienced the life-transforming love of Jesus and formed a local church.

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