Becoming a Church “of the Book”

Becoming a Church “of the Book”

Dear HLPC family,

One of the books I took with me to Colombia was about 19th century Scottish pastor, Robert Murray M’Cheyne.  He pastored St. Andrew’s Church in Dundee, Scotland—a place I’d love to visit one day, along with C.S. Lewis’ home in Oxford known as “The Kilns.”

M’Cheyne was known for his deep love of Christ, his passionate preaching of the gospel, and his humble godliness.  He was a man who deeply treasured time with the Lord in His Word.  He chose to rise early on the Lord’s Day each Sunday because he so looked forward to time with God and believed the Lord was especially to be sought on that day.

Reading of M’Cheyne’s life and heart for Christ, for revival, and for preaching has been encouraging as well as convicting.  I thought of him in connection with the sermon this past Sunday on 2 Timothy 3:16-17.  M’Cheyne developed a Bible reading plan for himself and his congregation that many use and that I’m seeking to use right now.  You can access that plan HERE if you like.  He wrote this to a young man in his congregation about time in the Word:

You read your Bible regularly, of course; but do try and understand it, and still more to feel it. Read more parts than one at a time. For example, if you are reading Genesis, read a Psalm also; or if you are reading Matthew, read a small bit of an Epistle also. Turn the Bible into prayer. Thus, if you were reading the First Psalm, spread the Bible on the chair before you, and kneel and pray, “O Lord, give me the blessedness of the man”; “let me not stand in the counsel of the ungodly.” This is the best way of knowing the meaning of the Bible, and of learning to pray.

M’Cheyne also wrote:

            “All my ideas of peace and joy are linked in with my Bible, and I would not give the hours of secret converse with it for all the other hours I spend in this world.”

I need the Lord to give me a greater desire for Him and for His Word, and I’m sure you do to.  May God work that in all our hearts and make us more and more a church “of the Book!”

Your Pastor,


Paul Bankson

Paul was born and raised in Birmingham, AL and graduated from Auburn University in 1986 with a degree in Business Administration. It was at Auburn that he met his wife, Connie. They were married in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and moved to Jackson, MS where he attended Reformed Theological Seminary graduating with a Master of Divinity in 1991. Upon graduation, Paul served as a Campus Minister with RUF, the campus ministry of the PCA, at Tennessee-Martin where the Banksons lived for 5 years. They moved to Macon, GA in 1996 to work with RUF at Mercer University and then Paul joined the pastoral staff at First Presbyterian Church of Macon as an Assistant Pastor in 1999. In 2004, Paul and his family moved to Warner Robins where he served as a church planter and then organizing Pastor of Houston Lake Presbyterian Church. In December 2014 Paul completed a Doctor of Ministry degree through Reformed Theological Seminary of Orlando. Paul and Connie have three sons, Andrew (23), Stephen (20), and Matthew (15). Paul enjoys grilling, camping with his family, and Auburn sports (War Eagle!).