Clap Your Hands!

Clap Your Hands!

Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!

Psalm 47:1

Dear HLPC family,

We all know that the Bible has a lot to say about joy.  It exhorts us to joy.  It tells us that a fruit, an evidence, of the Holy Spirit, is joy.  That truth has been on my mind of late considering our current circumstances.  It goes without saying that these are not the most joyful of times.  Yet we can recall that most of the original audiences of the books of the Bible faced times as hard or harder than our own.  Despite that historical reality, the Bible never retreats from its message—there is joy to be found in the Lord.  Consider how the Apostle Paul writes a letter from prison that is known as “the epistle of joy”- the book of Philippians.  In it he tells us, “Rejoice in the Lord, always; again I will say, rejoice.”  (Philippians 4:4).

That reality should encourage us.  It reminds me that joy is not dependent on our circumstances. It reminds us that God desires our joy.  As we progress through this Holy Week, we can remember that Jesus’ mission of redemption won joy for us.  I pray we all come to know at a deeper level the joy that is found in the gospel.  When we proclaim the gospel message, we are offering a message of joy to others.

Please join us tonight for our MidWeek Bible Study at 7PM on Facebook Live.  We’ll be back in the Psalms looking at Psalm 34.  Also, we will have what I am calling a “Maundy Thursday Meditation” tomorrow night at 7 pm, that we will livestream through the church website.  I hope you can be a part of both.

Remember 1-1-3! Each day call one person and pray for (at least) three!  May God fill you with joy as you fix your hearts on Him and the unwavering truth of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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!).