Times & Directions Give

Biblical.  Confessional.  Reformed.  Reverent.

Sunday Worship Services
10:30am – Morning Worship
5:30pm – Evening Worship
Church Address
Moultrie Middle School
654 Coleman Boulevard
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
 

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Posts by Rev. Jon D. Payne

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Worship Schedule | Hurricane Irma

Dear Members and Friends of Christ Church, Due to the closure of Moultrie Middle School (our regular meeting place for worship) Christ Church will be worshipping with our sister congregation, Redeemer Presbyterian Church. Redeemer is in downtown Charleston at 43 Wentworth Street. The service begins at 10:30 am. Please check Redeemer's website for parking information. If y...

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Healthy Church Growth

The best kind of church growth is that which is spiritual. Don’t get me wrong, I want our congregation to grow numerically. I would love for our giving to increase. I long for the pews in Lord’s Day morning and evening worship to be full of passionate worshippers. But more important than nickels and noses is the growing spiritual maturity of Christ’s floc...

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He Descended Into Hell

He Descended Into Hell Have you ever wondered what is meant by this little four word clause in the Apostles’ Creed: “He descended into Hell?” When Christ died on the cross his body went into the grave, his spirit into the hands of the Father, and his suffering was over (Luke 23:43, 46). This raises questions, however, concerning the article “He des...

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Worship & the Means of Grace

When Christians assemble for worship on the Lord’s Day they participate in what is by far the most meaningful and consequential activity in the body of Christ. Worship is the highest calling of the believer. It is the center jewel on the crown of Christian discipleship. It is the verdant pasture in which Christ Jesus, the Good Shepherd, feeds and nourishes His sheep....

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The Courage of Martin Luther

The Courage of Martin Luther In a diet-crazed culture, the Diet of Worms may sound like an uninviting alternative to the South Beach or Atkins Diets. The Diet of Worms, however, had little to do with counting calories. In the Holy Roman Empire, an Imperial diet was an official meeting called by the emperor for the purpose of conducting official business. Soon after Charle...

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Missions, Church Planting, & The Invisible Hand of God

Missions, Church Planting & the Invisible Hand of God Church planting is full of surprises. Some of them come wrapped in unpleasantness. Indeed, launching a new church plant is not for the fainthearted! But most of the surprises are deeply encouraging. They remind us that while obstacles may be numerous, God is faithful and Christ will build His Church (Mt. 16:18). In...

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Foundations of a Welcoming Church

Foundations of a Welcoming Church We all like to feel welcome, don’t we? Whether it’s at home, school, work, church, with friends, or on the athletic field, it’s an encouragement to be warmly welcomed by others. Alternatively, it is a real discouragement to be overlooked, ignored, or shunned–– especially at church. Many of us have had the ex...

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God's Law & the Christian

Alan Jacobs, in his delightful little book entitled The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), challenges the notion that reading good literature improves a person’s character. He quotes the eighteenth-century scientist G.C. Lichtenberg who wrote, “A book is like a mirror: if a [donkey] looks in, you can’t e...

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The Real Struggle

THE REAL STRUGGLE The foundational doctrines of election and predestination may be troubling to those who have never been seriously exposed to them. Perhaps you have been thinking to yourself, “The doctrine on the sovereignty of God in election cannot be right. The God I have known and worshipped all of these years would never elect some unto everlasting life and pa...

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The Cross: A Magnification of God’s Love

The Cross: A Magnification of God’s Love The Gospel never gets old ... never. How can it, if we really understand our nature’s wicked, depraved, and helpless condition, and the lengths to which Christ went to save us from divine judgement? Jesus was brutally nailed to the cross because of our sins. The Son of God bled and died for us. He willingly received the...

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The Role of Heroes

The Role of Heroes Iain H. Murray has written a delightful collection of seven biographical sketches entitled, Heroes. Published by the Banner of Truth in 2009, this volume reflects upon the lives of some well-known, and not so well-known, figures from Church history. Within its pages the reader is given a glimpse into the extraordinary lives of Jonathan Edwards (1703-175...

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Praying for a New Reformation in Germany

Praying for a New Reformation in Germany We are grateful to welcome to Christ Church this Lord’s Day the Rev. Sebastian Heck, German church planter from Heidelberg, Germany, and a dear friend in ministry. Sebastian will be preaching in our evening service (5:30 p.m.), and I would warmly encourage you to attend. Sebastian’s church, the Evangelical Free Church o...

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The Love of God

The Love of God Shortly after my conversion, just after my sophomore year at Clemson University, I began attending Fellowship of Christian Athlete (FCA) meetings. I will never forget the expressions on the faces of the students when I first began attending. They were surprised and confused. Because of my wild lifestyle, I was told by more than one student that they though...

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The Nuts & Bolts of Sanctification, Part II

The Nuts & Bolts of Sanctification, Part II Definitive and Progressive Sanctification The grammar of God’s Word teaches us that believers are sanctified (definitive sanctification), and are presently being sanctified (progressive sanctification). We have been set apart as holy (I Cor. 1:2), and are thus called to be holy (I Pet. 1:14-16; Col.3:1-17). God has de...

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The Nuts and Bolts of Sanctification, Part I

The Nuts and Bolts of Sanctification, Part I God’s saving grace in Christ is much bigger and more comprehensive than one might initially think. God’s grace not only rescues, it renovates. It not only justifies, it sanctifies. It not only reconciles, it renews. It not only propitiates, it purifies. It not only delivers, it matures. Indeed, the sovereign grace o...

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Walking with God, Part III

Walking With God, III In John’s first epistle we are exhorted to walk in the light of God’s presence and truth, not in the darkness of this fallen world. He states, “If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another...

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Walking with God, Part II

Walking with God, Part II The Prophet Micah reminds us of what God “requires” of His redeemed children. “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Notice the last phrase, “and to walk humbly with your God.” Last week, with the help...

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Walking with God, Part I

Walking with God, Part I The Bible teaches us that godly men like Enoch and Noah “walked with God” (Gen. 5:24; 6:9). Moreover, we are told, “blessed are the people … who walk, O LORD, in the light of your face” (Ps. 89:15). As Christian believers we often talk about, and pray for, a more faithful, committed, and disciplined walk with God. Bu...

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Purposeful Parenting, Part III - PATIENCE

Purposeful Parenting, Part III–– PATIENCE It has already been established that we, as Christian parents, are called by God to humbly take charge of our homes, and to shepherd the hearts of our children. We are not meant to go with the cultural flow when it comes to child rearing. If we do not raise and disciple our children with purpose, the world (e.g. media,...

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Purposeful Parenting, Part II - Shepherding the Heart

Purposeful Parenting, Part II –– Shepherd the Heart Last week I attempted to show that, according to Scripture, Christian parents are meant to take charge of their children and home life. Our children do not “rule the roost.” They are under our God-given authority, and we should always seek to exercise that authority with Spirit-filled humility, lo...

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Purposeful Parenting, Part I - Take Charge

Purposeful Parenting, Part I–– Take Charge Let’s face it, Christian parenting isn’t easy. Prior to having children of my own, I would periodically cast a disapproving eye upon those parents who couldn’t “control” their kids. “My children will NEVER act like that,” I smugly reflected. But of course, life experience humb...

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The Missing Resolutions

The Missing Resolutions New Year’s resolutions are usually very personal. Some people resolve to shed some pounds, eat healthier, and get in better shape. Others resolve to get organized, and to clean out messy closets and junk drawers at home. Then there are those who resolve in the new year to check off more items on their bucket list. Whatever resolutions people ...

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Redeeming the Time in 2015

Redeeming the Time in 2015 Recently, Marla and I talked about a few goals for the coming year. Like most of you, our sincere desire is to take advantage of –– and improve upon –– the time that God has allotted to us. In our text for this Sunday’s morning worship service we are exhorted by God to make good use of our time. Look carefully then...

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Visible Love

Visible Love In Mark 12:28-34 our Lord Jesus answered the scribe’s question concerning the greatest commandment. Quoting from Deuteronomy 6:4, 5 and Leviticus 19:18, Christ said, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The s...

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The Incomparable Christ

The Incomparable Christ The Latin phrase Solus Christus defines salvation as that which cannot be found outside of faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through faith in him (John 14:6). Over the past two thousand years people have reacted to Chr...

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A Savior Is Born

A SAVIOR IS BORN Isaiah 7:10-14 and Luke 1:26-38 are two passages that highlight the birth of our Lord Jesus. Written 700 years before the coming of Christ, Isaiah prophesied that God would give His people a sign, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel (God with us).” That sign, of course, was fulfilled in the birth...

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Singing the Psalms

Singing the Psalms If you are a member or regular attender of Christ Church Presbyterian you will have noticed that we sing the Psalms in our worship services. Allow me to explain three reasons why I believe it is not only good but altogether necessary that we, as a congregation, sing the Psalms. 1. The Psalms were designed to be sung: The Psalms were divinely inspired n...

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Christ Church: A Grateful Report of 2014

A Growing Congregation Christ Church launched on Lord’s Day, June 9, 2013. We continued to meet for weekly Lord’s Day evening worship during the summer months at First Scots Presbyterian’s historic chapel in downtown Charleston. Our average attendance was around 80-90. After renting space for the next two months at St. Johannes Lutheran Church on Hassel ...

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Thoughts on Ordination

Thoughts on Ordination In our evening service Ross Hodges will be ordained to the ministry of Word and sacrament in the Presbyterian Church in America. While we are all very excited that Ross is being set apart for a lifetime of faithful ministry, perhaps there are some who are curious about the biblical process of ordination. Several years ago Ross discerned an inward c...

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Missions & Church Planting in the UK

Missions & Church Planting in the UK Winston Churchill once remarked: “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” Sometimes in our wildly busy schedules we get so caught up in making a living that we forget to make a life by investing in those things that matter most. And there’s nothing that matters more in life than the healt...

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Calvin's Institutes: A Brief Introduction

Calvin’s Institutes: A Brief Introduction The Institutes of the Christian Religion (Christianae Religionis Institutio) was written by John Calvin (1509-64), the French Reformer who spent most of his life faithfully preaching and teaching God’s Word in Geneva, Switzerland. First published in Latin in 1536 - its final major revision in 1559 - the Institutes beca...

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Reformation Musings

Reformation Musings I love October. It’s a month of welcome transitions. The cool weather is a long-anticipated break from a hot and muggy Charleston summer. Tree leaves of various types transform into a magnificent array of autumn colors. The holidays begin to make their approach. But for Protestants, October means more than just milder weather, college football, a...

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Sanctification & the Heidelberg Catechism

Sanctification & the Heidelberg Catechism Exploring the Heidelberger’s robust doctrine of progressive sanctification   In the recent and engaging discussions on the doctrine of sanctification, I have found it interesting that some in my own denomination, The Presbyterian Church in America, are quicker to reference the Heidelberg Catechism (HC) than the We...

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Fighting For the Truth

Fighting For the Truth The Apostle Paul exhorted his disciple Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith” (I Tim. 6:12a). Central to this “fight of faith” was defending the truth against those who “teach a different doctrine” and do not “agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godlines...

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In the Spiritual Ditch?

In the Spiritual Ditch? Have you ever felt like you were in a spiritual ditch? Perhaps you feel that way right now. Your heart feels cold towards God, His Word, and His kingdom priorities. God seems distant. Your zeal for the Lord has waned. Your affections towards Christ have steadily declined. Your eyes are dry, and your love and concern for others feels strained and fo...

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The Public Reading of Scripture

For centuries, Protestant and Reformed liturgies have included a substantial reading of Scripture. How is it, then, that a person can walk into most present-day evangelical worship services and hear so little of the reading of God’s Word? Although congregations boast in the inerrancy, authority, and sufficiency of God’s Word, it is ironic that many church servi...

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Recovering the Lost Treasure of Evening Worship

Recovering the Lost Treasure of Evening Worship I once heard of an elderly Christian woman who had much difficulty walking due to chronic arthritis. Despite her condition, she faithfully attended morning and evening worship every Lord’s Day. When asked about how she always managed to come to both services, she responded by saying, “My heart gets there first, a...

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Word-Centered Prayer

Word-Centered Prayer Prayer is a sincere expression of our utter dependance upon God, an expression of our humble reliance upon God’s immeasurable power, infinite wisdom, and sovereign mercy. It is a means by which we commune with God. Prayer is more than just talking with God, it is worship. We can understand, then, why the Apostle Paul exhorted the early Church to...

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Love God, Like Sports

Love God, Like Sports Growing up the son of a prominent sportswriter in Northern California, sports were a significant part of my upbringing. My dad wrote for the San Jose Mercury News for 33 years and covered a wide variety of sporting events during that time. He covered the San Francisco Forty Niners and the Oakland Raiders for several years, and later focused on profes...

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Clemson & the Love of God

Clemson & the Love of God On Monday, after dropping off our oldest at Camp Ridgehaven in the highlands of North Carolina, we decided to visit my alma mater, Clemson University (’93). It had been almost 15 years since our last visit. So much has changed. The campus has undergone massive improvements. Beautiful new buildings, squares, plazas, and memorials are at ...

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Press On, Christ Church, Press On!

Dear Members of Christ Church, A little over a month ago we joyfully celebrated our one year anniversary as a church plant. On that joyful occasion we reflected upon God's faithfulness to us, and the tremendous opportunity that our Heavenly Father has given us to establish a biblically healthy congregation that glorifies God, loves one another, and possess a heart for unc...

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The Intentional Christian Marriage, Part II

Members of Christ Church, the question was asked in last week’s pastoral letter, “Is your marriage intentionally Christian?” Do you, as a couple, seek to cultivate a God-centered, Christ-dependent, Scripture-saturated perspective in your relationship? The first thing I mentioned as axiomatic to an intentional Christian marriage is the need to study, conte...

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The Intentional Christian Marriage, Part I

Is your marriage intentionally Christian? In other words, do you as a couple intentionally seek to cultivate a God-centered, Christ-dependent, and Word-guided perspective in your relationship? Or do you just hope and pray and let the chips fall where they may? While working with families in the context of the church for many years, I have observed that many Christian coupl...

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The Wonderful Gospel of Grace

The story never grows old. Jesus Christ, the Son of God and second person of the Trinity, becoming a man – without ceasing to be God – in order to rescue guilty sinners from the bondage of sin and its gruesome wages (Rom. 6:23). God the Father “delivered over” His only Son into the hands of sinful men to be crucified, to be a penal substitute and pr...

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Why Liturgy?

In general, evangelical worship in America has become radically informal, presumptuously innovative, and biblically impoverished. Much of this is largely due to the abandonment of God-centered, biblically regulated liturgy. The arrogance of modern evangelicalism has served to shelve a Protestant liturgical heritage which, for centuries, has faithfully led Christians to wor...

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Great Is His Faithfulness: Christ Church at One Year

Many years ago I attended a Billy Graham Crusade in Charlotte, North Carolina. I don’t remember a whole lot about the evening except that there was a heavy downpour of rain and we sang Great Is Thy Faithfulness, the beloved hymn written by Thomas Crisholm in 1923. To sing this great hymn with approximately 60,000 people was a glorious foretaste of heaven, where with ...

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A Wrangle on Sanctification

Beloved Christ Church, the winds of doctrinal controversy have picked up again over the subject of sanctification. Some well-intentioned ministers and laypeople are promoting a truncated view of the gospel, that is, one that heralds God’s saving mercy in Christ, but greatly minimizes (or even disparages) God’s call to Christian growth and holiness through bibli...

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Tithes and Offerings: An Act of Worship

Every Lord’s Day, both in the morning and evening worship services, the liturgy calls for the giving of God’s tithe and our offerings. During this time, the plates are passed amongst the congregation, gathering in the first fruits of all that God has faithfully provided His redeemed children. The generous, cheerful and sacrificial giving of God’s people i...

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Christless Christianity Unmasked

H. Richard Niebuhr, Professor at Yale from 1931-1962, described the liberal message of the Mainline American Protestant Church as “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a world without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.” (The Kingdom of God In America, 193) Sadly, the liberal mainline churches are not the only ones taking...

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The Power of Words

We have all experienced it … the tremendous power of words. Indeed, all of us have been the recipients not only of encouraging words that swell our hearts with joy and strengthen resolve to press on, but also of harsh and discouraging words that momentarily cripple us, leaving us dejected and dispirited. Then there are the words that either take us by the hand and l...

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The Mansion

A few years ago I read a classic, skillfully written short story by Henry Van Dyke entitled, The Mansion. This delightful piece of early twentieth century literature, first published in 1910, is about a successful New York banker named John Weightman who lived in a beautiful, yet “reservedly opulent” mansion with his wife and two daughters. He is characterized ...

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God-Centered Parenting

It is no easy task in our day and time to raise children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Not only is our culture becoming increasingly degenerate, many well-intentioned churches are abandoning serious discipleship in order to be more attractive to the lost. An emphasis on Lord’s Day worship and family piety has largely been rep...

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Beware of Destructive Heresies

Not only was Peter an apostle (apostolos), called and sent by God to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he was also a bond-servant (doulos), joyfully and willingly serving the One who laid His life down on the cross for the Church (II Peter 1:1; Ephesians 5:25). As an ambassador for Christ, Peter’s life-mission was to go forth into all the world heralding the good ...

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Scottish Reformation History

The sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation in Scotland was a glorious and dynamic period in church history. The manifold reformers who courageously responded to God’s call to reform the Scottish Church included the likes of the fearless George Wishart (1513 – 1546) who was martyred for preaching the doctrines of the “Swiss Reformers;” the erudite ...

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Luck or Providence?

How many times have you wished somebody luck? People do it all the time. For instance, we wish people luck before big exams, athletic competitions, or job interviews. But why? What is luck anyway? Should “luck” even be a part of the Christian’s vocabulary? The Oxford English Dictionary defines luck as “good things that happen by chance” and &l...

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Our Building Fund

Dear Members and Friends of Christ Church, "And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly ..." (Acts 6:7a). In just under ten months the Lord has blessed us with a loving, unified, and growing congregation. Many new individuals and families visit each Sunday, and interest in our church plant continues to increase. The infan...

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The Protestant Reformation: A Glorious Heritage

Beloved Christ Church, as Reformation Day approaches (October 31st) I thought I'd send along a few thoughts for your encouragement. A few years ago my mother gave me a ninety-year-old confirmation certificate which belonged to her mother, Charlotte Emily Zilz. The entire document was written in German. My maternal grandmother was a member of a German speaking, Missouri Sy...

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What is a Man of God?

Rarely do we hear a Christian man called a “man of God” anymore. Few men in our day live with the kind of sincere humility, biblical conviction, and God-centered passion that would merit such a description. We are more self-centered than Christ-centered. Many years ago, while living in Scotland, I came under an extraordinary level of conviction about my own pri...

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