*The elders and deacons believe that God's vision for our church is clear. It wasn't easy to articulate that vision but with much prayer, and the congregation's help, we believe that God is leading us according to His purposes and ways.*

*In order to accomplish His vision, we must be spiritually transformed. That transformation is crucial.  Each of us needs to be continually conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).*

*If this transformation is to happen, and if it is to be genuine, we must each do whatever is necessary to deepen our relationship with God.  I know that this sounds like Christianity 101, and it is, but we need to continually seek the heart and the will of God.  I guess the question is, "Are we willing to do whatever is necessary to deepen that relationship?"*

*Two Bible verses come to mind.  The first is found in 2 Chronicles 16:9*

*"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him."*

*The second is Jeremiah 29:11-13*

*"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I WILL hear you.  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart."*

*We have God's vision.  We know what is necessary.  At we willing to make whatever sacrifices are necessary?  Are willing to present our bodies as a "living sacrifice?" (Romans 12:2).  We can, and we must, if we are to follow, and fulfill, God's vision for our church.* 

*Let's heed the words from Matthew 7:7-8* 

*"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened."*

*Let's covenant together to do whatever it takes to follow God's vision for First Baptist.*

*Pastor Tom*

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