Message from the Alumni Director
“Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119
I love the eager anticipation a New Year can bring. For me, it is often the feeling of a fresh start, along with the expectation of the unknown that makes this opportunity for reflection and the consideration of new goals so exciting. After a tough year, it is the hope of a better year ahead. Following a season of growth, it is the satisfaction of maturity observed both through pleasant, as well as difficult times.
As I spent time thinking about the year ahead and what I am most excited for, I was reminded of Dr. Lockwood’s message to our graduates during our recent fall commencement ceremony. Finding themselves at the end of a rigorous academic journey, feeling accomplished and motivated for the future ahead, his challenge to them was simple, yet powerful and profound.
Consider the disposition of your hearts!
He rehearsed for us three stories of well known kings: Saul, a man beginning well yet ending with a hardened heart of disobedience; Solomon, a man seeking wisdom yet detoured by worldly pleasures and a divided heart; and David, a man who though far from perfect held fast to a heart of passion after God’s own.
Dr. Lockwood challenged us,
“God is looking for men and women with hearts after His own. Far more important than figuring out where your job is going to be, where you’re home is going to be, what your next steps are going to be, is how you can become a man or a woman after God’s own heart."
David was a man who had a passion to love God — “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” In cultivating a heart after God’s own, let us imitate David in hiding His Word within our hearts — not as a mere feat of memory, but as a joyful act of affection. A passion to love God, a passion to hate sin, and a passion for His word, was Dr. Lockwood’s recommendation to our graduates for cultivating a heart after God’s own:
“My admonition to you is to become men and women after God’s own heart. You have cultivated a knowledge and a passion for His Word. You have cultivated a passion to love God and to deepen your relationship with Him, and you have cultivated a hatred of the things that God hates. Don’t let that drop when you leave Multnomah. Keep that passion strong as you continue to grow a heart that beats in tune with His every step of your journey from here.”
Don’t underestimate His Word
It is as we hide His Word within our hearts that we come to know Him and His desires for our lives in how we ought to live. As we treasure it, meditate upon it, memorize it, and pray it, we find that our desires become His and that sin no longer pulls us as it once did.
As Dr. Lockwood challenged our graduates, I would also challenge you — far more important than any goal or resolution you may have set for the New Year ahead is the pursuit of a heart that follows hard after Him. As you take time to hide His Word within your hearts this year, my prayer is that a renewed passion for God would grow within. May He give us all a heart like David’ s— dependent, surrendered, and beating first and foremost after His.
Cultivating a heart after His own,
Michelle M. Peel (BA ’00, MA ’10)
Director of Alumni Relations
Multnomah Bible College & Multnomah Biblical Seminary