Message from the Alumni Director
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
Dr. Luis Palau (Grad Cert ’61), our 75th anniversary commencement speaker, encouraged this year’s graduates, faculty, and staff alike, as he considered his Multnomah experience and shared how God had used his time at Multnomah to prepare him for the ministry of evangelism he is involved in today.
“I came away from Multnomah with a sense of authority and power through prayer,” Palau said. “I came away with a renewed commitment to evangelism and a vision for world missions that was inspiring.”
Dr. Palau recalled for us the many moments of sitting in Rev. George Kehoe’s Spiritual Life class. Kehoe would open each class with: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
“Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, he would repeat Galatians 2:20 again and again, Palau said, and by the end of the semester I realized he was making a point and the point was this: As we go to serve Jesus Christ and all throughout our lives, it is the power of Christ living within us that makes all the difference.”
Referencing Exodus 3 Palau exclaimed: “It took Moses 40 years to think he was somebody, it took the second 40 years for him to think he was a nobody, and it took the last 40 years for Moses to realize that God was everything “in” him and “through” him.” “I don’t need a pretty bush, an eloquent bush, or a well educated bush…any old bush will do, as long as God is in the bush,” Palau said.
Doing vs. Being
No doubt this is a difficult concept to grasp and for many of us, it can take the process of a lifetime. “Doing” is so closely tied to activity, accomplishments and tangible things—while “being” is a bit more challenging in that it has to do with the intangibles of life, much of which can't be measured by objective measurements and impressive degrees.
Because we live in a future-oriented culture that relates time largely to efficiency and productivity, we often define ourselves by what we “do” rather than “who” we are. It’s easy to get caught up in the doing, isn’t it? We strive towards lofty goals and admirable ambitions and before we know it we find ourselves overwhelmed and distracted by the busyness of “doing” life and ministry and forgetting our need for daily dependence on God. I believe the most important aspect of our spiritual life is to understand this need for a deep abiding dependence upon our Savior…Staying desperately dependent and constantly connected to Him. God is far more interested in what He is doing “in” us and “through” us than anything we could ever do for Him.
I loved what one of our fifty year alumni society members shared in reflecting on our 50 year reunion:
“…The faculty, the speakers and the classes all helped set an environment that influenced my ministry to this day. Our reunion brought back memories of my time at Multnomah and its value in my life…a freshness of reminders of people and their impact...the desire to influence others as I have been influenced and the anticipation of being who I should be until I go home. As I looked around the room, I realized God is still using us in many ways, but He is also preparing us for going home. Our being able to ‘do’ is lessening and our being able to ‘be’ is increasing. I smile and marvel at what God is doing ‘in’ us.”
I believe more than ever before God’s desire for our lives is that we would know and understand this deep abiding dependence on Him. Whether you are just graduating from Multnomah or celebrating fifty years, may we always remember, it is not about what we do for Christ that matters but what He is doing in us and who we are be-coming!
In closing our time together Dr. Palau shared that God had spoken to him:
“Luis, if I live my life in you and through you, you will never be frustrated, defeated, or live in futility or barrenness of spiritual life. Beware the barrenness of a busy life, he said, and beware the busyness of a barren life.”
My prayer for us today is that when we find ourselves frustrated, barren, or fruitless that we would remember this wonderful truth: “It is not I that live, but Christ living within me”. Whatever career path you may choose, whatever job the Lord might call you to do, whatever task He has set before you, never forget that it is Christ living within you!
Christ in me,
Michelle M. Peel, BA’00, MA ’10
Director of Alumni Relations
Multnomah Bible College, Multnomah Biblical Seminary