“It is not the abilities we have that determine who we are; it’s the choices we make”
Person to Person
As he shared with us thoughts from I Timothy where Paul portrays the church being a household, the church of the living God, and a pillar and foundation of truth, the reality of this important charge became clearer. As a household — suggesting a place that is thoroughly human, one of great diversity with lots of imperfections, as the Church of the Living God — one that is human, yes, but also one that is thoroughly divine, designated as God’s instrument to accomplish His purposes within the world; and as a Pillar and Foundation of Truth — essential in the work that God has called us to do in being custodians of Scripture and taking His message to the world.
Human, Divine and Essential
With all of its imperfections, the church has been chosen by God as His holy instrument to serve as a pillar and foundation of truth in this relativistic culture in which we live. As I sat and listened, I was reminded not only of the great value placed on the church, but also of the immense privilege I have in being a part of the ministry God is doing through Multnomah. The mission of Multnomah in equipping men and women as a vital tool in the work He is doing through His church around the world. Women like Derry (Theta cohort graduate) who shared in reflecting on her experience: “Multnomah is like a family — during class breaks, the professors didn't leave, but they engaged with us, asking about how we were doing personally. They taught the information in a way that showed they really wanted us to understand the concepts that they were teaching.” Men like Kenny, a retired vet preparing to be a military chaplain, who shared: “we’ve been equipped and now we need to take this message to the world.”
Not Just a Bible Degree
What an honor it is to be a part of the ongoing ministry of Multnomah. To walk alongside faculty and staff who demonstrate daily their commitment to this cause of building God’s church through their investment in the lives of students being transformed and prepared for service around the world.
Dr. Lockwood charged as he left us with this final poignant statement — “You have lots of knowledge of God’s Word and even of theology as a result of your time here at Multnomah. You have great abilities and talents...Remember, it’s not the abilities we have that determine who we are; it’s the choices that we make.”
What a great reminder for our hearts as well. God has called us to be about building His church. It’s not just about having a Bible degree — it’s about allowing the things that we’ve learned, the truths of God’s Word, to govern and shape our lives in such a way, so that the choices we make are ones that honor Him. My prayer for us today is that we would be a part of building His church as we invest our lives in the work He is doing around the world.
Building the church together,
Michelle M. Peel, MA ’10, BA ’00
Director of Alumni Relations