Education in Serious Joy


Education in Serious Joy. It’s our byword—an explanation, in very succinct terms, of what we are about at Bethlehem College & Seminary. It’s a startling phrase because it connects two words that we don’t normally associate with each other, but we are serious about joy here. The pursuit of joy is a serious business that also has significant implications. This is because the pursuit of joy is largely what drives people’s beliefs, actions, decisions, and priorities in life.

Everyone would like to be filled with joy, and they pursue it (in vain) by chasing after worldly goods, relationships, fame and adoration, wealth, power, or sex, among other things. However, people who pursue joy by the means I’ve just listed are missing something massively important about it. They don’t generally understand the difference between fleeting joy and lasting joy. The means above may well provide some level of fleeting joy or happiness. However, that joy will not and cannot last because it is inherently temporary due to its source (worldly goods, relationships, etc.).

The Lord did not create us to primarily derive our joy from the things of this earth. He created us to derive our deepest, most satisfying, and permanent joy from treasuring Him above all else. Therefore, lasting joy that will never fade or disappear can only be found in the Lord. All the vain pursuits of joy through means other than treasuring the Lord are doomed to fail in the end.

Our ambition for ourselves and our students is to drenched in a serious joy that will enable us to be like the believers in Hebrews 10:32-34

32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.

If this is the kind of transformational, deep, and lasting joy you desire, you are most welcome to join us this fall at the downtown campus of Bethlehem Baptist Church for our chapel services on Wednesdays from 12:00 to 1:00pm. Our fall series will delve deeply into the kind of joy that can only be found in the Lord. If you can’t join us in person, you can also watch the messages on video on our website.

Pursuing Joy With You,

Tim Tomlinson President Bethlehem College and Seminary

Prayer Requests:

1. Praise the Lord for his amazing goodness to us as we start another school year.

2. Please be in prayer for all of our new students. This is a huge transition for most of them, and Satan will work overtime to discourage and/or derail them. Pray for strength, stamina, and for them to pursue godly joy and holiness with all their might.

3. Please pray for our faculty as they gear up for a new year and, for some, teaching new courses and getting to know a new group of students. Pray for wisdom and discernment as they minister to and disciple our students into godly maturity.

4. Please also be in prayer for our finances. The Lord has been so good to us and we are grateful. However, the needs are always with us, and we are ever dependent upon the Lord. Please pray specifically for a meeting we’re holding in Indianapolis this weekend that the Lord would use it to mobilize new supporters for the school.