The Ultimate Act of Love


Dear Friend of BCS,

“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life
for my sake and the gospel’s will save it
.”—Mark 8:35

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for
his friends.”—
John 15:13

“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
—1 John 3:16

“Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.””—Esther 4:15–16

Each of these biblical texts illustrates the same truth: that the ultimate act of love is to be willing to lay down your life for the sake of others. This is truly radical. This is what Jesus did for us and what we should be willing to do for others. There is no higher act of love than to lay down our lives for the good of others.

You can perhaps imagine my reaction, then, when one of our Bethlehem College & Seminary students made a startling statement around our dinner table one evening. I had asked each one at the table to describe God’s call on his or her life. One young man stated very simply, “I believe God is calling me to be a missionary to the Middle East and that I will one day become a martyr.” He wasn’t being dramatic or morbid or funny. He believes this is what God is calling him to and he is gladly pursuing that call by equipping himself at our school before launching into ministry work in one of the most dangerous places on earth for a Christian.

I was humbled, blessed, encouraged, inspired, and motivated by this young man’s straightforward statement of radical obedience to God’s call on his life. If I ever wonder why I’m doing what I’m doing at this school, I will think of this young man and rejoice that the Lord has given me the privilege of being able to work with young Christians who are so completely committed to the advancement of the Gospel that they are willing to lay down their lives for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Lord, ignite such love in all our hearts.

Reveling in the great love of Christ,

Tim Tomlinson
President, Bethlehem College & Seminary

Prayer Requests

  1. Please pray for our new students—all 60 of them! These first days and weeks in a new school, a new program,
    a new city (for most of them), a new church, and with new friends, is often overwhelming. Pray that they would adapt well to all these new things and that they would flourish in all aspects of their lives.
  2. Please pray for our inaugural chapel service Thursday evening. We are excited to have our Chancellor, John Piper, back with us after a year of leave. Pray that the Lord will use his message in a powerful way among us.
  3. Please continue to pray for the accreditation process. We will be hosting a formal evaluation team from the Association for Biblical Higher Education in early October. Their visit will determine how soon we will receive accreditation status.
  4. As always, pray for the ongoing need for funding. Our operating fund need is 1.2 million dollars this year.
    We are on our knees in prayer regarding this and we need as many prayers offered on our behalf as possible. God is able!