The solution to the world’s problems is a person, not a thing. I’m grateful for this.
I’ve been serving as the President of Emmaus Biblical Seminary in Haiti since 2012. Since that time, the institution has faced its share of obstacles to overcome. We’ve been through all sorts of strategic planning initiatives, fund raisers, faculty development programs, admissions standards evaluations, curriculum reviews, and the list goes on. There are constantly things needing to be dealt with.
Most of the obstacles that stand between us and fulfilling our mission need a plan, a budget, a handbook, a manual, a policy, or an initiative. There is always something more that we need to solve the various problems and obstacles facing the school.
Even more than this, there are all sorts of things that we need to accomplish our wildest dreams at Emmaus. Want to add another Master’s program? We need another building! Want to develop the sports program? We need to build a basketball court! Want to get set and enrollment record? Develop a recruitment program! Want to launch that research initiative? Expand the library!
Thing, after thing, after thing; dollar, after dollar, after dollar; initiative after initiative; strategic plan after strategic plan. There is no end to the list of things that would solve our problems.
But what about the problem of the human heart? What about the fact that in the end, people are fundamentally selfish? What about terrorism? Bigotry? Hatred? Racism? Prejudice? Dallas Cowboy fans? What about the fact that people are just evil? What do we need to fix that?
I’m grateful that God didn’t have to develop a budget, send a check, build a building, or develop a strategic plan with measuring instruments for success. I’m thankful that the solution is a person. God came and dwelt among us. The solution is God incarnate—God in flesh.
This is the message and meaning of Christmas, that God put on flesh and shared life with us.
For ages, God revealed himself and His goodness through words; namely, the Old Testament. But now, as Hebrews 1:1–4 says, He has revealed himself through his only begotten Son. You see, it is only a personal relationship with God through Jesus that people’s hearts can be made clean. We have to walk with Him. We have to relate to Him and him to us. We have to dialogue with Him. We have to share ourselves with Him because He has shared His life with us.
Philippians 2:6–8 says this about Jesus:
Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Let me say it again, the only way for the human heart to truly change, to be created a new, is for people to walk in intimacy with Jesus. This phrase “walking with Jesus” is an expression for “being reconciled to God”. Second Corinthians 5:19 says that, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” And 2 Corinthians 5:18 says, “Now all things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (also see Col. 1:20; Rom. 5:10–11; 2 Cor. 5:21; Eph. 2:16).
Don’t miss the gift of a personal relationship with Jesus for a thing this Christmas
Be aware of a church that offers only programs in place of a relationship.