Love is the primary solution to all of man’s problems of today, as well as those of the past—true love, the love of God and the love of fellow man. This is still God’s answer, even in such a complex and confused society as that of the world today.
It is people’s rejection of the love of God and His loving laws that causes them to be selfish and cruel to their neighbor—man’s inhumanity to man, which is so apparent in today’s weary world with all of its enslavement by oppression, tyranny, and exploitation. Hundreds of millions suffer needlessly from hunger and malnutrition, disease and ill health, poverty, overwork, and abuse—not to mention the tortures of war and nightmares of perpetual fearful insecurity. All of these evils are caused by people’s lack of love for God and each other, as well as their defiance of God’s laws of love, faith, peace, and harmony.
Christmas was God’s big splash, the greatest miracle ever—His love in the form of His only Son, Jesus, sent down to our earthly plane to lead us back to Him. And Christmas is still a time for miracles. Like ripples traveling out from that splash, little Christmas miracles remind us of God’s unfailing love.
One Christmas my husband Daniel and I planned to take Christmas presents to the children of many of the poorest families in Goiânia, Brazil, where we were living at the time. The previous year, a friend who owns a toy shop had given us hundreds of toys to distribute, but this year he was only able to contribute five large plastic trucks.
This Christmas season the world aches and groansbecause of the losses and tragedies of the year. Many lives have been broken, and many dreams have been shattered. People the world over need to see the light of love that came down on that very first Christmas to brighten their lives, about which the prophet Isaiah wrote, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined” (Isaiah 9:2).
As a young man, Francis of Assisi loved material things, especially beautiful clothes from the shop of his wealthy merchant father. One biographer describes the handsome, young, fun-loving Francis as “the very king of frolic.” That changed at the age of about 20, after he went to fight in a skirmish with a rival city. He was taken prisoner, held for over a year, and came home very weak from a serious illness.
Staying healthy financially is a bit like staying healthy physically: There aren’t any shortcuts or “magic pills,” but rather it’s dependent on numerous factors that have to be done with regularity.
To get healthy or stay healthy physically, you must do a number of things in proper balance—eat well, sleep well, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, dress appropriately for the weather, avoid stress, stay clean and avoid germs, etc. You can’t only eat well and expect to be healthy; you also need to do those other things. Each is a part of God’s health plan, and they all work together to bring about the desired result.
When I was a poor college student trying to exist on only $25 a month in a little 14-foot trailer [caravan] with a wife and two small children, my wife suggested that God would bless us if we would tithe1 of even what little we had.
I protested at first that we couldn’t afford it, but when we prayed to find the Lord’s will about it, we opened the Bible to the very scripture about the widow who gave her last two mites—coins worth only a fraction of a penny by today’s standards—to the Lord’s treasury (Mark 12:41–44).
It’s easy to be a good person, but still be wrapped up in your own little world. After all, you already have more work and other responsibilities than you feel you can keep up with. It’s no surprise that there’s so little time for reaching out to others.