“Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem…” Isaiah 40:1-2
Here’s what godly fathers are to say to their families, and what godly teachers and Bible study leaders are to speak to the people they lead. Here is how all Christians are to communicate when we speak in the name of the Lord.
Here we are, preparing for Christmas, when many of us will spend time with family members, neighbors, colleagues, and friends, many of whom are facing great difficulties. God has given to us a message of comfort and hope. We must be ready to speak.
Speak tenderly! Speak lovingly. Literally translated, this says “speak to the heart.” We are living in a time when many people are convinced that if God exists at all, he must be against them, and that God, if he exists, is out to kill their joy and impose impossible demands.
That’s the conviction of a lost person, and alongside it you need to put their experience—an unrelenting battle, constant warfare! Every person you speak to is in a battle. Do you remember what Christ did when he looked out over the city of Jerusalem? He had compassion for sinners. They were like sheep without a shepherd. He felt sorry for them.
Do you feel sorry for the person who is on drugs, the person who moves from one partner to another? Do you feel sorry for the person who is consumed with work and money? Speak tenderly. Try to display the love of God that reaches out into this broken world. People who are tired of the battle don’t need your condemnation. They need to hear a word of hope.
Are you ready to speak a word of hope to those you’ll be with this Christmas?