God’s Tender Words (Advent 2017)


There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.  He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. –  John 1:6-8


Guest post by Brent McDougal

When John the Baptizer came preaching in the desert, he chose Isaiah 40 to describe his calling. John wasn’t the Messiah and said so. He wasn’t Elijah, nor a prophet like people expected. Who was he? John said that he was just a voice.

 I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord’. – John 1:23

In recent weeks I have experienced the voice of God in some tender ways. Through all of the busyness of family life and seeking to disciple others, sometimes I don’t pause long enough to listen for the voice. But God has been speaking, especially in the early morning times, with words of comfort. Words of love and grace.

It reminds me how we need someone, like Isaiah wrote, who speaks tenderly to us. In a world of bitter and angry words, God knows we need more tender words. We need words that build up, works that give life and comfort.

It’s made me think about the words that I use. How often do I speak tenderly to those closest to me and among the ones I lead?

The words we use convey the love or lack of love in our hearts.

The good news is surely that we are the work of God’s hand. God can reshape us from the inside out, and out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.

This Advent, listen for God’s tender words, and speak tenderly to others.


About the Author:

Brent McDougal is the senior pastor of Cliff Temple Baptist Church in North Oak Cliff.  He regularly blogs at www.clifftemple.org/media/blog and writes a monthly column in the Oak Cliff Advocate magazine.