In 2 Thes 3:1, Paul requested prayer from the Thessalonians “that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.” In this sense the word course is a moving or motion forward. So, the course of a river, for instance, is the the direction that the water flows. The course of a race is the direction that the runners run. And there is the course of the earth in its orbit. In these examples, the water flows, the runners run, the earth orbits. There is motion along a certain course.
Paul’s desire was for the word of God to have “free course.” That is, he wanted the word of God to move in whatever direction the Lord desired, without restriction or impediment. Paul’s desire matches Is 55:10-11. The Lord sends his word to accomplish what he pleases and it doesn’t return to him void.
With this request and promise in mind, we should sow the word of God with the same desire as Paul, that the word would have free course. Here are some ways that the word of God can free course among us:
By referring people to the Radio Broadcast and Website. I have run into several people lately who are regular listeners of our daily radio broadcast. When you refer them to the radio, not only will they hear preaching and teaching from our broadcast but they are likely to hear some of the other good preachers that are on the air. When you refer them to the website, there are thousands of helpful posts to supplement their studies. At last count, several months ago, there were 400 people per day accessing info on the website. With both of these the Lord’s word has free course.
By giving people our New Testaments. Wherever you go, carry New Testaments with you. Always be ready to give one to any person you meet. We have given hundreds to cashiers waitstaff, receptionists, etc. Randy and I, on the way to Arizona, gave a New Testament to every waitress and receptionist we met along the way. These marked New Testaments are self explanatory. Years ago I gave one to Mike Harvey and he got saved reading the verses and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, as a result. Randy, on the ships, has given out many 1,000’s of these New Testaments. They are literally all over the world now. The Lord’s word has free course. You can do this.
By telling people about Jesus. Robert and I have been door knocking, visiting with people along the sea wall, and even visiting with folks in what I call “drive by’s.” These are great seed sowing opportunities because God has already been working in the lives of these folks before we show up. We are just being used by the Lord to further his work in the lives of each individual with whom we speak. And the Lord will continue dealing with them after we are gone as long as his word has free course. God wants to use you to publish his word. If you will ask the Lord to use you each morning, and if you will respond to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, he will use you to tell others about Jesus.
By preaching the Gospel. I know this can be hard, particularly with family members and close friends who know you well. So, set an appointment for somebody else to go with you. I took someone with me every time I went to talk to my father about Jesus. It encouraged me to have them there. Looking around the congregation, I see several people with whom I have been able to preach the gospel. David and I went to Inez to preach the gospel to his mother. Bayne and I have eaten lunch together many times with family members or associates to whom we preached the gospel. Benny and I went to preach the gospel to a fellow named David. Auré and I have preached to a number of different students in our home. Several people have been saved like this. Get someone to help you. We should have several of these appointments each week so the word can have free course.
By inviting people to Church. People saved in church are more likely to keep attending church than people who are saved in their homes, for instance. So, don’t be afraid to invite others to church. It’s one of the simplest ways to publish the word. They often will come with you and they will hear the gospel preached.
Conclusion: we need to be reminded often about these matters. Let’s pray and ask the Lord to help us as he uses us to publish his word so it can continue to have free course.