Let It Run

2 Thessalonians 3:1
Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just
as when it came to you (v.1).

One truly thrilling moment in sports is the last
quarter mile of a horse race, when “down
the stretch they come!” Spectators are mildly
interested in the initial legs of the race, as the horses
jockey for position and conserve their energy for the
home stretch. But their roar is deafening when the horses
turn the final corner and break into a full gallop for the
finish line.

Paul had a race in mind when he asked the
Thessalonians to pray that “the Lord’s message will
spread rapidly” (2 Thessalonians 3:1). The Greek term
for “spread rapidly” is trecho, which means to run at full
speed. As spectators rise to their feet and scream “Go!
Go! Go!” so Paul commands us to cheer the spread of
the gospel in our lives and across the world.
We let the gospel run in our lives when we humbly
receive the forgiveness of sin and then patiently forgive
those who have sinned against us. The gospel surges
through us as we celebrate our Father’s love and then
pass it on by serving the least among us. In sum, we
unleash the gospel when we gladly confess that Jesus
Christ is Lord, and then live out that reality in daily

We let the gospel run in the world when we follow
Paul’s instructions to pray for its progress. We can’t force
others to submit to the lordship of Jesus, but we can
ask God to open their eyes so that they might “see the
glorious light of the Good News” (2 Corinthians 4:4). We can ask our Father
to bring His kingdom soon, so that His will is “done on earth, as it is in heaven”
(Matthew 6:10).

The only thing sadder than a throttled thoroughbred is a gospel that is kept in
check. Let it run. —Mike Wittmer

Read Paul’s letter to
Philemon 1:1 to see how—
through his practice and
his prayers—Philemon
could let the gospel run.

What specific attitude or
activity has held back the
gospel in your life? What
do you need to do, with
God’s help, to release
the freedom of Jesus in
your life?

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