Dream word – PERSEVERE
>2 Thessalonians 3:6-11
“But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labour and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” NKJV
I was watching TV last night and saw them again and wondered if they shall indeed go down in history as one of the great white reggae bands? UB40 was formed in 1979 out of $8000 dollars damages which the lead singer received from an under-aged bar fight he was involved in. The band advertised their presence in the city of Birmingham before they ever had or could play any instruments! Interesting eh! Oh and by the way, at the time of their formation they were all claiming unemployment benefit.
Actually, UB40 was the number and name of an unemployment benefit claim form. (Unemployment Benefit Form 40) Whenever you signed on as being unemployed but available for work, you would fill in a UB40 and then of course, you would be entitled to unemployment benefit, job seekers allowance, indeed, whatever the financial support was then called, together with all the other personal and family social security benefits.
For those who cannot work, either through lack of fitness, lack of training, or simply lack of work availability, this quite frankly phenomenal national provision of finances for food and clothing formed in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, has been the physical salvation of many folk. For those who will not work through laziness through indolence, or through theft, it has proven to be a curse to them and a burden to the nation as a whole. For there is agreat difference between those who cannot work and those who will not work and it is to that difference that our text speaks this evening. There are three things I need to say here.
The first is for those folk who are immediately grieved on their heart on reading these words. You may have been unemployed for some time and you may feel yourself hopelessly unemployable. The morning brings for you nothing but dark clouds, for you daily see others rise from their beds and get off to their profitable labour while you drag yourself from yours to try and make it through another day of disappointment and rejection. The words in our text for today are not for you. I can only speak from what I am and what I am is a man, and I tell you tonight, there is no greater weight on the spirit of a man than for him not to be able to earn his own bread. Real men when jobless, especially over long periods of time, become sick at heart and sick in the head. There is only one answer for such men and that is that they are afforded the opportunity of profitable labour! Until then, if this is you, you must on the morrow count your search for work as a full time job in itself and one of the hardest jobs you shall ever undertake. I say again tonight, looking for a job is a full time job and one of the hardest on the planet. In this you are to be most commended. Keep at it friend, keep at it my brother, my sister. No, this text is not for you tonight.
The second thing that needs to be said is that if you have every intention of not using the system to assist you in finding employment, but rather abusing the system of your nation’s provision with all intention of taking and no intention of making an effort to gain employment, then you are a thief. You should be allowed to go hungry and your hunger should force you to change your lackadaisical ways. This is tough, but it is tough love, for I tell you that a nation of skivers have no honour in themselves and brings no honour to their community or their nation. Such a people brings nothing to the table, such people bring nothing to any table! Such a people leave others hungry but really should themselves be left to go hungry. These are very hard but very necessary words.
The third and most important thing I must say is addressed in particular to the religious worker and those disorderly religious workers in particular, those religious workers who are in fact, out of order! Before I continue, let me say right now that my experience of religious workers, those labouring in preaching teaching and planting, has been to see them and their families mostly over worked! Indeed, my experience has been that most religious workers over exert themselves in their calling to the detriment of their own body soul and spirit. On the whole, I have seen them work like mad monkeys and get paid in just the same kind of monkey currency, peanuts! However, there are those religious workers who quite frankly are fleecing the people of God in both their laziness and their trickiness. They are soldiers out of rank, exhibiting such slackness in their marching, that they have become disrupters of the rest of the rank and file. These people are clearly seen, in that they are nothing short of meddlers, busybodies, bustlers and hustlers, always sticking their spoon in someone else’s cup, always telling others how to buy and sell, what to do and where to go and how to do it when they get there! They are to be seen always busying themselves in trifling and in the end, useless matters. Avoid such “religious workers” and make sure you do not support their financially philandering lifestyles.
In closing may I suggest that religious workers need three levels of accountability. First of all to God, secondly to themselves and thirdly and probably most importantly, to points of reference, points of accountability, points of safety, points outside of themselves. To the religious worker the Word of God is especially clear, be orderly in your work, and may I say that means, be accountable!
Listen: “For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” - 2 Thessalonians 3:11-15
Pray: Lord, bless your workers. Lord bless those folk who are robbing other churches to do the work You have directed them to do in the hard places of the world. Lord please provide for all Your workers, remove the muzzle from the Oxen and give them their daily bread. Lord, bless those without profitable labour tonight and grant them hope in the morning, grant them a mighty perseverance and with that, a real prosperity that follows hard on its heels. Lord please provide for and reward, both all your workers and all those that seek to work, in Jesus name we pray this together, Amen!
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