�What Lessons can We Learn from Ants by w4041PW

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“What Lessons can We Learn from Ants?”               Proverbs 6:6-11          July 24, 2011

Proverbs 6:6-11
(6) You lazy fool, look at an ant. Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two.
(7) Nobody has to tell it what to do.
(8) All summer it stores up food; at harvest it stockpiles provisions.
(9) So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing? How long before you get out of bed?
(10) A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy--do you know what
comes next?
(11) Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, poverty your permanent houseguest!

 I’ve always kind of liked ants…except at picnics of course. At Clarkrange one morning as the UMW
began to make coffee for their meeting, they discovered the kitchen had been invaded by ants. They
weren’t happy.
It’s sort of fun, though to watch them work and carry those heavy loads. Did you ever buy one of those
ant farms?
I liked ants until I moved down to Cornersville, TN where they have started seeing those red fire ants that
bite and sting! They even float on the water of a swimming pool and when you get close they climb on
you and then sting you. Not very thankful are they for saving them from drowning.

You see, as most of you know, I grew up in Ohio…which has a very cold climate…way too cold for fire
ants to dwell.
In Ohio from October to April we are engaged in the constant motion of shoveling snow or dealing with
ice, dressing ourselves in layers and layers of clothes, and praying for spring and summer, at least some
sun and not two more months of cloudy weather.

It’s not unusual to have a snowstorm around Mother’s Day in May, and to go trick or treating in boots and
heavy coats.
The summer before I moved down to TN, my family and I watched a beautiful fireworks display on the
4th of July as we shivered under blankets and coats…it dropped to 34 degrees that evening, there was a
few snow flakes.
Suffice it to say, we had no red fire ants in Ohio…just the nice busy black ones that don’t bite.
I was relieved when I moved up here….for I have not seen a fire ant on the Plateau, YET!

As a matter of fact, I had never seen nor heard of a fire ant until I moved to TN…and they are busy little
things too that’s for sure…
…but I must admit, I don’t quite admire them as much as I do the nice little black ones.

But, as our Scripture today indicates, we Christians have much to learn from the ways of ants…
…as a matter of fact the Bible teaches many lessons from nature and God’s creation. Garry Speich has
been using nature to share with us during the Children’s (youth) Sermon.
So, let’s see what valuable lessons we can learn from the ants.

For one thing, ants teach performance.
Ants are always busy, never lazy, and they never have to make excuses.
Our failure to learn this lesson can be seen in our slackness toward doing God’s work…
…as we busy ourselves in front of the television set, video games, and the internet.
Oh, the devil loves to divert our attention away from God’s work….
…and before we know it—the time is gone, the opportunity is lost, and nothing of God’s will has been
accomplished!
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Christian Stewards, It doesn’t take much effort to look around us, and understand the deep needs of
people, people who are hurting, people who are hungry, people who are angry, people who are unhappy,
people who are hooked on drugs, and realize that these people need the Lord!!!

And therefore, they need us, for we are Christ’s body on this earth…
…we are His representatives!

When the world looks to us…they are looking for Christ.
Do they see a lazy and slack Christ who spends His time flipping channels in front of the TV, and making
excuses for not getting involved, not helping out, not reaching out?

No excuse is acceptable for Christians to refrain from working for God, especially not age. Whoops,
stepped on some toes there- gone to meddling.
Now, I don’t think God wants us to run ragged until we burn out…
…Jesus spent plenty of time resting, eating, and sleeping in order to build up His strength, but that was
only after or before He had been busy working.
Jesus never made excuses…He had no reason for them.

The bible teaches that God’s fields are ready for harvest, but the workers are few.
What a shame…
…so many people are ripe to hear the good news of Christ, make a decision for Him…repent…be born
again and allow God to change their lives…
…and thus save them from eternal hell and make this world a better place for us all…
…and so many of us are too busy making excuses.
Priorities are the key to determining your effectiveness….
…God’s fields are ready for harvest, and we must labor in them today!!!

Another lesson we are to learn from the ants is preservation.
Proverbs 30:25 tells us that “Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the
summer.”
Ants are thrifty creatures.
They don’t fritter and waste their summer days in some off hand way, instead, they work diligently,
storing food for the rainy and wintery days ahead. Some of you still can and preserve your gardens.
We Christians should learn this lesson of preservation…
…spending money and time wisely in preparation for rainy days of recession, inflation, ill health, and old
age.
We should also spend our money and time wisely in order to be able to give more to the church—and in
doing so—we are giving to the needs of others who don’t even have anything to fritter and waste away.
Did you know that the money that you put in the offering plate on Sundays reaches over 167 countries
around the world for Jesus Christ?…
…And that the United Methodist Church is the 86th highest investor in the country?
And the United Methodist Church will not invest your money in any company which promotes tobacco,
alcohol or pornography! When a church fails to meet its apportionment payments, someone somewhere
suffers.

It is a great witness that we do all that we do as the United Methodist Church!!
What better way to make big business sit up and take notice that we do things with integrity?

The money we give to the church effects the world on a local level as well as a worldwide level!!!
I believe that the money you and I give to the church is one of the only things stopping this world from
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completely falling to pieces!!!
One of my former friends when I was a young person, is a member of a very devoted Christian family
that I knew as I was growing up.
Everyone knew that these people were multi-millionaires, because my friend’s father owned a large
company in the county, but you never would have known it by looking at them!
Their house was very modest, and they did not wear expensive clothes or drive the most expensive cars.
Instead, they spent their money wisely…
….more than tithing to the church…
….giving countless dollars to various mission projects…
…and sponsoring evangelists to come and speak to various groups.
Our Lord only knows how many souls have been saved or turned around & how much better off the
community and the rest of the world is…….because one family has learned a lesson from the ants!

This is what Jesus is referring to when He says, in Matthew 6:19-20 "Don't hoard treasure down here
where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or--worse!--stolen by burglars.
Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it's safe from moth and rust and burglars.

Where are our hearts?

Satan just loves to see Christians wasting money on some unneeded new toy…
…on clothes that will hang in a closet never worn…
…or on anything that is just an ornament---and by no means a necessity! I just have to have that tool!!

Another lesson we are supposed to learn from the ants is participation.
Ants seem to have no problem participating in tasks which need to be done. Each one has a job to do and
they do it, without grumbling.

As Christian stewards, the Bible calls us to be fellow workers together with God.
But we often fail to cooperate in accomplishing God’s work…
…instead, we often sit with folded hands and engage in criticisms while others do the job…
….or even worse… …as the job never gets done.
God has equipped each of us saints with different gifts and talents in order for the work of His kingdom to
be accomplished.
 I have been able to see many of you involved in projects to further God’s kingdom.
God’s love should compel all people who have become his children through faith in Jesus Christ to work
together with Him in unity, to participate in the greatest of all endeavors---the increase of the kingdom of
God---the saving of souls!
The encouragement of the saints!!
2nd Corinthians 5:15 tells us that “those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him
who died for them and was raised again.”

Another lesson that Christians should learn from the ants is perseverance.
I have seen good Christians get discouraged at what someone said or did to them. They
just seem to back away and don’t get involved anymore. I think of the people who did not get influenced
by this family, or who missed an opportunity to witness to God’s longsuffering.
It is such a waste of time to not hang in there with God.

The Bible tells us that when we do this we are again crucifying Christ!
Giving up is never the answer.
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It will always be regretted…and if it is not corrected through repentance how is our neighbor, children,
co-workers ever going to find the answers they are looking for.

Yes, Christians are called to perseverance, and ants are good examples of this trait.
When their homes and possessions are completely destroyed, the ants begin to rebuild immediately.
They persevere.
How many unfinished projects lie by the wayside because the devil sent trouble, trials, and temptations
our way?
How many new converts never make it past first base because they give up as soon as the first problem
comes their way?
We are Christians……we have the all-powerful God……Hang in there….…we need not despair!
We must persevere, whether our problems are personal in nature, or involve the cause of Christ because
the Christian’s greatest hope lies beyond this life, and the world needs us…

… “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life” Jesus Christ promises
us in Revelation Chapter 2.

My dear friends, the Bible teaches many lessons from nature and God’s creation….
…on how to perform, preserve, participate, and persevere.
The Christian steward can learn some valuable lessons from the ants.

“You lazy fool, look at an ant. Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two.” Proverbs 6:6

								
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