THE WORK OF THE LITTLE ANT
- The Ant’s Work Is A Partnership
- They Work In Love – No fights, Ill. Step on. Brethren should love – Heb. 13:1; 1 John 4:7; John 13:35.
- They Are Helpful – Help carry burdens; injured neighbors; rescue those buried or those who fall into a pit. (Gal. 6:2; Rom.15:1)
- They Operate In Harmony – 1 weak, many strong. Ill. each has a job, but none are more important. (Ill. We are all members of one body – 1 Cor. 12:12-27. This thing isn’t about you or about me. It is all about Him!) (Ill. There is power in unity!)
(Ill. When the driver ant is on the move, lions, elephants and poisonous snakes all flee! Entire villages of people move out of their path. Some of these colonies are so large that they form a front up to a mile wide, and they destroy everything in their path. Humans and animals stand not chance against these feared little ants!)
Ill. The power of the early church arose out of their unity! If the church united, put away out petty differences and disagreements, stand together in the power of the Holy Ghost, Hell would tremble in our presence! – Mark 3:25; Phil. 1:27; 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph 4:3)
- They Work Toward A Common Goal – Provide for the colony and especially the queen. 1 Cor. 10:31; 1 Thes. 4:1; Heb. 13:16
- The Ant’s Work Is Productive
- Ant’s Have An All Volunteer Service – No guide, yet each ant works. Thousands of ants may dwell in one ant colony, but every one of them pulls his own weight! They work! (Ill. Soldier ants, they kill all the ants who refuse to work. What an incentive to stay active!) James 2:17-18; 4:17. Ill. We have guides – Pastor’s, evangelists, teachers, Bible, Holy Spirit, etc. We have everything necessary to get the job done for Jesus, but sadly, some refuse to labor!)
- Ant’s Labor According To Their Own Ability – (Storekeepers, engineers, nurses, farmers, laborers)
(Ill. One of the more interesting of the ants is the Honey Pot Ant. He eats himself full of nectar and then feeds the rest of the nest. He is a blessing to all!)
Ill. Jobs by size. a. Large – soldiers, b. Medium – Laborers, c. Small – Tend the young.
Each job in the church is important! You are important to
God’s work and to the work of this church. He will use you according to your ability, as you grow, your responsibility will grow, 2 Pet. 3:18. God has especially gifted and equipped you for some type of work in the body of Christ, 1 Cor. 12:12-27)
(Ill. These little fellows can’t build a cathedral, but they can build anthills! And that, after all, is what the Lord designed them to do!) All God asks is that we use our abilities. (Ill. Talents – Mt. 25) (Ill. The greatest ability is availability!)
(Note: The majority of the workers in an anthill are female! The same is true in the church! Take away our women and we would be in deep trouble! We need some men to step up to the plate and take swing for Jesus!)
(Ill. Ecc. 9:10, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”)
- Ant’s Work Continually – All Day! No pay, promotion, thanks, pats on back, reward yet they work! Ants never get mad and quit and they never go on strike! They just work! Believers ought to work in spite of… Gal. 6:9. (Ill. Of you destroy an anthill with your foot; they immediately set about rebuilding it!)
- Application – One of the lessons we can take from this is the fact that there is plenty to do, but no workers.
(Ill. Old farmer – He was sitting on a stump at the edge of his field and a tourist saw him and stopped to speak to him. “How are things going?”, asked the tourist. “Oh, tolerable “, answered the farmer. “I had some trees to cut down, but a cyclone came along and saved me the trouble.” “That’s amazing!” said the tourist. “Yes, the lightening set fire to the pile of trees and saved me the trouble of burning them up.” “Wonderful”, exclaimed the tourist. And then he asked the farmer, “And now what are you going to do?” The farmer stretched, spit a stream of tobacco juice and said, “Oh nothing much, I’m just waiting for an earthquake to come along and shake my taters out of the ground!”)
- Indifference and ease are the cause, some people just don’t care that there is a great work to be done! (Ill. Our apathy is killing us!)
- Many who do not work, criticize those who do.
- Many are shirkers and not workers. Heb.6:12
- (Ill. One day I saw a single ant dragging along a dead grasshopper many times his own size. He was struggling to move the giant meal. It was amazing what that little fellow could do! Upon a closer examination, I could see two more ants getting a free ride at the expense of their fellow ant. There is a lot of that going on in the church!)
- (Ill. 10% and 90%)
- The Ant’s Work Is Persistent – The ant’s motto might be – Phil 3:13
- Impossible to stop when food is found – (Ill. You don’t believe me? Just spill a little sugar on the countertop and leave it there. When on finds it, he will return to the colony and bring hundreds with him! (Ill. When the driver ant comes to a stream, he simply tunnels under it and keeps going. When he comes to a river, the entire colony rolls itself into a giant ball and floats over to the other side. They let nothing stand in their way!)
(Note: What a lesson! We who have tasted and found that the Lord is good need to go back into the colony of the world and tell the others about Him. After all, believers are merely one beggar telling other beggars where to find bread!)
- Keep going in times of danger – (Ill. average Christian says – “We can’t“; that attitude cost Israel 40 years in the wilderness. What could it cost you? We must move from “I can’t” to “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!”, Phil. 4:13.
- We are moving under the power of the Spirit, Rom. 8:31. The ant is motivated by hunger! Ill. Caleb and Joshua – Num. 14:9 – Nothing should ever be able stop us if we are in God’s will. (No critic, no trial, no obstacle – March Christian March!)
(Ill. There is a kind of ant known as The Shining Slavemaker. These ants steal pupae from other colonies; bring them back to their own colony. When these pupae hatch, they think the colony is their own and embark on a life of service to their new masters. The slave makers themselves can fight well, but they have become accustomed to a life of ease. They have degenerated to a point where they cannot even feed themselves. If you put them in a jar with food, they will starve to death. But, if you put in a single black ant, he will feed them all!
We must beware lest we too become accustomed to a life of leisure. After all, this is no game we are in, this is warfare!)
- The Ant’s Work Has Purpose – Ill. Purpose put in by God – Some raise dairy cows, (Numerous species of ants collect a sweet substance called honeydew that is excreted by various tiny insects, including aphids, mealy bugs, and scale insects. The insects most commonly used for this purpose are aphids, which pierce plant tissues to suck up juices from a plant. Among some of these ants, workers leave their nests regularly to watch over groups of aphids and protect them from predators. In some instances, these ants construct shelters out of soil or carton to shield the aphids from the environment. Worker ants stroke the aphids with their antennae to induce them to release drops of honeydew. The ants then transfer this honeydew through trophallaxis to another group of workers, who carry it back to the nest and share it with nest workers. Individual workers may spend days or weeks among the same group of aphids.), some clear ground so certain kinds of grasses can grow (farm); some gather grain and bite the end of the kernels to prevent it from germinating! Nothing can change the ant’s priorities.
(Note: Believers need this same resolve – 1 Cor. 15:58. In everything we do, we need to walk with resolve! We need to purpose in our hearts that nothing short of death or the rapture will turn us away from working for Him! (Ill. We need resolve in: 1. Our praying 2. Our giving (Ill. The Ants have a storehouse, we do too!) 3. Our separation (Ants practice personal and community cleanliness!) 4. Our witnessing (This sets us apart, but it is essential!), etc.)
- THE WISDOM OF THE LITTLE ANT
- They Make Provisions For This Life – (Ill. Organized, with food and shelter. Many anthills are organized like a modern city. There are streets, supply rooms, hatcheries, and barracks.) People should be wise also and prepare for today.
(Note: Ill. Walking without Jesus. (Ill. Psa. 23:1). (Ill. We don’t need many of the things we think we need! Our greatest need is for a close, Spirit-filled walk with God! We need Him and what He can give us more than anything this world might offer us! We need what we can only get from the Word of God, from prayer and from communion with the Spirit of God!)
- They Make Preparations For The Future
- Ill. Store all they can while they can. (Ill Grasshoppers – They make no preparations and when winter comes, they all die!) Ants, on the other hand, believe in winter and by instinct they prepare for it.
- People prepare for this life – savings, insurance, retirement. What about death? Men believe in life after death, but do nothing about it. People need to be ready and God has made a way! His name is Jesus – John 3:16.
- Lost person are you ready? Not to be means eternal separation and Hell. Many scoff, delay and neglect: judgment does neither! John 3:18; 36
- Christian are you ready to stand before God, Rom.14:12? Time is running out friends! Jesus said that we were to work while it was day, John 9:4. If you are going to do anything for Jesus, the time to do it is now! If you are going to pray, preach, witness, shout, visit, make thing right with another brother, anything at all, the time to do it is right now!
Conc: Ill. There is great spiritual poverty to those who are in a spiritual slumber. Wake up friend, listen to what Paul told the Roman believers, Rom. 13:11-14, and seek the help you need from the Lord.
I would like to think that we are at least as wise as the ant. Are we? Ask yourself these questions:
- Have I made any preparations for the future? Am I saved and ready to meet Jesus?
- Have I gathered all the provisions I need to walk for God today? (i.e. prayer, Bible, fellowship with God and believers, etc.)
- Am I in fellowship with the rest of the members of this church?
- Am I doing the job Jesus saved me to do?
- Am I laboring for Jesus, knowing the darkness is swiftly approaching?