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But the ant is another story. True, ants are a nuisance in the house. But keep them outside where they belong and they're fun to watch. Ants are fascinating. We can learn lessons from them.

"Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep—so shall your poverty come on you like a robber, and your need like an armed man" (Proverbs 6:6-8 Proverbs 6:6-8 [6] Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: [7] Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, [8] Provides her meat in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.
American King James Version×
, emphasis added).

The Bible says ants are exceedingly wise: "There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer" (Proverbs 30:24-25 Proverbs 30:24-25 [24] There be four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceeding wise: [25] The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;
American King James Version×
).

If ants are so wise, what can they teach us?

Ants Work While They Can

When it's summertime, ants gather their food. A time is soon coming when they won't be able to work.

As Christians, we need to follow this example.

On a personal level, we must prepare ourselves for the return of Christ while there is still time (Revelation 19:7 Revelation 19:7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready.
American King James Version×
). As His Bride, we must become without spot and wrinkle, holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:27 Ephesians 5:27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
American King James Version×
). We must seek the Lord and repent of our sins while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6-7 Isaiah 55:6-7 [6] Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call you on him while he is near: [7] Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
American King James Version×
). A time is coming when the Lord will not be found. It will be too late.

On a Churchwide level, we must preach the gospel while we can (Matthew 24:14 Matthew 24:14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.
American King James Version×
). There is coming a famine of the Word (Amos 8:11 Amos 8:11Behold, the days come, said the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
American King James Version×
). We have a job to do, and we must not be lazy about doing it.

Ants Don't Live Alone

Ants live in groups called "colonies." Christians live in groups called "congregations."

William Barclay, in his book Ambassador for Christ, comments on this when discussing the apostle Paul's first journey. He writes: "In each town there had arisen a Christian community. The Christian as soon as he was a Christian became a member of a fellowship, a congregation. The Christian life is not meant to be lived alone. It is always meant to be lived in a community. It would be difficult to practice the Christian virtues alone. Love, charity, the forgiving spirit, honesty, honour—all these are things to be lived out amidst a community of fellow Christians" and to be demonstrated to our neighbors as well (1975, pp. 90-91).

Ants Fight Common Enemies

Ants in a colony never quarrel among themselves, but they fight fiercely to protect their homes and their young from enemies.

This is the way we Christians should be! David wrote in Psalms 133:1 Psalms 133:1Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!
American King James Version×
: "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."

Peter adds these instructions about life in our congregations: "Finally, all of you should be in agreement, understanding each other, loving each other as family, being kind and humble" (1 Peter 3:8 1 Peter 3:8Finally, be you all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brothers, be pitiful, be courteous:
American King James Version×
, New Century Version).

We should not fight among ourselves, yet we must come together to fight our common enemy. Who is our enemy? Peter tells us: "Control yourselves and be careful! The devil, your enemy, goes around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat. Refuse to give in to him, by standing strong in your faith. You know that your Christian family all over the world is having the same kinds of suffering" (1 Peter 5:8-9 1 Peter 5:8-9 [8] Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: [9] Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brothers that are in the world.
American King James Version×
, NCV).

Ephesians 6:12-13 Ephesians 6:12-13 [12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. [13] Why take to you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
American King James Version×
adds: "Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world's darkness, against spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world. That is why you need to put on God's full armor. Then on the day of evil, you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing" (NCV).

Ants Share Food and Work

Here's another aspect of life in a colony: Ants share their food and their work. Ants could not live in any other way.

We in the Church are like this. We share our physical food as guests in each others' homes, going out together to restaurants and at Church potlucks and picnics.

Every spring, all baptized members in the Body of Christ come together to share bread and wine in a Passover service. The following night we get together in various locations to share a meal and fellowship on the Night to Be Much Observed. During most Holy Days, and especially during the Feast of Tabernacles, we get together for fellowship and meals. This is a continuation of the way the Church began (Acts 2:42 Acts 2:42And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
American King James Version×
).

We also share physical work when we set up and clean up at services, volunteer for fund-raisers and Good Works projects and serve in other capacities.

But more importantly, we share our spiritual work. Our combined tithes and offerings help the Church preach the gospel. We could not preach the gospel as effectively if we each tried to do it on our own. We also help put brochures in stores and put telecasts on cable-access television stations.

What about spiritual food? How do we share that? Through writing, preaching and fellowship.

How do ants share their food?

The abdomen of the ant contains two stomachs. One stomach holds the food the ant eats for its own use. The other is called the social stomach. It is used for storing food that is to be shared with the other ants in the nest. The social stomach is usually much larger than the other.

We don't share our physical food this way, but we can share our spiritual food this way! When we study, some things are studied for personal gain. But other things can be shared with others. A few get the opportunity to do this in a formal way by preaching. But we all have the opportunity to share spiritual food with each other when we fellowship.

Throughout the week, look for some spiritual food to share with the brethren. Maybe a point in a GN article sticks in your mind. Maybe you can tell how God blessed you this week or intervened in your life. Maybe in your Bible reading you have a question that you can't find an answer to and it could spark an interesting, spiritual discussion at church.

If everyone came to services with just one item of spiritual food and we shared it with each other, we would all come away more spiritually filled.

We need to be careful not to spread heresy, false doctrine or things that could hurt Church unity (that would not be food but spiritual poison). We should strive to build up the Body of Christ.

If you're having problems, you can bring them to church and have people pray about them (James 5:16 James 5:16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
American King James Version×
).

If you have been blessed one week, share the story to encourage others (Proverbs 15:30 Proverbs 15:30The light of the eyes rejoices the heart: and a good report makes the bones fat.
American King James Version×
; 25:25).

Ants Have Long Lives

Adult ants, for insects, have surprisingly long lives. Ordinary worker ants live from three to six years while queens may live up to 15 years.

We have a long life prepared for us, if we live God's way. It's called eternal life. It will go on forever. UN