A Most Unusual Insect. Bees live and work in every part of the world except the poles. A bee can live alone only a few days; a colony can exist for years. The honeybee is the only insect that produces a food eaten by Man. Why did God create such a marvelous creature? A colony of bees is a type or picture of the church.
A Bee Colony Has A Very Simple Organization. Every colony is independent of every other. All activity revolves around the queen. Every worker has a duty: scout, gatherer, guard, fanner, housekeeper, queen-attendant, etc. All are willing workers. The only bee that does no work is the drone, and he is kicked out in the fall. The comparison to a congregation is obvious.
A Colony Is A Place Of Vigorous Activity. Observe a colony on a warm day during the busy season. All activity in the hive is directed toward increasing the size of the colony. Bees do not produce honey and beeswax for men . . . we literally rob them. So should there be a flurry of activity within our congregations. We can even use the word "bee" to outline the work of the church: Benevolence, Evangelism, Edification.
Honeybees Take Special Care Of The Young. The average life of a worker during the busy season is only about six weeks. The queen lays eggs which are cared for by the workers. After the eggs hatch, the larva are fed royal jelly (a creamy substance rich in vitamins and proteins, formed in the head of the workers) and beebread (a mixture of honey and pollen). The future strength of the colony depends upon the care of the young. The colony that fails to produce young will die out within a single season. The future strength of the church depends upon the youth. They must be fed on the riches of God's Word. We need to take better care of our youth.
Honeybees Have A Special Kind Of Communication. A couple of German researchers have learned the language of the honeybee. When a scout bee finds a source of nectar, she returns to the hive and performs a little dance that tells other workers where the source is located, not only the direction from the hive but also the distance. The Christian has a language the world doesn't understand, and we are not talking about some "unknown tongue." Terms like baptism, the new birth, the church, the kingdom, pastor, bishop, and reverend are not understood in the biblical sense by the world. Sometimes folks are betrayed by their language, as with Peter when he warmed himself at the enemy's fire (Matthew 26:73).
Honeybees Are Very Protective Of The Colony. All cracks and crevices are sealed with a rosin-like substance. Guard bees will not allow a stranger to enter. A worker bee can sting only once and will give its life for the colony. The greatest enemies are moths, weevils, mites, etc., that seek entrance into the colony. The church is the family of God. We should be very protective of the family. It is very disturbing to hear anybody "run down" the family. All cracks and crevices in our faith should be sealed, because our adversary, the devil, is always lurking about seeking to gain entry. We should be willing to give our lives for the family. "Be thou faithful unto death . . . " (Revelation 2:10). Our greatest enemies are from within . . . wolves in sheep's clothing.
Honeybees Will Swarm When Overcrowded. When the hive becomes overcrowded, the bees will produce a new queen and swarm, thus producing a new colony. So often we "swarm" because we can't get along together. The result is small congregations that can do very little in advancing the cause of Christ. When a congregation is firmly established and outgrows its facilities, it might be a good idea to "swarm," but only after careful planning and preparation.
The Honeybee Is The Most Giving Of All God's Creatures. The honeybee must exist on what it produces, but it produces much more than it needs; and what it doesn't need goes toward maintaining and building up the colony. The Christian should be, and most always is, most generous in giving. Why do you go to work every morning? ". . . let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. "(Ephesians 4:28). The Christian labors that he might be able to give.
The honeybee's purpose in life is to produce honey . . . not vinegar. What is my purpose in life? The honeybee's purpose is realized only in context of the colony or hive. One bee alone can accomplish practically nothing. Working together we can accomplish much for the Lord. Let us learn these great lessons God has placed in the world around us. -HC 84, Box 80, Shock, WV 26638-9502. Phone: 304 462-0384. E-Mail: ghmiller@rtol. net
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