Take a Little Honey with You

Introduction:

   During the Patriarchal Age, there was a terrible famine in the land of Caanan.  But in Egypt, in the providence of God, Joseph had forewarned Pharaoh of a seven year famine that would affect the area.  Thus there was large underground storage bins built in which wheat was stored in preparation for the forth coming famine. At the time of the famine, Jacob called his sons together and instructed them to go down into Egypt to buy grain.  He told them to take some gifts, including:  myrrh, nuts, spices, balm, along with some money to buy grain, and then he added:  ".and take a little honey with you" (Gen. 43:11).  Jacob may have had a twinkle in his eye when he said, "Take a little hone with you!"  Egypt was not famous for honey, but Canaan was known as a land that "flowed with milk and honey." 

   So honey was used as a medium of exchange.  Honey has been called a perfect food.  It has been likened to milk in this way.  Take the two together and you have quite a potent combination.  Honey not only has food value, but some believe that it has certain medicinal qualities as well. 

   Now, we have been discussing about literal honey to illustrate a honey that is even more important.  It is the honey of KINDNESS.  Just as honey taken out of a jar is sweet, healing, soothing, strengthening and pleasant to the taste; even so, kindness has such qualities in human relations. 

   Kindness is an essential ingredient in people being able to get along with one another.  We see so much rudeness and ill manners in the world today, that the "milk of kindness" is a welcome relief. 

   A little girl had just slapped her sister.  "Why did you do that?"  Her mother asks.  "Because she was bothering me, while I was trying to learn a verse in the Bible," the little girl answered.  "And what was the verse?" inquired the mother.  "Be ye kind to one another," was the reply.  How much easier it is to memorize these lovely words than to apply them! 

   Kindness is one of the Christian virtues listed as 2 Pet. 1:5-7.  It may not appeal to those who have little or no interest in following Jesus, nor any consideration of the rights or feelings of others.  And it is not always the easy way for those of us who are striving to follow in the steps of Jesus, the Christ. 

Eph. 4:31-32, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  And be ye kind one to another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Discussion

I.                   THE HONEY OF KINDNESS IS NEEDED IN ALL AREAS OF OUR LIFE!

A.       First of all, we need to possess the honey of kindness for our own benefit.

1.       In applying what is commonly called:  "The Golden Rule," we think about how we would want to be treated.      

Matt. 7:12, "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them:  for this is the law and the prophets.

a.      This has been paraphrased as:  "DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM TO DO UNTO YOU."

b.      Others will shun us if we lack the sweetness of kindness. 

2.       It will keep us from becoming bitter and to hold animosity toward others. 

Prov. 23:7, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:."                  

3.       The friendship of others will be extended unto us when we share the honey of kindness with them.                                              

Prov.  18:24, "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly.

B.       The honey of kindness is certainly needed in our home.

1.       Many fathers do not take time to be with their children.

a.      A father could help a small child make and fly a kite, etc.

b.      He could go hunting and fishing with his teenage son. 

Eph. 6:4, "And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

2.       Some mothers are too busy with their social life to devotion much needed time with their own children.

a.      In reference of the virtuous woman revealed in the book of Proverbs, it is said:  ".in her tongue is the law of kindness" (Prov. 31:26). 

3.       The honey of kindness is essential in the relationship of a husband and his wife

Eph. 5:25-28, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that 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.  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.  He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

Titus 2:4-5, "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

C.       Brethren in the church must endeavor to extend the honey of kindness toward one another.

1.       In relation to our context, Joseph did not exercise hostility toward his own brothers in the flesh who had sold him into slavery. 

Gen. 50:21, ".And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

2.       Like manner, we need to be kind and forgiving to our brethren in the church.

a.      We have so much in common, these include the following basic truths: 

Eph. 4:3-6, "Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Psalm 133:1, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.

Rom. 12:10, "Be kindly affection one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;

3.       The Apostle Paul admonishes us to restore in the right spirit brethren who have become unfaithful. 

Gal. 6:1-2, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

4.       We need to learn the value of bearing one another's burdens. 

Gal. 6:2, Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Rom. 12:15, "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

1 Cor. 12:26, "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.

D.       In our everyday life there is always the need to show consideration of those in whom we come in contact with.

1.       In striving to win others to Christ

Matt. 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

2.       In our daily contact in society.

a.      We should put our self in the other person's shoes and treat them as we would want to be treated. 

1 Cor. 9:19-23 (elaborate upon the principle found in this passage). 

Gal. 6:10, "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Prov. 25:11, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

3.       In our business dealings with others, we should conduct such affairs in a kind and courteous manner. 

Rom. 12:17, "Recompense to no man evil for evil.  Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Conclusion:

   In going out of our way to show kindness toward others, we should never compromise our convictions.  And in doing so, we should speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15).  Our attitude of heart should be depicted in our manner of studying with other of the inspired Word of God. 

1 Pet. 3:15, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:  and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Col. 4:6, "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

[Usually, when I present this sermon, I have a small jar of "store bought" honey to gain attention during its introduction.] 

--Dub Mowery

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