Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Christian Outdoor Object Lesson 35: Nalgene Religion

Key Verse

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls, and doesn’t have another to lift him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9,10 WEB


Note: This lesson can be done with any water bottle or container. Simply replace the word Nalgene with water bottle.

Why are there so many religions and denominations? A better question is why do we have religion at all? There are so many different religions it is hard to keep track. Since there are so many does that mean they are all wrong? Is religion useless? Should we just forget about it and try to follow Jesus on our own? These are important questions. They should be taken seriously.

The Bible has some very clear instructions on this matter. In answer the first question, why are there so many religions, there is a simple answer. Humans disagree, it is that simple. Because of sin, humans cannot always get along. When humans cannot reconcile their differences they tend to break off into groups. We have religions because as humans we long for something bigger than ourselves. We all want to know where we come from and where we are going. All religions offer answers to these important questions, although the answers can be different. Jesus made it clear in John 14:6 that he is the only way to the Father and to eternal life.

The Bible makes it abundantly clear that there is only one God—the Creator of heaven and earth. All other gods are fake and misleading. God tried to teach this to the Israelites over and over in the Old Testament. Many religions have some amount of truth. But only one religion can save us from our sin. And that is the religion of Jesus Christ. See this Nalgene, its purpose is to hold water. It is not water, but it holds water so you can carry it and drink it. Try to carry the water without a Nalgene or water container. You won’t make it very far or be able to carry much. Water is vital for living. Yet we cannot make it ourselves, we must get it from a water source. Therefore, we must take water with us when we leave the water source. Water is necessary, and so is the Nalgene.

Spirituality is the sustaining of the human spirit. It is a relationship with Jesus. But to maintain this we need structure. We need reminders and encouragement. We need fellowship. We need to pray, to commune with God and his Word regularly. Religion is the structure, the container for our spirituality. It reminds us to maintain our relationship with God. Religion is worshiping together, 1 Corinthians 14:26. It is doing good deeds for others, James 1:26,27. It is spending time with fellow believers, Matthew 18:20. Religion is a tool to support each other and keep our relationship with Jesus strong, just as Paul said in Ecclesiastes 4:9,10. It is not Water, but it is necessary.


Are there things in your life that you regret or just prefer to leave in the past?

Are there things you wish you could go back and change?

Did you know that God leave the past where it is?

Do you believe that God can help you heal your past and focus on the future?

Written By David F. Garner
Photo Credit: David F. Garner