Keys for Kids Devotional Feed


Spring Flowers

Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

As Macy walked with her mom to the barn, she began to pick a bouquet of wildflowers. She was so excited to see flowers again. Winter was over, and spring was budding everywhere.

"After we finish helping Dad and Jake with the chores in the barn, we can get those pretty flowers in a vase," Mom said.

Macy set the flowers down in the feed room and got some hay to give to the horses. "Good morning, Cinnamon!" Macy said as she pitched some hay into Cinnamon's stall. She gave all the horses hay, then helped Dad let a couple of the horses out to graze in the pasture. She laughed as she watched the horses dance around. "I think they're excited about spring too."

After they finished up in the barn, Macy grabbed her bouquet and walked back to the house with Mom, picking a few more flowers along the way. Mom picked out a pretty vase from under the kitchen sink, and Macy put some water in it and began to arrange the bouquet. Once she had the flowers arranged just right, she set the vase in the middle of the table.

During dinner that evening, spring was the main topic. Macy's parents and older brother were busy talking about all the things they needed to get done on the farm now that it was warmer.

"I love all the beautiful flowers I can pick now that it's spring!" Macy chimed in.

"And we enjoy your beautiful bouquets," said Mom. "You know, Macy, spring makes me think of my new life in Christ. Just like the trees and plants bud out with new growth, so do our lives when we trust in Jesus. God's Word reminds us that we are new creations who have the love of Jesus in our hearts and are able to share it with others."

"So, since I'm a Christian, I'm like a spring flower," said Macy. "I'm a new creation."

"Sometimes you don't smell like a spring flower though after you've been working in the barn," Jake said as he patted his little sister on the head.

"Jake!" Macy laughed. "Well, neither do you!"

Dad smiled. "All teasing aside, these beautiful spring flowers Macy picked for us can help us remember to be thankful for our new life in Christ."

–Lisa Fuller

How About You?
Did you know that when you trust Jesus as your Savior, you become a new creation? Jesus paid the price for our sins so that we could be made right with God and have eternal life with Him. He loves us that much. If you haven't trusted in Jesus yet, you can do it today and have new life! (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page or go to www.keysforkids.org/goodnews.)

Today's Key Verse:
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (NLT) (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus gives us new life

Hidden Blooms

Bible Reading: Psalm 119:9-16

It was a chilly afternoon in early October, and Ben and Grandpa were out on the deck planting bulbs in flowerpots. Grandpa showed Ben how to bury the bulbs deep beneath heaps of soft, powdery compost.

A week later, when Ben came to visit Grandpa again, he ran straight to the back door and looked eagerly for his daffodils and tulips. But all he saw was soil. "Why haven't my flowers grown, Grandpa?" he asked.

Grandpa chuckled. "Don't worry. They'll be here in the spring! You just have to be patient."

"The spring?" groaned Ben. "But that's forever!"

"It'll be here before you know it," said Grandpa.

Winter weather arrived. Christmas came and went. And before long, Ben had forgotten all about his bulbs. Then one spring day, it happened.

"Ben, come look!" Grandpa said, beckoning Ben out to the deck.

Ben gasped as he caught sight of his pot. It was filled with wonderful, colorful blooms! They looked so vibrant against the pale spring sky.

"Worth waiting for?" asked Grandpa. Ben nodded.

Later that evening, Ben groaned as he tried to memorize his verse for church. He kept getting the words muddled up.

"What have you got there?" asked Grandpa, looking up from his crossword puzzle.

Ben heaved a sigh. "It's a memory verse, but I can't seem to remember it!" He tossed the sheet of paper to one side and reached for his video game.

"You know," said Grandpa, "learning Bible verses is a bit like planting bulbs. You go out into the cold and bury bulbs in the earth, and then you wait. Nothing. And then you wait some more. Still nothing. And then one day, when you've almost forgotten about them, you turn around and there they are, poking their cheery little heads up out of the soil!"

Ben looked out at his flowerpot and smiled. He was really glad he'd taken the time to plant the bulbs. "But how is that like learning verses?"

"As you meditate on God's Word, you bury it deep down in your heart so the Holy Spirit can use it to remind you of the truth and promises of Jesus. Sometimes you forget it's even there. But one day, the perfect verse pops into your head, just when you need it most! Don't give up, Ben. Keep learning those verses!"

–Angela Jelf

How About You?
Do you know why learning Bible verses is so important? Like planting a bulb or a seed, you might not notice much change at first. But bit by bit, as you meditate on God's Word, the Holy Spirit makes His promises begin to take root inside you. Then, in due season, it will spring up and flourish. Keep reading the Bible and learning what it says, and trust God to fill your life with beautiful blooms!

Today's Key Verse:
Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (NKJV) (Psalm 119:11)

Today's Key Thought:
Hide God's Word in your heart

One Hive, Many Members

Bible Reading: Romans 12:3-8

Kayleigh looked out the window as the familiar countryside whizzed past on the way to her grandparents' house. "We're here!" she exclaimed when she spotted it. "I see Grandpa in the backyard with his bees."

She got out of the car and ran to the hives out back. As she approached, she saw her grandpa pull out a frame full of hundreds of bees.

"Looks like they're working hard!" said Kayleigh as she watched the busy bees scurry around the frame.

"Oh yes," said Grandpa. "The nurse bees are feeding the larva, the queen is laying the eggs, and other bees are cleaning or making honey. Bees even guard the entrance to the hive. Each of them has a special job so all the work gets done."

Kayleigh watched one bee clean out a tiny cell. It didn't seem like the most fun job to her. "What if the bees didn't want to do their jobs and stopped working?" she asked.

Grandpa raised his eyebrows. "Each job is vital to the hive, even the ones that don't seem as important. The colony wouldn't survive if the bees didn't do their work."

"Even the cleaning?" asked Kayleigh.

"Especially the cleaning!" Grandpa replied. "Bees are very hygienic." He looked at the bees on the frame thoughtfully. "It reminds me of what the Bible says in Romans. The church is one body with many members, just like the hive, and the members don't all have the same job. Some people teach, some lead, and others do things like serve those in need or find ways to encourage people. We need them all to have a healthy, functioning body of Christ that shares His love with the world."

"Do I have a job in the church?" Kayleigh asked.

Grandpa nodded. "We all have gifts and talents given to us by God. He will show you how you can use them to serve the church." Grandpa put the frame back into the hive. "And right now, little missy," he said with a smile, "I have a job for you."

"What's that?" replied Kayleigh.

"Go and ask Grandma when supper will be ready!"

Kayleigh smiled and gave a thumbs-up. "Now that's a job I can definitely do!"

–Tara Whicker

How About You?
Do you have a special gift that God has given you? Maybe it's encouragement or helpfulness or generosity. All our gifts are important in the body of Christ, and we should use them to serve the church. Trust God to guide your steps as you learn to recognize and use the gifts He has given you.

Today's Key Verse:
In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts...given to each of us. (NIV) (Romans 12:5-6)

Today's Key Thought:
All gifts are important

Practice Makes Perfect

Bible Reading: Philippians 2:1-4; Titus 3:1-2

As his parents discussed plans for the coming weekend, Nolan took another helping of potatoes. "Hey! Pass the gravy," he said, interrupting their conversation. "And the salt too."

Dad frowned at him. "Didn't you notice that your mother and I were talking? You interrupted us. And whatever happened to saying 'please'?"

"Well, sorry," said Nolan. "But I need more gravy."

Mom shook her head. "Nolan, you're being very rude. That's been happening too much lately."

Nolan rolled his eyes. "It's not like we're out in a restaurant or at somebody's house or anything."

"You mean you'd use better manners in a restaurant?" asked Dad.

"Sure," said Nolan. "I try to remember to be polite when I'm with other people, but you don't expect me to be all proper around here at home, do you?"

"We certainly do!" said Mom. "You seem to think that you only need to have good manners when you're with other people, but that's not true. Being polite and respectful is one way to show others that we care about them, and that's important all the time--especially at home."

"Right," said Dad. "Developing good manners helps us think about others and how our actions affect them. It's one way we can show people the love of Jesus by putting their needs above our own. And home is the best place to practice."

Nolan frowned. "Practice?"

"Practice!" said Dad. "A football player practices to get ready for the Super Bowl, and a figure skater practices to get ready for the Olympics. And here at home, you can practice being thoughtful and respectful so you'll be ready to interact with others at school or in the neighborhood or anywhere else. Your mom and I will help you practice good manners here at home, and God will help you think of others and how you can show love and concern for them." He paused. "They say practice makes perfect, you know."

"Well, I'm sorry I was rude," murmured Nolan.

Dad smiled. "Apology accepted. I think you understand what we're saying. Do you have any questions?"

Nolan looked down at his plate and grinned. "Yes. Can I please have some more of that delicious gravy?"

–Bob Hostetler

How About You?
Does your behavior at home show respect and consideration of others? Or do you think that having good manners doesn't really matter around your family? Your home is the place God has provided for you to learn and practice behavior that shows love and kindness toward others. Let Him help you be considerate and respectful at home so you'll be prepared to think of others wherever you are.

Today's Key Verse:
Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone--especially to those in the family of faith. (NLT) (Galatians 6:10)

Today's Key Thought:
Show respect at home

An Invitation

Bible Reading: Matthew 22:1-14; John 6:37-40

"Mom," said Tia when she arrived home from school. "You're not going to believe this!"

"Believe what?" asked Mom.

"Kayla took a babysitting job on the day of my party! You'd think she could turn down one job! And McKenna isn't coming either. Her family is going to the zoo, and McKenna wants to go along." Tia looked at her guest list and crossed off the names Kayla and McKenna.

The next day, Tia was unhappy again. "Catherine forgot her cousin's wedding is on the day of my party," she told her mother. "And Zella says she has to take care of her little sister." Tia slumped into a chair. "You can't have a party without any guests! I think I'm just gonna call the whole thing off."

"Now, wait a minute!" Mom sat down next to her. "You've invited several other friends. Some of them are planning to come, right? They may have turned down other invitations so they can go to your party. It wouldn't be fair to them if you cancel."

Tia thought it over. "Okay. Then I'm going to throw the best party ever for the people who decide to come!"

On Sunday, Tia went to church with a friend who lived on her street. As she listened to the pastor speak, she was surprised by what she heard. "God offers each of us an invitation," he said. "He invites everyone to come to Him for forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus, who died on the cross for our sins. But we can often be more interested in living for ourselves now than thinking about eternity."

Tia had heard of Jesus dying on the cross, but she'd never thought of it as an invitation. She thought of her friends who had turned down her invitation to her birthday party. Had she refused God's invitation that had cost the life of His Son?

"Even if we don't accept His invitation at first, God's offer still stands," the pastor continued. "He's always willing to receive those who change their minds and put their trust in Jesus."

When the pastor ended his sermon with a prayer, Tia bowed her head and silently told God that she was ready to accept His invitation.

–Nance E. Keyes

How About You?
Have you ever had someone reject something you offered? God offers us salvation through His Son, Jesus. Have you accepted His offer? Or have you turned it down? Don't reject Him any longer. When you accept His invitation to trust Jesus as your Savior, you'll receive God's gift of everlasting life. Don't wait. Trust in Jesus today! (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page or go to www.keysforkids.org/goodnews.)

Today's Key Verse:
[Jesus said,] "The one who comes to me I will by no means cast out." (NKJV) (John 6:37)

Today's Key Thought:
Accept God's Invitation
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