Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

Boat Ride

Bible Reading: John 3:16-17

It was a perfect day out on the lake--the air was hot and the water was cool. Gracie enjoyed the breeze as her dad motored their boat across the water.

"Okay, Teddy, you sit here and watch while I swim," Gracie told her teddy bear when the boat had stopped. She sat Teddy down near the boat's dashboard and then jumped into the water. Shadow, their dog, loved the water too, and he jumped in right behind her.

After an afternoon of swimming and tubing, Gracie and her parents tucked everything on the boat into place and then took off across the lake toward the dock.

"Oh no!" cried Gracie when she realized she'd forgotten her teddy bear.

Teddy went flying out of the boat. Dad slowed to a stop, and Shadow jumped in the water and retrieved the stuffed bear.

"Oh, thank you, Shadow," Gracie said as she gave the dog a hug.

"Wow, that was a close call," Mom said as Gracie squeezed as much water as she could out of her soaking-wet bear. "You'd better hold on to Teddy when Dad takes off again."

"I will!" Gracie said as she held Teddy close. Shadow plopped down beside Gracie for the rest of the boat ride.

When they arrived home, Mom put Teddy in the washing machine. "Good as new!" she announced as she handed Teddy to Gracie once he was clean.

During devotions that night, Dad read Galatians 1:4--"Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live." He closed his Bible. "Shadow jumping in and rescuing Teddy today got me thinking about this verse," Dad said. "Just like Shadow rescued Teddy because he couldn't rescue himself, Jesus rescues us from our sins because we can't rescue ourselves either. By dying for our sins on the cross, Jesus made a way for us to have eternal life and live with Him forever. When we trust in Him, He saves us."

Gracie sat thinking, holding Teddy close. "I want Jesus to save me," she said.

That night Gracie gave her life to Jesus.

–Lisa Fuller

How About You?
Have you trusted Jesus to save you from sin? Sin is all around us in this world we live in, and it's also in our hearts. Sin is the reason we do wrong things, and we can't save ourselves from it. But God loves us so much that He made a rescue plan for us. He sent His Son, Jesus, to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins so we could be saved and spend eternity with Him. If you trust Him as your Savior today, He will rescue you. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page or go to

Today's Key Verse:
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (NLT) (John 3:16)

Today's Key Thought:
Trust Jesus to save you

Something Special

Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Hebrews 10:22-25

"Wow," said Jace as he stared at his cousin Cody's backyard. "Two tree forts--with a rope bridge between them!" He shook his head. "You've got everything!"

Cody shrugged.

Jace climbed up the ladder. "Do you come here all the time?" He coughed and batted the air. "Ugh. I guess not. I just ran into a cobweb."

Cody scrambled up the ladder, twisted the cobweb onto a stick, and threw it out the window. "I haven't been up here in months."

Jace couldn't believe it. "If I had this, I'd be up here all the time!"

Cody shrugged again. "It's always been here. The people before us built it."

Jace stepped out onto the rope bridge. "I wish we could stay longer. I wanted to stay until tomorrow, but Dad wants to drive home tonight so we can go to church in the morning."

"What did your pastor talk about last Sunday?" asked Cody.

Jace shrugged. "I don't know. I was finishing my cartoon drawing."

"Your cartoon?" Cody sighed. "You're the one who doesn't know how good you have it!"

"Huh?" Jace was confused. "What do you mean?"

"I can only go to church when the neighbors take me. But now Dad says I can't go anymore because he's tired of hearing me talk about Jesus. I guess he had a bad experience at church as a kid." Cody ran his hand over the rope bridge railing. "I know this is a nice tree fort. But I'm so used to it, I don't care much about it. I don't think you know how nice it is to hear about Jesus because you've always heard about Him. I wish I could go to church every week."

Jace drew a big breath. "I never thought about it like that. My family has always gone to church, so I can learn about Jesus and be reminded of how much He loves me all the time." He was quiet a moment, then snapped his fingers. "I know! How about I listen to the sermon in church each week then send you a message on what it was about?"

"Really?" said Cody. "That would be great!"

"Yeah," said Jace. "And I have an extra Bible I'll give you so you can learn about Jesus during the week too."

–Laura Raborn

How About You?
Do your parents take you to church? Do you pay attention and learn all you can about God? Growing up with the opportunity to learn about Jesus and worship Him with others is a gift--something many people don't have. If God has put people in your life who want you to know about Jesus and how much He loves you--so much that He died on the cross to save you--thank Him for it and learn all you can!

Today's Key Verse:
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (NKJV) (2 Peter 3:18)

Today's Key Thought:
Appreciate learning about Jesus

The Comforter

Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 1:2-5

As Amayah lay across the bed, sobbing, a tattered pink blanket was shoved up close to her. "Sissy, you can have my blanket." A tiny hand patted Amayah's head, and she turned and looked into the troubled eyes of her little sister, Peyton. "My blanket will make you feel all better," Peyton said.

Amayah felt the bed sag as her mom sat down beside her. "Missing Linden?" Mom asked softly.

Amayah nodded. "She was my best friend. I think about her all the time," she said, wiping her eyes. "Will I ever stop hurting? It's been three months since she died."

Mom handed her a tissue. "It's always hard to lose someone we love, especially someone as young as Linden."

Amayah took the tissue and blew her nose. Then she handed the blanket to Peyton. "You can have your blanket now, Peyton. Thanks."

With a contented sigh, Peyton hugged her blanket, and Mom pulled the little girl onto her lap. "That's your comforter, isn't it, honey?"

"No," said Peyton, looking puzzled. "It's my blanket."

Amayah smiled and lifted the edge of the comforter that was spread across her bed. "See this, Peyton? This is called a comforter."

Mom nodded thoughtfully. "You know, Amayah, since we trust in Jesus, God has given us His Holy Spirit to live within us and be our Comforter. He wants to comfort you."

Amayah sat up. "I know, Mom. When I prayed this morning, God seemed to tell me to remember the good times I had with Linden. I did, and I thought of the time when we both decided to give our lives to Jesus at camp. I remembered that she's with Him now and that I'll see her again one day, and I felt better for a while. I was still sad, but God did comfort me."

Peyton smiled at her sister, then jumped down and left the room, still clinging to her blanket. "Someday, Peyton won't need her security blanket anymore," Mom said. "But no matter how old we are, we'll always need our Comforter, God's Holy Spirit. He reminds us of God's promises and care, and He's always with us."

Amayah nodded and got up. "I'm doing better now," she said. "God is comforting me."

–Barbara J. Westberg

How About You?
Do you feel sad because someone you love has died? Or has a special friend--or maybe even a parent--moved away? Have you lost a pet? Are you worried about something? In this world, many things can happen to cause sadness in your heart. But if you know Jesus as your Savior, you have God's Holy Spirit. Let Him comfort you and remind you of the hope you have in Jesus.

Today's Key Verse:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. (NKJV) (2 Corinthians 1:3)

Today's Key Thought:
God gives comfort

Runaway Dog

Bible Reading: Matthew 18:12-14

"Frank! Frank, come here, boy!" Zebb stepped back into the house and closed the sliding door with a sigh. "I think he ran away again. I've called him and called him, and he still hasn't come!"

Mom looked up from her computer and frowned. "Oh no. Dad must have forgotten to put his invisible fence collar back on after his bath." Zebb was looking out the window anxiously and ringing his hands together, so Mom closed her laptop and gave him an encouraging smile. "Why don't you put your boots on and we'll go look for him before dinner."

As mom drove the car slowly around their neighborhood, Zebb looked out the window. "I don't understand why he always wants to run away. Doesn't he know how much we love him?"

"He knows," Mom assured him. "Frank is just a dog who likes to run."

After thirty minutes of searching, Zebb was blinking back tears. Mom reached over and squeezed his hand. "You know what I always think of when Frank runs away and we have to go search for him?"

"What?" Zebb asked, swiping at tears with the back of his hand.

"I think of a parable Jesus told in the Bible about a shepherd who goes after one lost sheep. He drops everything to go and save the sheep, even leaving ninety-nine others behind to go search! And when he finds the sheep, he isn't angry. The shepherd rejoices! That's how God reacts when His children are found."

"I like that story," Zebb said. "It's nice to think that Jesus would search for me like I search for Frank."

Mom nodded. "Jesus is our Good Shepherd who came to earth and died to rescue us from sin. He loves us and will always come find us when we wander off."

As they continued searching for Frank, Zebb thought about God's love for him and how big it was. He also prayed that God would keep Frank safe, wherever he was.

A few minutes later Mom's phone rang. "Hello?" she said. "Oh, that's wonderful news, thank you. We'll be right there!" She hung up the phone and turned the car around. "That was one of our neighbors. They have Frank safe and sound at their house. Let's go get our boy!"

–Emily Tenter

How About You?
How does it make you feel to know that Jesus is the Good Shepherd who searches for His one lost sheep? Jesus is trustworthy. He died and rose again to save you from sin, and when you wander off and try to go your own way, He will come find you and offer you grace and forgiveness. He promises He will always love you and help you, no matter what. Rest in the great love He has for you.

Today's Key Verse:
If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not…look for the one that wandered off? (NIV) (Matthew 18:12)

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus will come find you

Who Does It Hurt? (Part 2)

Bible Reading: Colossians 3:12-15

"You brought my favorite board game!" exclaimed Hattie and Cleo's uncle when they came to visit him in the hospital. The girls happily set it up, and they were playing when a man entered the room. "Hi, Kyle," said Uncle Dale cheerfully. "Hattie, Cleo--meet Kyle Turner." The girls smiled and waved. "Kyle comes to see me every day and we read the Bible together," Uncle Dale explained.

"Don't let me interrupt you," said Kyle. "I have some errands to run. I'll come back in a little while."

"That's fine," said Uncle Dale. "Don't forget!"

"No chance!" Kyle called on his way out.

The girls were silent for a moment. "Kyle Turner," murmured Hattie. She frowned. "I know that name! He's the man who caused your accident, isn't he?" She looked at her uncle. "Why are you friends with him? It's his fault you can't walk!"

"I was really angry right after the accident," admitted Uncle Dale. "Then I read Colossians 3:13 during my devotions one day." He picked up his Bible from the bedside table. "Here, Cleo. Will you find that verse in my Bible?"

Cleo quickly found the verse. "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."

"Not too long after I read that verse, Kyle came to my room," said Uncle Dale. "I sure had a grievance against him! But he asked me to forgive him." Uncle Dale cleared his throat. "God helped me do that and used the accident to help both Kyle and me grow in our relationship with Jesus," he said quietly.

Hattie had tears in her eyes. "I just don't think I can forgive Kyle," she said. "Is there something wrong with me, Uncle Dale?"

"Nothing that God can't cure," her uncle assured her. "You love me and don't like to see me hurt--that's natural. Forgiving isn't always easy, but we can depend on Jesus for help. He forgave us for all our sins, and He gives us the power to forgive others, even when it's hard." Uncle Dale smiled. "I know--why don't you girls stay for my Bible study with Kyle? I'd like you to get to know him better."

The girls glanced at each other. "Well…okay," said Hattie, and Cleo nodded.

–Alyssa Liljequis

How About You?
Has someone hurt you so badly that you feel like you can't forgive them?* Remember that you've done wrong things too, but if you trust Jesus as your Savior, He's forgiven you even though you don't deserve it. Show others the forgiveness that comes from Jesus by forgiving them when they hurt you. *If you're struggling with the hurt someone has caused you, talk to a trusted adult.

Today's Key Verse:
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (NIV) (Colossians 3:13)

Today's Key Thought:
Forgive others as Christ forgave you