Keys for Kids Devotional Feed


The Best Answer

Bible Reading: Romans 8:26-28

It hadn't been a good week for Isaiah. Nothing seemed to be fun anymore since his best friend Thomas moved away. "Please, dear God," Isaiah prayed every night, "let Thomas come back and live here again."

"I know you miss Thomas very much," Dad said one afternoon as he and Isaiah washed the car. "But I don't think his family is going to move back here."

"Yes, they will! I asked God to bring them back, and He'll answer my prayer. Won't He?"

"Well, yes…" Dad frowned a little and scratched his head. "Oh, I forgot to tell you--Mom's fixing stuffed green peppers to go with dinner tonight. She wanted to know if you'd eat some."

Isaiah wrinkled his nose. "No thanks, I don't like stuffed green peppers."

"I'll let her know," said Dad as he headed to the house. He came out a few minutes later. "Isaiah, Mom is fixing stuffed green peppers for dinner. Should I tell her you'll eat some?"

Isaiah stood up from the wheel he'd been cleaning. "You already asked me about that, Dad. And I already said no! Don't you remember?"

Dad laughed. "Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. Your answer was no surprise, by the way. It just wasn't what your mom was hoping to hear--she really likes those stuffed peppers. She wants you to like them too, but your answer is still no. It's like that with God--He will always listen to our prayers, and He will always answer, but sometimes the answer is no. We need to remember that He cares about us--that He loves us so much Jesus died for us--and trust Him to do what's best."

Isaiah put down his sponge. "Why wouldn't God let Thomas come back here? It would make me a lot happier."

"But it might not be best for Thomas's family. His father was very sick, you know, and the doctors said a warmer climate would be better for him. Instead of praying that Thomas will come back, maybe you could ask God to help his family adjust to their new home. This move might be harder for them than for you."

Slowly Isaiah nodded. "Okay. And after I pray for Thomas and his family, I'll ask God to help me find a new friend here too."

–Katherine R. Adams

How About You?
Do you think God should answer all your prayers exactly the way you want? If things don't go your way, do you think God doesn't care? That's not true. He does care, and He knows what's best for you and for all His children. So even when God's answer to your prayer is no, trust Him and remember that His way is best.

Today's Key Verse:
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God. (CSB) (Romans 8:28 )

Today's Key Thought:
Accept God's answers to prayer

Broken Window

Bible Reading: Romans 6:1-11

Jaxon hadn't meant to break the window. The ball had slipped out of his hand, and now he stood in front of a mess. If only there was some way to hide it, Jaxon thought.

But there wasn't. He couldn't fix it. He'd broken his bedroom window, and his parents were going to find out. They were probably going to ground him.

Jaxon sighed. "It's my own fault. I shouldn't have been playing ball in the house."

Instead of trying to hide things, Jaxon went downstairs. "Dad?" Jaxon said.

Dad turned toward him. "Yes?"

Jaxon looked at his feet. "I broke my window."

Dad got up. "How did that happen?"

"I hit it with a ball," Jaxon mumbled. "I'm sorry."

They went upstairs to look at the damage, and Jaxon waited for his dad to tell him what his punishment was going to be. "I'm sorry," Jaxon said again. "I know I shouldn't have been playing with the ball in here."

Dad nodded slowly. "You did know it's against the rules to play ball in the house, right?"

Jaxon nodded. "I guess I thought I could get away with it if no one saw me."

Dad sighed. "I need to talk to your mom," he said.

Jaxon waited for his parents and was surprised by how calm they looked when they came into his room.

"We decided to give you grace this time," Mom said.

"Grace?" Jaxon asked.

"Yes," said Mom. "We're not giving you what you deserve for breaking the rules. We've decided to give you grace instead." She smiled. "Just like how Jesus gives us grace all the time. He died to take the punishment we deserve for our sins so we could be saved and enjoy life with Him. Whenever we do something wrong, He offers us grace and forgiveness."

"Right," Dad said. "But the Bible says that those saved by grace shouldn't go on sinning. We're trusting that there will be no more ball playing in the house."

"There won't be," Jaxon quickly agreed.

Mom hugged him. "We forgive you and we love you."

"We do," Dad said.

Jaxon smiled. Grace felt pretty amazing.

–Bethany Acker

How About You?
Has anyone ever given you grace when you didn't deserve it? How did it feel? Have you received God's grace by trusting Jesus to forgive your sins? His gift of grace covers all your wrongs. Instead of getting the punishment you deserve--eternal separation from God--He forgives you and gives you eternal life with Him. Trust in Him so you can enjoy His grace every day. (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:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. (NIV) (Ephesians 2:8)

Today's Key Thought:
Grace is a great gift

The Trinity Tree

Bible Reading: Matthew 28:16-20; John 14:16-17, 26

Anya inhaled the rich scent of the woods. She loved these weekly hikes to various parks in Michigan with her homeschool group. Remi and Taylor, two of her best friends, ran around her. "Come on, Anya, race you to that dune!"

The three friends looked over the shimmering waters of Lake Michigan as they waited for the group to catch up. After a rest and snack on the beach, the homeschoolers headed back into the thick of the woods.

Anya stopped suddenly and gasped. "Guys! Look at this awesome tree!" This particular tree had a wide base that morphed into three separate trees two feet up. The kids all took turns standing in the middle of the three portions of the tree on its base. Remi, Taylor, and Anya could fit in the tree at the same time, and they each leaned back against their own section.

"This tree reminds me of the Trinity," Anya said thoughtfully.

"What's that?" Remi questioned.

"Well, the word Trinity isn't in the Bible, but it means that God is one God with three Persons--kind of like how this tree has three trunks." Anya shrugged. "At least, that's the way I picture it. My mom says it's hard to understand the Trinity because our human minds can't totally grasp it."

"I know about God the Father and Jesus the Son, but what's the third part of the Trinity?" asked Taylor.

"The Holy Spirit," Anya answered. "Remember when Jesus went back to heaven after His resurrection? Before He went, He told His disciples and other people that He would leave His Spirit to be with them always and to comfort them and remind them of everything He said."

"Mom said when we belong to Jesus, His Spirit guides us through the truth of the Bible and helps us through hard times," Remi said.

Taylor ran her fingers over the tree's bark. "This tree is one tree, but with three unified parts--just like how God is one God with three Persons."

"It's always been a little mind-bending to me, but seeing this tree helps me understand," Anya noted.

"Let's name it the Trinity tree," Remi suggested with a grin.

"Photo-op!" Taylor yelled as her mom aimed her phone camera at them. "Say trini-tree!"

–Savannah Coleman

How About You?
Did you ever stop to consider how God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one God but three Persons? In John 10 verse 30, Jesus says that He and God the Father are one. Jesus also promised His followers that God the Father would send them the Holy Spirit to help, comfort, and be with them forever. As God's children, we have access to a God who is our Father, the Son who died for our sins and rose again, and the Holy Spirit who helps us through each day.

Today's Key Verse:
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (NIV) (2 Corinthians 13:14)

Today's Key Thought:
God is Father, Son, and Spirit

Treasures That Matter

Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 6:6-12

"What's the matter, honey?" Mom asked when Amelia came into the house. "Your face is telling me something isn't right."

Amelia's words came in a rush. "Abby's always bragging about her clothes and all the places she gets to go and how much money she has. Today she wouldn't stop talking about the spring break trip her family has planned. I'm so tired of hearing about it!"

Mom looked at her thoughtfully. "You're not jealous, are you?" Amelia blushed a little. After a moment, Mom said, "I'm going to give you two gifts."

"Really?" asked Amelia in surprise. Then she narrowed her eyes. "I have a feeling there's a catch to this."

Mom smiled. "Here's the first gift." She reached out and gave Amelia a big hug. "I love you, love you, love you," Mom told her, using a favorite family phrase.

"Love you too, Mom," Amelia replied as Mom went to get her purse. "But I still think there's a catch."

Mom grinned, opened her purse, and handed Amelia some money. "Here's your second gift."

Amelia squealed. "I hear the ice cream truck coming. Can I use it for ice cream?" Mom nodded, and Amelia hurried out, forgetting to look for a catch.

When Amelia was ready for bed that evening, she went to tell her parents goodnight. "What do you have left of the two gifts I gave you?" asked Mom.

"Well, the money is all gone, and so is the ice cream I bought--though I might still have some blue moon left on my teeth!" She laughed as she hugged her mother. "But I still have your love, and you're not getting it back!"

"You'll always have it," Mom said. "I gave you those two gifts because I wanted you to realize that you have something far more valuable than anything the world has to offer. Earthly things are like the money I gave you--they don't last. But love does. And along with the love of your family, you also have God's love, which is far greater than human love. And because of God's unconditional love, you've been given eternal life through Jesus, who died for your sins so you could be God's child. So you see, you're really a very rich young lady."

–Susi McCord

How About You?
Do you ever wish you had things other kids do? Remember that earthly treasures are temporary--they don't last. The love of family and friends is far more important, and most wonderful and important of all is the love of God, who offers us eternal life through His Son, Jesus. So don't be jealous if other kids have more stuff than you do. Instead, remember that you have eternal treasure found only in Jesus.

Today's Key Verse:
Then Jesus said to them, "Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed. People do not get life from the many things they own." (ERV) (Luke 12:15 )

Today's Key Thought:
Don't be jealous of what other kids have

In God’s Care

Bible Reading: Psalm 34:4; Matthew 6:26-34; Philippians 4:6-7

On her way home from a job interview, Morgan and Lissa's mom stopped at school to pick them up. "Mom, when is Dad going to come back home?" Lissa asked as they started out. She asked the same question almost every day.

"He isn't," snapped twelve-year-old Morgan before Mom had a chance to answer. "Mom's told you a hundred times." Morgan wanted Dad to come back too. She missed him, and she felt scared. But Lissa's question just reminded her that it wasn't going to happen. How will we ever manage without Dad? Morgan wondered. What will we do if Mom doesn't find a job soon?

Mom seemed to sense Morgan's thoughts. "Don't worry," she said. "Jesus is with us, and He'll never leave us. We can trust Him to take care of us. One of the ways He does that is through the church--we can rely on them for help and encouragement when we need it." Morgan wanted to believe that, but sometimes it was hard.

Suddenly, the car sputtered and slowed down. Mom steered it to the side of the road just before the engine stopped. "Well," she said when she wasn't able to start the car again, "that's not good." She got out and raised the hood.

As the girls waited in the car, Lissa began to cry. "I'm scared! How will we get home? What will we do?"

"I don't know, but Mom will take care of everything," Morgan said, confident that their mother would know what to do. "I know you're scared, but we can trust her."

As Morgan tried to comfort her little sister, she realized her mom had been comforting them in a similar way--and now Morgan understood a little better. Even though none of them knew what to do about Dad leaving, God knew, and He cared. They could trust Him, even when they felt worried.

Mom opened the car door, got her cell phone out of her purse, and made a call. When she hung up, she smiled at the girls. "Help is on the way."

"See, Lissa? Everything will be okay," Morgan assured her little sister again. This time, Morgan also reassured herself of something she knew was true--God knew what the future held, and He would be with them through everything.

–Katherine R. Adams

How About You?
Are you worried about something? Are there things in your future that scare you? Trust God to take care of you. He knows all about it and has promised to take care of His children--those who trust Jesus as their Savior. Pray about your problem, and then leave it in the Lord's hands. And let other Christians know about your struggles too so they can help you, encourage you, and pray for you.

Today's Key Verse:
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. (NLT) (1 Peter 5:7 )

Today's Key Thought:
Don't worry
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