Keys for Kids Devotional Feed


The Concert

Bible Reading: Mark 3:7-12; Luke 5:17-26

Jenna hurried to get ready for the concert. Her dad had bought them good tickets, and she wanted to get to their seats as soon as possible.

As soon as she was finished putting her hair in a ponytail, she hurried down the stairs. "Let's go!"

Her dad chuckled from the couch. "It's early yet, honey."

"But I want to make sure we get there as soon as we can," Jenna said.

"Your mom and sisters are still getting ready." Dad patted the cushion beside him. "Sit for a minute."

"I don't want to sit. I want to go!" Jenna sighed as she slumped onto the couch.

Dad smiled. "You make me think of something."

Jenna's brows knit. "What?"

"When Jesus was living on earth, do you think people got excited like you are tonight? I know He drew large crowds and the people had to pack in to see Him," Dad said.

"They probably wanted to get a good seat," Jenna agreed.

"But they didn't have tickets," Dad said. "Think of those who brought the paralyzed man to Jesus. When they got there, the house was already full. But instead of turning around, they went on the roof and made a hole in it to let their friend in!"

"We'd probably get in trouble if we did that to see the band," Jenna said.

Dad laughed. "We would. But think about how special it was to see Jesus. He healed the paralyzed man and made him walk again. He saved him from his sins…"

"If I could see Jesus like that tonight, I would," Jenna said. "It would be so cool. I would even do it instead of the concert, and I'm really looking forward to that."

"Me too," Dad agreed. "Seeing Him would be awesome, and one day we will see Him because He's saved us from our sins too, but at least we don't have to see Him to know He is with us."

"He'll even be at the concert with us," Jenna said. She would love to see Jesus, but she was glad He was always there, whether she could see Him or not. "I hope He likes the music."

Dad grinned. "I think He will."

– Bethany Acker

How About You?
What do you think it would be like to see Jesus in person? What would you say to Him if you saw Him? Even though you can't see Him now, you can still talk to Him like He's right there with you, because He is! If you know Him as your Savior, He promises to always be with you, and one day you'll see Him face-to-face. He is with you no matter where you are.

Today's Key Verse:
Yet the news about [Jesus] spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. (NIV) (Luke 5:15 )

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus is special

The Dusty Table

Bible Reading: John 10:27-28; Romans 8:35-39

"I want to ask you something, Mom," Emma said hesitantly as her mother tucked her into bed one evening. "I trusted Jesus as my Savior last summer, but it seems like I'm still always doing something wrong--like being mean to Colson tonight.

When I do stuff like that, I ask God to forgive me, but what if I forget to ask Him--or what if I don't even realize I've done something wrong?" She paused. "Then am I still saved?"

Mom sat down on the bed. "Jesus's death paid for all your sins, Emma. Jesus will never disown you if you've put your trust in Him."

"You're sure?" asked Emma.

"I'm sure." Mom pointed to a small blue table in the corner of Emma's room. "Where did that come from?"

"That's the table Mrs. Morales found when she was cleaning out her basement last week. She said I could have it--it was old and dirty and she was just going to throw it away. I cleaned it up and then Dad showed me how to sand it and paint it." Emma grinned. "It looks great now, huh?"

Mom nodded. "It sure does. It's beautiful, so enjoy it while you can. Your room sometimes gets pretty dusty, you know. Soon that table will be covered with dust and you'll have to throw it out."

"Throw it out!" exclaimed Emma. "Are you kidding? It could never look any worse than when I got it! It was covered with dirt and bugs and spider webs, but I didn't throw it away then. I'm definitely not going to get rid of it now after all the work I did to make it look good! I'll just clean it whenever I need to. I love that table."

Mom smiled. "I thought you'd say that. Emma, don't you see that God loves you much more than you love that table? Your life was full of sin, but Jesus died to save you from it. When you put your trust in Him, He made you part of His family. He's not going to just throw you away now--not after all He's done for you. Just like how you'll dust that table whenever it gets dirty, Jesus will forgive you whenever you do something wrong. Confess your sin to Him, and He will make you clean."

– Sherry L. Kuyt

How About You?
Have you trusted Jesus as your Savior? God says that if you've trusted Jesus to save you from sin, nothing can ever separate you from His love. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page or go to www.keysforkids.org/goodnews.) Once you trust in Jesus, you're a child of God, and nothing you do will ever change that. He offers you forgiveness whenever you need it. Confess your sins to Him, and He will clean them away.

Today's Key Verse:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NKJV) (1 John 1:9)

Today's Key Thought:
You are God's child forever

Building Up

Bible Reading: Psalm 119:103; Proverbs 12:18; Colossians 4:6

"My turn!" Junior shouted as he laid the next block. He and his brother were playing a tower-building game, and the tower was getting high. Carefully, he laid down the next piece and held his breath as the tower wobbled, wobbled--then, thankfully, stopped. "Okay. Your turn, Max."

Max concentrated hard as he gently placed the next wooden log on top of the tower. The tower teetered and wobbled, but this time it didn't stop. With a loud crash, all the pieces of the tower came tumbling down.

Junior threw up his hands. "No! C'mon, Max! I was trying to get a record. I should have just done this by myself. You're no help at all."

Max opened his mouth to respond, but then got up and went to his room with his head down.

Later that night, Mom knocked on Junior's door. "Do you have any idea why Max seems a little down tonight?" she asked.

Junior shrugged. "I don't know."

Mom raised an eyebrow. "Really?"

Junior sighed. "I did get a little mad at him after he made our tower fall down. It was supposed to be a world record!"

Mom nodded. "I understand that you got frustrated, but Max told me you said he's no help at all. That's not a nice thing to say."

Junior looked down. "I guess not. I'm sorry."

Mom looked thoughtful. "You know, what happened to your tower reminds me of our words. The words we say can either build others up or knock them down. Just like you were doing with your tower, we need to be careful that the words we say build others up with love and encouragement, the way Jesus encourages us with His words to us in the Bible."

Junior nodded. "That makes sense. I think I need to tell Max something." He left his room and knocked on Max's door. "Max? Can I come in?"

Max shrugged. "Sure."

"I'm sorry for what I said earlier. Do you want to build a tower with me again?"

Max smiled. "Really?"

Junior grinned. "Yup." And this time, he would also be building with his words.

– Chukwuka Ugobi

How About You?
Do your words build up? Or do they tear down? Our words have an impact on others, so we have to be careful what we say. The Bible tells us to build each other up with words that encourage others and point them to Jesus. He builds us up with words of love, hope, and forgiveness in the Bible, and He will help you build others up with your words.

Today's Key Verse:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs. (NIV) (Ephesians 4:29)

Today's Key Thought:
Build each other up

Foreign Words

Bible Reading: Proverbs 2:1-6

"We had such cool visitors in our social studies class today!" Ollie told his parents one evening. "Mrs. Berg invited a Vietnamese family to talk to us about their culture and tell us what it's like to try to fit into the American way of life without losing their heritage."

"Interesting," said Dad. "What was the hardest thing for them?"

"Learning English." Ollie got up and took a paper out of his backpack. "This is what their language looks like."

Mom and Dad looked at the foreign words. "I know it would be hard for me to learn this," said Mom. "And life would be confusing and scary if I couldn't talk to people or understand what they said to me."

"It sure would," agreed Dad. "And I'm sure it's just as scary and difficult for them to learn and understand our culture and language." He reached for his Bible. "Time for devotions."

Ollie, who had started to get up, sat back down. "Okay, but you know what? Some of the things in the Bible are hard for me to understand--about as hard as some of these foreign words." He shrugged. "I know our Bible is written in English, but some parts of it still don't make sense to me."

"Tell me," said Dad, "did the Vietnamese family finally figure out what our English words mean?"

"Not all of them, but they understand a lot more now than when they first got here."

"How did they learn the meanings of English words?" asked Dad.

"They studied and studied," said Ollie. "They got help from some teachers and friends too."

"In other words, they were persistent--they kept studying," said Dad. "We need to be persistent in studying the Bible too. The more we study it, the better we understand it."

"And we need to ask for help," said Mom. "Your dad and I can help you understand some things, and Pastor Baxter and your Sunday school teacher can help too. But most of all, God can help. The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom and understanding about Jesus and the truth of His Word. When we read the Bible, He helps us understand what God is saying to us."

Dad nodded. "As you read and study the Bible, ask God for wisdom, and He will help you."

– Nance E. Keyes

How About You?
Is reading the Bible hard for you? Don't give up. Other Christians can explain hard words or verses you don't understand. You can also get a translation of the Bible that uses the kind of language spoken today. The more time you spend in God's Word, the more you'll understand. Above all, ask God to help you understand what He's saying to you.

Today's Key Verse:
The Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. (NKJV) (Proverbs 2:6)

Today's Key Thought:
God gives understanding

Fish for Dinner

Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 2:14-16

Karina and her friend Dan rushed into the kitchen after practice. "Perfect timing!" said Karina's mom, taking a pan out of the oven.

"Mmmm!" exclaimed Karina. "That fish smells yummy--Dan? Where did you go?"

"I'm outside!" Dan yelled from the porch.

Karina walked outside and saw Dan putting on his bike helmet. "Wait!" she said. "I thought you were staying for dinner!"

"I was," said Dan. "Until I smelled it." He got on his bike. "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Where's Dan?" asked Mom when Karina returned.

Karina shrugged. "Your fish smells delicious, but Dan thinks it stinks. I don't understand--the smell is making me hungrier by the minute!"

"Well, I just cook it," said Mom. "I can't make him like it."

Karina thought for a moment. "You know, Mom, Dan acts the same way when I talk about Jesus. If I just say the word 'church,' he wrinkles his nose. But he's never even tried to go."

Mom stirred the carrots on the stove. "You know, Karina, as a baby, you hated carrots."

"But I like carrots now," said Karina. "What happened?"

"Well, one day I put a carrot on your plate."

"And I ate it?"

"No. But you didn't throw a fit. The next day, I gave you another, and you took a bite. Each day, I gave you more, and eventually you loved them!"

"Nice story, Mom, but what do carrots have to do with Dan?"

Mom dished the fish and carrots onto plates. "I never changed the flavor of the carrots, Karina. I wasn't sure if you'd ever eat one, but if I had stopped offering, you definitely never would have tried it. I had to be patient."

"Are you saying I should invite Dan to eat fish tomorrow?"

Mom laughed. "Not exactly, but I do think you should keep offering Jesus. Be patient. Perhaps one day Dan will understand how much Jesus loves him, and he'll come to love Jesus too."

"I can do that." Karina paused. "Hey, Mom--Dan's favorite food is spaghetti."

Mom nodded. "That's good to know. Next week, we'll have spaghetti after practice."

Karina smiled. "And carrots!"

– Kelly Carlson

How About You?
How does Jesus smell to you? We can't make others love God, but we can love them like God loves us. If your thoughts about Jesus are as wonderful as the yummy smell of your favorite food, share those good feelings. Invite others to learn more about Jesus. Tell them what He's done in your life. Be patient. Pray. Do what you can, and leave the rest to God.

Today's Key Verse:
We are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. (NIV) (2 Corinthians 2:15 )

Today's Key Thought:
Share Jesus with others
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