Keys for Kids Devotional Feed


Silent Treatment

Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-8

Alex frowned as he poured some cereal and looked out the window. Joanna never quits talking! he thought as he saw his sister coming up the driveway. I wish she'd leave me alone. He snapped his fingers. I know what'll fix her. I'll give her the silent treatment. So when Joanna came into the house, Alex retreated to his room. She banged on his door and called his name, but he put on some music and turned up the volume so he couldn't hear her, and Joanna finally gave up and walked away.

A little while later, Joanna started to tell Alex something, but he covered his ears with both his hands and began to hum. I'll teach her, he thought. All morning he refused to hear anything she said.

At lunchtime, Alex noticed that Joanna had put on her swimsuit. "Are you going somewhere, Joanna?" asked Dad.

She nodded. "I'm going to Water World with the Mannings."

"Sounds like fun," said Dad. He looked at Alex. "You're not going?"

"I wasn't invited," Alex answered crossly.

"You were too!" said Joanna. "I tried to tell you all morning, but you wouldn't listen. They had two extra tickets and invited both of us, but now they've given the last ticket to someone else."

"Oh no!" wailed Alex as the Mannings' car turned into the driveway.

That evening, Alex asked his parents for help with something for church. "My small group leader wants each of us to share some thoughts on prayer during our group time this week," he said. "But what should I say?"

"Well, let's see," said Dad. "Maybe you could talk about the importance of talking to God and listening to Him."

"You could tell about how you missed out on a fun outing today by refusing to talk with your sister," suggested Mom. "Then explain that we all miss out on the blessing of communicating with God when we fail to talk to Him."

Dad nodded. "God loves us and wants us to pray about all the things that matter to us. Jesus died and rose again so we could have a relationship with Him, and that means we can talk to God whenever we want!"

"Good idea," said Alex. "I'll tell the kids in my group not to give God the silent treatment."

–Nance E. Keyes

How About You?
Do you regularly talk to God? Do you tell Him what's going on in your life and ask Him for help with your problems? Or do you think it doesn't make any difference whether you pray or not? It does! God loves you so much that Jesus gave His life so you could have a relationship with Him. He wants to help you and bless you through the gift of prayer. Talk to Him about everything.

Today's Key Verse:
Pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (NLT) (Philippians 4:6)

Today's Key Thought:
Talk to God

Slicing Onions

Bible Reading: Psalms 34:17-18; 147:3; Hebrews 4:14-16

"I can't wait for the school carnival on Friday!" said Skylar. "My mom's working at the slushy booth. She's gonna make me a slushy with every flavor in it!"

"My dad's helping out with the pin game," said Gabriel. "He said there are some cool prizes for whoever knocks them all down!"

"What about you, Nevaeh?" asked Skylar. "Is your grandpa helping?"

Nevaeh shook her head. "No, he can't work at a booth--he can't be on his feet for long periods of time."

"That's too bad," said Gabriel.

Nevaeh smiled and shrugged. "It's okay," she said. "No big deal."

When Nevaeh got home from school, Grandpa greeted her. "How about some of my famous guacamole?" he said. "I have to put the lawnmower away, but if you'll start cutting up the onions, I'll be back in a jiff to make the rest."

"Okay," said Nevaeh. But as soon as she sliced into an onion, her eyes started to tear up. The onion must be making my eyes water, she thought. But even after she put down the knife, the tears kept coming. When Grandpa came back inside, Nevaeh was sobbing.

"I'm sorry, Grandpa!" Nevaeh cried. "I keep trying to accept that I can't live with Mom or Dad and be thankful that I live with you, but when Skylar and Gabriel were talking about their parents working at the school carnival, I really wished my parents were working there too!"

"Your grandmother never wanted to bother anyone with her feelings either," Grandpa said. "So whenever I sensed something was wrong, I'd ask her to cut up some onions, and the same thing would happen to her--the tears would just come out." He gave Nevaeh a hug. "But your feelings aren't bothersome to those who love you, Nevaeh. Whenever you feel sad or upset, you don't need keep it to yourself. You can tell me--it won't hurt my feelings to know that you miss your parents. And most importantly, you can tell Jesus. He loves you and can handle any feelings you have."

Grandpa cut into an avocado. "I may not be able to help with a booth, but I could bring some guacamole to your school carnival. How about that?" Nevaeh smiled and nodded.

–Courtney Lasater

How About You?
When you feel sad or upset, do you ever try to keep it to yourself? Maybe you don't want to bother other people about it or don't think they'd care. But it's important to share your feelings with others instead of bottling them up inside. Jesus wants you to tell Him about your feelings too--you can trust Him to understand and to help you with them.

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:
Share your feelings with Jesus

For Grammy and God

Bible Reading: Matthew 25:31-40

"Are you ready to go, Elizabeth?" asked Mom. Elizabeth frowned. They were going to visit Mom's grandma, who had Alzheimer's disease.

"I'm not sure why we visit every week," murmured Elizabeth as they started toward the door. "Last week she didn't even remember my name."

"No, but Grammy always enjoys seeing you," said Mom. Elizabeth doubted that. Visits to Grammy always seemed awkward and sad.

A cry came from the baby's room upstairs. "Sounds like Simon needs a bottle," said Dad, putting his tablet down. "I'll get it! You two have a good visit."

"Okay," said Mom, and she and Elizabeth went on out to the car. "Elizabeth, I was just thinking about how much I appreciate your help with Simon," Mom said as they pulled out of the driveway. "You seem to really enjoy feeding him, playing with him, and holding him when he cries."

Elizabeth grinned. "I do, Mom. He's such a sweet baby, and I love him so much!"

"Me too," said Mom. "But do you think Simon will remember that you fed him or took care of him at all a year from now? He probably doesn't even realize how much you do for him now, and he's too young to understand who you are."

"Well, you still need to take care of him, so I'm doing it for you too," said Elizabeth. "I'm happy to help. And when he's older, he will know who I am."

Mom nodded. "Just like Simon, Grammy needs someone to care for her too, even though she can't fully appreciate all we do for her or even remember our names sometimes. But Jesus still loves her and promises to take care of her, and one way He does that is through us. When we show her the same love and care He does, we're not just doing it for Grammy--we're doing it for God too."

Elizabeth sighed. "You're right. It's just hard to visit her sometimes when she won't even remember we came."

"I know, but she'll know somebody cares right now," said Mom gently. "It will help her today." She smiled. "She may not remember, but God will. And one day, when Jesus gives Grammy a new, perfect body, I'm sure she'll remember too."

–Mike Dize

How About You?
Are you willing to help people who will probably forget all the good things you do? God won't forget. Jesus says that the things you do to show love and care to others are done for Him, whether anyone else remembers or not. Be willing to help in whatever way you can, even if you don't think it will make a difference. Do it for the Lord, and trust Him to use your good deeds to show people His love.

Today's Key Verse:
[Jesus said,] "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." (NIV) (Matthew 25:40)

Today's Key Thought:
God remembers all you do

Rule Breaker

Bible Reading: Exodus 20:1-17; Romans 8:1-4

Tristan sighed as the bell signaling the end of recess rang. "Come on," he said to his friend Aria. "We'd better hurry or we'll get in trouble."

"Yeah," Aria said. "Mrs. McGinn is so strict. Her rules are impossible!"

As Tristan worked on his math that afternoon, his pencil point broke. He tapped Aria on the shoulder. "Do you have an extra pencil?" he whispered.

"Tristan," said Mrs. McGinn sternly, "you know the rule about not whispering in class. You broke that rule, so you will stay inside during morning recess tomorrow." Tristan tried to explain, but it was no use.

When Tristan told his parents about it, Mom shook her head. "I'm sorry your teacher is so strict and didn't listen to what you had to say," she said. "But you knew the rule, and you broke it. Next time ask Mrs. McGinn for a pencil instead of Aria."

Dad picked up his Bible. "Ready for family devotions? I believe we're up to Exodus 20, and it's your turn to read, Tristan."

Tristan took the Bible and began to read. "More rules!" he exclaimed after reading several verses.

Dad nodded. "These rules are called the Ten Commandments. They were given to the Israelites as part of God's law. The Bible also tells what the punishments would be if the Israelites disobeyed them."

"Is it as bad as Mrs. McGinn's?" asked Tristan.

"Much worse. Sin is a terrible offense against God, and sometimes the punishment was death," said Mom. "In fact, the final punishment for sin--for all people--is eternal death. That's punishment in hell forever."

"But because God loves us, He offers us grace instead of the punishment we deserve," said Dad. "We've all done things that are wrong and are therefore guilty of breaking God's law. But Jesus took the punishment for our sin when He died on the cross. When we trust in Him, He forgives our sins and gives us eternal life with Him."

Mom nodded. "Because of God's grace, we don't need to fear eternal punishment. Jesus took that for us."

Tristan smiled. "It would be nice if someone would take my punishment from Mrs. McGinn too," he said. "But at least it won't last forever!"

–Nance E. Keyes

How About You?
Have you heard of the Ten Commandments? They are listed in Exodus 20 and are part of God's law. Take a moment to read through them. Have you ever broken any of those commands? Then you have broken God's law and deserve to be punished. But guess what? Jesus took that punishment for you! Trust in Him, and you will receive God's grace and be given eternal 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:
Those who belong to Christ will not suffer the punishment of sin. (NLV) (Romans 8:1)

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus took your punishment

Little Lies

Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:17-25

"Hi, Dad," Zander said as he entered his father's workshop. "Can you help me build a birdhouse now?"

Dad looked up. "I'm ready if you are. Let's pick out some wood." He led the way to the bin of scrap wood. "I thought you were playing with Landon today."

"He left," said Zander. "I wanted to do this, so I told him I had homework to do."

Dad frowned as they carried several pieces of wood over to the workbench. "You mean you lied to Landon?"

"Not really. I do have homework, but I'll do it after we finish the birdhouse."

"But you purposely led Landon to believe that you were going to do the homework now. That's a form of lying, Zander."

Zander shrugged. "Well, what was I supposed to say? 'Go home. I don't want to play with you anymore'?" He handed Dad a board. "Anyway, it was just a little lie. It won't hurt Landon's feelings or anything. He'll never know."

"All lies hurt the people who tell them," said Dad. "You could have just explained that you wanted time to work with me before doing your homework." He held up the piece of wood Zander had just handed him, and using both hands, he easily cracked it in half. Zander watched, wide-eyed. "Look closely at this wood," said Dad, holding the pieces out to him.

Zander looked and saw several tunnels crisscrossing through the place where it had split. "Wow! I guess those tunnels made the wood weak. I could probably have split it myself! What caused that?"

"Possibly carpenter ants," said Dad. "They eat away at wood until it's weak and easily breaks apart." He looked at Zander thoughtfully. "Ants are little, but they can do a lot of damage. Lies are like that too. Lies--even so-called little ones--eat away at our truthfulness. As Christians, we're called to be like Jesus, who always tells us the truth, and His truth transforms us. He gives us the power to be truthful too so our lives point to Him and His love for us."

Zander was startled. "I'm sorry," he murmured. "Should I text Landon and tell him to come back?" He thought about it a moment. "That's what I'll do. He can help us with this birdhouse!"

–Daryl B. Knauer

How About You?
Do you think it's okay to tell little white lies? Do you figure they won't hurt anyone? They do hurt--and even if no one else finds out, they still hurt you. When you tell lies--big or small--you are not being truthful like Jesus, who speaks the truth to us out of love in His Word, the Bible. Being honest isn't always easy, but God will help you love others and tell them the truth.

Today's Key Verse:
Do not lie to one another. (NKJV) (Colossians 3:9)

Today's Key Thought:
Be truthful like Jesus
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