Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

Everyday Blessings

Bible Reading: Psalm 34:1-3; Ephesians 5:20

"I actually thought it was going to be cool to have this cast on my leg," Ben said as his dad helped him into the car after church. "When Joshua had a cast on his foot, the kids were always offering to carry his books and stuff like that." Ben sighed. "I can't say it's been that way for me, and these crutches really slow me down."

"I'm sure you'll get used to them soon," Dad assured him.

On the drive home, Ben's parents discussed the church service. "Pastor Everson's message was right on!" said Mom, and Dad nodded.

Ben frowned. "Maybe, but it was hard to pay attention when the microphone kept messing up. Did we have a new sound person today or something?"

Dad shook his head. "No, Mr. Stanley's been running the sound board faithfully for years. I don't know what happened with the mics today." Dad paused, then said, "It's like your leg, Ben."

"My leg? What's the sound guy got to do with me and my broken leg?"

"How often in the last twenty-four hours have you thought about your leg?" asked Dad.

Ben winced. "About a gazillion times."

"Before your accident, you didn't even think about the way your leg felt, did you?" asked Dad. Ben shook his head. "You never thought about the microphones or the great job the sound man was doing until something went wrong," Dad observed. "Just like you didn't think about your leg until something was wrong with it. We need to learn to be thankful and show appreciation for what goes right, and not be so quick to criticize when something goes wrong."

Ben grinned. "But if I walk around saying 'I'm sure glad I didn't break both my legs,' people are going to think I'm weird!"

Mom and Dad laughed. "Maybe, but it wouldn't hurt for us to remember once in a while to thank God for an arm or leg that feels good," said Mom. "The absence of pain deserves to get some of our attention too. Jesus has given us so many blessings, including the best one of all--eternal life with Him. Instead of only paying attention to what goes wrong, let's thank Him for the many ways He shows us His love and takes care of us each day."

-Mike Dize

How About You?
Do you notice when things are good and right? Those things are everyday blessings, but they often don't get our attention the way painful things do. The next time your stomach hurts, thank God for the health you have. When you have to do homework or chores, be thankful for the times you get to play. Thank Him for all the good things He's given you and for loving you and taking care of you each day.

Today's Key Verse:
Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. (NLT) (Psalm 68:19)

Today's Key Thought:
Be thankful for daily blessings

Making Rainbows

Bible Reading: Philippians 1:21-26

A hard rain shower passed, and sunshine glistened on the grass and trees. Then brilliant colors arched the sky. It was still raining lightly as Mabel gazed out the window. "Dad, come see the beautiful rainbow!"

Dad joined her at the window. "Wow, look at that!"

"How does God make rainbows?" asked Mabel.

"Well, when the sun is behind us and the rain is in front of us, the rays of sun pass through the raindrops,"

said Dad. "The water acts like a prism."

"What's a prism?" asked Mabel.

"I'll show you. Come with me." Dad led the way to his odds-and-ends drawer. "Would you like a rainbow to keep in your room?" he asked.

"Sure, but how?" asked Mabel. Dad smiled as he picked out a ball of string, scissors, and a small, triangular-shaped piece of glass with a small hook on one end. "What's that?" Mabel asked.

Dad held it up. "This is a prism." He tied one end of the string to the hook in the glass and held it out toward Mabel. "Cut here." She took the scissors and cut the string. "Okay," said Dad, "let's take this to your room."

Mabel was puzzled. "What are you going to do with it?"

Dad smiled and tied the triangular piece of glass to a curtain rod in Mabel's room. A moment later, a little rainbow danced on her desk and spilled onto the floor. "I love it!" Mabel exclaimed. "Just wait till I tell my friends I have my very own tiny rainbow!"

"You'll have it only when the sun is shining," Dad said. "The sun shining through the prism is what makes the rainbow." He turned and looked at her. "Did you know that you can be a prism too?"

Mabel laughed. "Sorry, Dad, but the sun shining on me just makes shadows."

"I'm not thinking about the sun in the sky," Dad said. "I'm thinking about the Son of God--Jesus. Because you trust in Him, He's put His Spirit in your heart, and His love shining through you will produce something even more beautiful than a rainbow. Through your actions and attitude, people around you will see God's love, joy, and peace."

-Tanya Ferdinandusz

How About You?
What can you do to make rainbows in your world today? Could you encourage a friend who's feeling down? Or do chores around the house to help your parents? Or sit with someone who's lonely? God can use you to bring a rainbow of His love to others' lives. Trust Him to help you reflect His light so others can see how much He loves them.

Today's Key Verse:
Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (NIV) (Matthew 5:16)

Today's Key Thought:
Be a prism for God

Family Portrait

Bible Reading: Romans 8:14-17; 1 John 3:1-2

"Today," said Miss Hamilton as she passed out paper in art class, "you are going to use chalk to draw a picture of your family."

Some of the kids groaned, but Melia smiled. She knew just what to draw. She started sketching, and soon her paper was nearly filled with faces of girls, boys, men, and women. She used every color of chalk as she drew blondes, brunettes, redheads, and bald heads. She used peach, tan, brown, black, and beige on the faces. She was putting glasses on some of them when Miss Hamilton said it was time to stop.

"Who would like to share your picture with us?" Miss Hamilton asked.

Violet raised her hand. "This is me, my parents and brother, and all my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins," she said as she held up her paper.

"Aunts and uncles and cousins?" asked Ian. "Were we supposed to draw them too? I thought we just had to draw our parents and brothers and sisters."

"I said family, so that can be whoever you want to include," said Miss Hamilton. She stopped at Melia's chair. "Melia, would you like to tell us who all is in your picture?"

Melia held up her picture. "I don't know much about my real family," she said hesitantly, "but here's my foster family. And this lady is my caseworker. This is a picture of the man who teaches my class at church. These are some kids in Honduras that our class collected money for. This one's my pastor. This is a missionary family in Africa, and here are some people who go to their clinic. These are--"

"Wait," said Ian. "Those people aren't your family."

"Oh yes, they are!" Melia stated firmly. "The Bible says everyone who's a Christian is part of God's family. I'm a Christian, and these people are too, so they're all my family." She stopped, unsure of what her classmates, and especially her teacher, would think of that.

"I like it," Violet said as she started sketching a few more figures in her picture.

Miss Hamilton smiled. "I do too. I think it's a wonderful thing to have such a large family."

-Sharyl Noelle

How About You?
Do you think of other Christians as family? If you're a child of God, all those who trust in Jesus are part of your family. This includes people you don't know from countries all over the world. It includes people who are well-known who you wish you could meet. It includes everyone who knows Jesus as their Savior. Because of Him, we all belong to God and are part of His family.

Today's Key Verse:
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. (NKJV) (Romans 8:16)

Today's Key Thought:
All Christians belong to God's family

Showing Thankfulness

Bible Reading: Psalm 92:1; 100; Luke 17:11-19

Emma sighed. "You really messed up, Elijah."

"What?" Elijah was baffled. "How?"

"You made Mom sad by what you said." Emma folded her arms. "No, it's not what you said, it's what you did. Wait, it's not what you did, it's the way you did it."

Elijah stared at her. His sister wasn't making sense. "So how'd I do whatever I did?"

Emma shook her head. "You mumbled thank you--and walked away! Mom went out of her way to pick up your friends, drive them to the game, and buy everyone lunch. And what did you do?"

"I thanked her!"

"Barely. You didn't sound very grateful at all. Even a whale shows more appreciation than that."

Elijah's face scrunched up. "Huh?"

"In class I learned about a fisherman who spotted a whale tangled in fishing ropes off the coast of San Francisco," Emma said. "He reported it and a scuba diving team came and cut the ropes off the whale."

"Wow," said Elijah. "I bet it was thankful."

"Yes--and it showed everyone how thankful. When it realized it was free, it swam to each diver and gently bumped them, like it was thanking them."

Elijah pictured it swimming in circles, giving the divers a whale-sized thanks. "I gotta fix something," he said.

Elijah found Mom and gave her a big hug. "I'm sorry I didn't thank you nicely for your help."

Mom smiled. "I was wondering if you were like the lepers who weren't thankful to Jesus for healing their awful disease."

Elijah remembered the story. Jesus healed ten lepers, but only one took the time to come back and thank Him. "I think I've been forgetting to thank God for things too."

"Well, I'm glad you came back," Mom said. "True thankfulness starts with remembering all that God does for us. He has set us free from sin and made us His children through Jesus, and He takes care of us and fills our lives with good things. As we grow more thankful toward Him, we'll show more gratitude to others too."

Elijah decided that was the kind of person he wanted to be. "Thanks, Mom. And I really mean it this time." He grinned. "It only took a whale to remind me!"

-Matt Shoemaker

How About You?
Do you thank God for all He's done for you? Do you show you appreciate what others do for you too? God loves you so much, and He has put people in your life who show you His love and care. When you thank God for the blessings He's given you, thankfulness becomes a way of life. Thank God for what He's done, and trust Him to help you show your thankfulness to others too.

Today's Key Verse:
I always thank my God for you. (NLT) (1 Corinthians 1:4)

Today's Key Thought:
Show that you're thankful

One Chapter

Bible Reading: Psalm 46:1-3

Thoughts churned inside Diego as he trudged alongside his grandparents, who had prepared a picnic to share on the beach. Usually he adored picnics, but not today.

If only Papa could find a job, he thought, swallowing back the tears. Then he and Mama would stop arguing. If only I didn't grow so fast and keep needing new clothes and shoes.

"Diego, you and Grandpa go walk and have a chat," Grandma said, placing a blanket on the sand. "I'll read and take care of our food until you return."

Diego and Grandpa said nothing for a while as the waves lapped in and out. Finally Grandpa spoke, breaking the silence. "You're worried about your parents, aren't you?"

Diego nodded, wiping away a tear. "What if Papa never finds a job and we become homeless? I feel so helpless. I pray, but God feels far away at the moment."

"Oh, Diego, our loving God is always near," Grandpa said, hugging him. "Jesus loves you so much He died for you, and He promises to always be with you and help you through hard times. Place all your worries in His hands, and He will give you strength. You will survive this. You'll see. We won't allow you to become homeless. Now let's enjoy this family time we've been blessed with."

The sun glistened on the sea as they walked back. Grandma looked up and smiled when she saw them. "This book is so exciting! There's one challenge after another for the heroine, and I couldn't put it down. I'm desperate to find out what happens next."

Grandpa gave Diego a nudge. "You see? It's not the end. Life is like Grandma's novel, a series of chapters with lows and highs. Through it all, we can always trust Jesus, who walks with us in life. What you're going through is a difficult chapter, but it isn't your whole life. It's a part of it that God will use to help you know Him better, and one day you will pass through it." Grandpa sat down on the blanket. "Come on, let's pray so we can eat."

After they prayed, Diego's heart felt lighter. As he ate Grandma's delicious food, he thought about how this difficult time was just one chapter of his life, and hope and strength filled his heart.

-Cindy Lee

How About You?
Are you experiencing a tough situation in your life? Perhaps you're worried about a family separation, moving, finances, sickness, or something else. Remember that this is a chapter in your life and that you are not alone. In hard times, Jesus is always with us and gives us His peace and strength. Trust Him to help you through this difficult chapter.

Today's Key Verse:
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (NLT) (Psalm 46:1)

Today's Key Thought:
Trust God in hard times