Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

Madeline’s Visit

Bible Reading: John 14:16-20, 25-28

Maisie set the table for dinner while her mother made a salad. "You know, Mom, I wish I'd been alive two thousand years ago," said Maisie. "Jesus was living on earth then, and I'd have been able to see Him and talk to Him. But He left us and went back to heaven."

As she spoke, Maisie's tablet dinged, letting her know she had a new message. "It's from Elodie," she said when she opened it. "Madeline Bowers is going to be in town to give a concert next week! Can I go, Mom? Pleeease? She's my favorite singer!"

Mom smiled. "Okay," she said.

"All right!" Maisie grinned at her mother. "I can hardly believe you knew her back in college, and now I'll get to see her in concert!"

"I heard she was coming here for a concert," said Mom, "and since it's been years since we've seen each other, I invited her to stay with us while she's here. Is that okay with you?" Maisie's mouth dropped open, and she stared at her mother in disbelief. Mom laughed. "Madeline and I used to be good friends, so when I heard she'd be in town, I invited her to spend the weekend with us."

"Here? In our house? And she said yes? She's actually going to stay with us?" Maisie danced up and down in delight. "Why didn't you tell me sooner?"

Mom grinned. "I wanted to surprise you."

Maisie reached out to give her mom a hug. "I can't wait to tell Elodie!"

"Remember what you said a little while ago, Maisie--that you wished you'd been living when Jesus was on earth?" Mom asked thoughtfully. "I think you forgot something important."

"What?" Maisie asked.

"Well, seeing Madeline Bowers will be great, but she'll come and soon be gone again. But that's not what happened when Jesus left the earth. When He ascended into heaven, He said He'd send us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives not just with us but in us because we've trusted in Jesus. Through Him, Jesus is always present with us. That's even better than having your favorite singer in town for just one weekend."

-Tanya Ferdinandusz

How About You?
Have you ever wished you'd been alive when Jesus was on earth? It would have been wonderful to see Him heal the sick, make the blind see, and raise the dead. His disciples were sad when He said He was going to leave them, but He promised to send the Holy Spirit to comfort them--and He did! If you know Jesus as your Savior, you have the Holy Spirit living in you too. Through Him, Jesus is always with you.

Today's Key Verse:
Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God. (NKJV) (1 Corinthians 6:19)

Today's Key Thought:
The Holy Spirit lives in Christians

Burnt Cookies

Bible Reading: Ephesians 1:3-10; 2:1-10

"Oh no!" Grant groaned, pulling a tray of overbaked cookies out of the oven. "I completely ruined these cookies!"

"That's okay," said Grant's cousin, Katy. "You can just make another batch!"

"I don't have time! I was going to deliver them to my friend Ryan for his birthday, which is today!"

"Hmmm," said Katy. "I have an idea. Here, get the grater."

Grant found a cheese grater and handed it to Katy. She used it to scrape off the burnt bottoms of the cookies.

"They're not burnt anymore, but they're still rock hard," Grant pointed out.

"Do you have ice cream?" Katy asked. Grinning, Grant ran to the freezer. They put a scoop of ice cream between two cookies and squished them together. "There!" declared Katy. "Ice cream sandwiches!"

"Wow! Thanks for helping me!" Grant exclaimed. "The cookies were terrible, but you saved them and transformed them into something even better--cookie ice cream sandwiches!"

"You're welcome!" Katy laughed. "One might say that I 'redeemed' the cookies."

"Redeemed. I think the pastor said that in the church service last Sunday, but I didn't know what it meant," Grant said.

Katy explained. "To redeem means to recover, to rescue, or to make up for something. Your burnt cookies are a bit like us. God created everything good. But just as burning the cookies ruined them, sin--turning away from God--brings hurt and death into the world. We were ruined by sin, and there was nothing we could do to fix our relationship with God. But Jesus died so that we could have life; His death brought a solution to the problem of sin that separated us from God. He didn't stay dead and rose again to life, bringing eternal life to all those who trust in Him!"

"Oh, I get it," Grant said. "Our cookies were a disaster, but we redeemed them into something good again."

"Yep!" Katy nodded. "And even when our lives seem like disasters, God works through the hard things to bring us good. And one day, He will restore the whole world."

Grant smiled. "I'll have to tell Ryan the whole story when I give him the redemption cookie ice cream sandwiches!"

-Abby Ciona

How About You?
Do you ever feel like you're too bad to be rescued by Jesus? No matter what you've done, Jesus's sacrifice pays the price for your sin. When we trust in Jesus, our sin is cleaned away, and we have a new life in Him. He can work through the hard things in our lives to do great things for His Kingdom. Trust Him as your Savior, and He will redeem you. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page.)

Today's Key Verse:
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. (NKJV) (Ephesians 1:7)

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus brings life out of death

Sacrifice of Love

Bible Reading: Ephesians 5:1-2

"It must be so lonely for the people in the nursing home." Anna placed her Bible on the dining room table. "After I read Mrs. Henshaw the Bible, her whole face lit up. I wish she could read the Bible on her own, but she's blind, so she can't."

"I'm sure Mrs. Henshaw appreciated you visiting her with your Sunday School class," said Mom. "Here." She handed Anna an empty cardboard box. "Can you help me find things around the house we don't need? Our church thrift shop is asking for donations."

"Let's check my room." Anna sped to her bedroom, and Mom followed.

"Anna." Mom pointed at the bed. "You sure have a lot of stuffed animals. Do you think you can part with a few?"

"Okay, I don't mind giving most of them away, but I can't part with Effie, my stuffed elephant. I've had him since I was three years old."

"Doesn't he have the whole Bible in a pocket on his tummy?" asked Mom.

Anna nodded. "There's a recorder inside the pocket. You just press the button and he speaks God's Word. I used to listen to him every night, but now I only sleep with him."

"Why did you stop listening to the recording?"

"Because now I can read the Bible on my own." Anna's brows scrunched up. "You know, I think Mrs. Henshaw would love listening to Effie, but it would be hard to give him up. I could give her the Bible recording without Effie, but I think she'd like him too."

"That would be a sacrifice, Anna."

"What's a sacrifice?"

"A sacrifice is something you give up for another person. Jesus made a sacrifice for us when gave up His life to save us by dying on the cross. When we give up things for others, we show how much we love Him because of what He did for us and that we want others to know His love too."

Anna picked up her stuffed elephant and hugged him. "I'm going to really miss Effie, but I want Mrs. Henshaw to have him. Do you think we can stop by the nursing home again today?"

-Chanda Singleton Griese

How About You?
Have you ever made a sacrifice? Was it hard to do? Do you know about the sacrifice Jesus made for you? Jesus Christ, God's own Son, sacrificed Himself by dying on the cross for all the wrong things we do so we can be forgiven. When we trust in Him, He fills us with His love, and then we can be willing to make sacrifices to help others know Him too.

Today's Key Verse:
The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (NIV) (Matthew 20:28)

Today's Key Thought:
Live a life of sacrifice

Supporting Max

Bible Reading: Psalm 139:1-4, 13-14

Jonah sat on the rope swing in the backyard, thinking about the new boy in his class at school while his mom weeded the flower garden. "Hey, Mom," Jonah said. "Have you ever heard of autism?"

"Yes, why do you ask?" asked Mom.

"Well, there's this new kid in my class named Max," explained Jonah. "My teacher said he has a form of autism that might make him react differently or say things in a way that might seem odd sometimes. She told us to be extra patient and kind as he adjusts to a new school. He seems really smart--like in science class he knew all sorts of facts about outer space and space missions. But then at lunch, he sat all by himself even after I invited him to sit at my table. He didn't seem like he wanted to be bothered. I'm not sure what to do."

"People with autism sometimes make friends a little differently," said Mom. "Being around a large group of people is probably challenging for Max."

"I want to be friends with him, but I'm not sure how," Jonah said.

Mom looked at her flower garden. "Do you see how these lilies are starting to fall over? Every year, I have to tie them to a stick for extra support. Maybe Max just needs a friend like you to give him extra support in the friendship department."

"You mean I can kind of be like the stick to help prop him up?" asked Jonah.

Mom nodded. "You can ask to sit with him at his lunch table tomorrow so he doesn't feel so overwhelmed by a crowd. You can support him by listening to him and trying to understand how he sees things. As you get to know him, I think you'll find that there are areas you struggle with where he can support you."

Jonah grinned. "Like science!"

"God made Max with unique abilities, just like He made you with special talents and skills," Mom said. "He gave us all different gifts so we can use them to help each other. Jesus knows we all need His love and support, and He often shows it to us through other people. You can be that friend for Max--and he can help support you too."

-Kendra Angle

How About You?
Do you know someone who could use some extra support? Maybe it's someone with a special need, like autism or a physical disability. Perhaps a friend struggles in a school subject you're good at. God has given each of us different strengths, and we all face different struggles in life too. You can show the love of Jesus to your friends by offering support in areas where they need it--and when you need help with something, they can support you too.

Today's Key Verse:
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (NIV) (Galatians 6:2)

Today's Key Thought:
Friends support each other

Whatever the Weather

Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Dad groaned as he sat down to put on his snow boots. "This cold weather is unbearable! After this winter, I'll never complain about being too warm again. I wish we had a hot sun right now."

With a twinkle in her eye, Theodore's mom pulled up something on her phone and handed it to her son. Theodore grinned at her and put his finger to his lips. "Shhh," he mouthed. Then he snuck up behind Dad and hit the play button.

"Whew!" Dad's voice boomed from the speaker. "This heat is unbearable! I'll never complain about the cold again. I'd give a lot for a few inches of snow right now."

"What!" Startled, Dad twisted around in his chair to look at Theodore. "When did you record that?"

Theodore laughed. "Last summer. Mom and I hear the same thing every summer and every winter. We just wanted you to hear it yourself."

Dad laughed too. "Caught by my own words. How quickly we forget. I guess we're hard to please, aren't we?"

Mom nodded. "It's easy for us to find something to complain about, isn't it?"

"I don't complain about the weather," said Theodore. "I like summer, and I like winter. I'm easy to get along with." He grinned at his parents.

"I wasn't just talking about weather complaints," said Mom.

"I know." Theodore sighed. "I guess I do complain about other things. Instead of looking for things to complain about, we should focus on being thankful for good things, shouldn't we?"

"Right!" said Mom. "God has filled our lives with so many good things, and He's given us the best gift of all--Jesus. The Bible reminds us that we can be content no matter what our circumstances are like because of Him. Even when things aren't the way we'd like them to be, we can rest in the hope and joy of Jesus, knowing we have eternal life with Him."

"Thank you both for the reminder." Dad finished lacing his boots and stood up. "I'd better go shovel the driveway and be thankful I don't have to pull weeds in the garden today." He grinned at Theodore. "Did you record this conversation too? I might need to be reminded of it again when the weeds start to grow."

-Hazel W. Marett

How About You?
Is it easy for you to find things to complain about? When things change, do you notice something else you wish was different? Things aren't always the way we wish they were, but the Bible tells us that instead of complaining, we can be content. Because of Jesus, we can look past our present circumstances to the eternal hope and joy we have in Him. Thank God today for the gifts He's given you, and trust Him to help you be content.

Today's Key Verse:
I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. (CSB) (Philippians 4:11 )

Today's Key Thought:
Be content in any situation