Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

A New Look

Bible Reading: Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Peter 1:13-16

"I love the glasses you picked out, Elena," Mom said when she and Elena arrived home from the eye doctor. "They look so good on you!"

Elena sighed as she took off her coat and hung it up. "That's what they said at the doctor's office too, but…" She took off her glasses and rubbed her eyes. "But I really don't want to wear my glasses to school tomorrow, Mom. What if kids make fun of me?"

"Oh, Elena, lots of kids wear glasses, and yours look very nice," Mom told her. "Don't be afraid to let the kids at school see that you wear glasses now. If anyone gives you a hard time about it, let me know, but I'm sure the kids will get used to your new look in no time."

Elena looked at the glasses in her hand. "I guess you're right," she said as she slipped them back on. "Being teased isn't as bad as not being able to see well."

"That's right." Mom set her purse on the table and hung up her coat. "You know, I remember being afraid of being teased for my new look when I was about your age."

"Really?" Elena flopped down on the couch. "Did you get glasses then too?"

"No," Mom replied. "I was afraid kids would tease me if they knew I was a Christian."

"Oh," said Elena. "I guess that's a much bigger change than getting new glasses!"

Mom nodded. "I was a new Christian, and I was thrilled to be a follower of Jesus and have Him in my life. But when I was with my friends, I still talked and acted the way I always had. I had a new life, but I was afraid my friends would tease me if I let them see the change Jesus had made in me." Mom smiled at Elena. "Just like you need to put on your new glasses, I needed to put on my new self. I was afraid to do that--we all are sometimes--but God worked in my heart and helped me be brave enough to show my friends my new look."

Elena smiled. "I'll be brave tomorrow!" she declared. "I'll put on my new glasses, and I'll trust God to help me put on my new self too!"

-Rita Valladares

How About You?
Are you afraid of being laughed at because you're a Christian? Are you hesitant to let your friends see the difference Jesus makes in your life? He has made you a new person, and He will help you take off your old self and put on your new one. Remember that He is with you and will give you courage, even if people make fun of you. Trust Him to help you show others the new life He's given you.

Today's Key Verse:
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. (NKJV) (Colossians 3:17 )

Today's Key Thought:
Let others see your new self

Surprise Dessert

Bible Reading: John 14:1-2; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Revelation 21:1-4, 18-27

Arlo took a bite of his meatloaf. "We learned about heaven in Sunday school today," he said. "But there's something I don't understand. I know heaven is supposed to be wonderful, but it doesn't sound so great to me. Won't it be boring, just walking around on a golden street, singing hymns?"

"I'm sure we'll be doing more than that," Dad said.

"That's what Mr. Davis said too." Arlo sighed. "The Bible doesn't tell us a lot about it though, does it?"

"No," Dad replied, "but we do know that it will be a wonderful, beautiful place. And the best part is that we'll finally be with Jesus."

"Right," said Mom. "Sometimes it's hard to understand how great that will be, but think about how glad you are to see Grandpa and Grandma when we visit them. Seeing Jesus will be even better."

Arlo ate the last bite of his meatloaf. "I wonder why God didn't tell us more about what heaven will be like."

"For one thing, it would be impossible for our minds to understand all the good things He has planned for us, but we do know Jesus will make everything new one day and give us bodies that never get sick or die." Dad looked over at four-year-old Felix. "Finish your carrots, Felix. We're almost ready for dessert."

"What is it?" Felix asked as he stabbed a forkful of carrots.

Mom just smiled. "It's a surprise, but I promise you'll like it."

"Can I have mine now, Mom?" asked Arlo.

Mom shook her head. "Let's wait till Felix is ready," she said quietly. "It's his favorite. If he sees it, he'll get so excited he won't want to finish his carrots."

Soon they were all enjoying chocolate marshmallow bars. "I just thought of another reason God didn't tell us exactly what heaven will be like," Arlo announced with a grin. "If we knew, we'd probably get so excited we wouldn't be able to focus on what God wants us to do on earth now."

"Like Felix wouldn't have been able to finish his carrots if he knew what dessert was coming," Mom said. "We just need to trust that spending eternity with Jesus will be better than anything we can imagine!"

-Sherry L. Kuyt

How About You?
Do you ever wonder what heaven will be like? The Bible tells us some things about it, but we won't really know what God has in store for us until we get there. But even though we don't know exactly what heaven will be like, we know it will be perfect because of who we'll be with--Jesus! We will be whole and full of joy because we'll be with Him. Look forward to spending eternity with Jesus, and help more people know about Him now so they can be with Him forever too.

Today's Key Verse:
In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (NKJV) (Psalm 16:11)

Today's Key Thought:
Heaven will be wonderful

Out of Range

Bible Reading: Hebrews 10:22-25

Dorian's remote control car zipped down the driveway. He pushed a lever on the control box to turn the car around and guide it back to the garage. "Ready, Dad?" Dorian asked as his father came out with a similar car in his hand. "Let's hit the parking lot!"

When they reached the nearby parking lot, a couple of boys were already there. "That's okay. There's room for all of us," Dad said, and he and Dorian went to the far end, away from the others.

They had a good time. Dad made his model jump off the curb, somersault, and flip back onto its tires. Dorian skidded his through some dirt, turning it sharply to catch up with Dad's car. But then he had a problem. "Dad! My car is going crazy! I can't control it!"

Dad watched for a moment. "I think it's too far away to receive your signals. Look--it's too close to those other boys and must be on the same frequency as one of their cars. I think it's following the directions one of them is giving."

Just then one of the boys saw what was happening with Dorian's car. "I'll send it back to you," he called. Soon Dorian was able to control his car again.

"What happened there reminds me of how important it is for Christians to stay focused on the right source of guidance in our lives," Dad said. "If we get too distracted by the things of this world, we can be influenced in the wrong direction. But if we delight in God, He will keep our lives on the right path."

Dorian looked at his car and made it turn sharply as it nearly bumped into a curb. "I understand, Dad. I want my life to follow Jesus's way!"

"Me too," said Dad. "As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us, and He often does that by communicating God's truth and love to us at church and as we pray and read His Word. Let's focus on the help He offers us and trust Him to lead us in the right direction."

-Nance E. Keyes

How About You?
Are you easily distracted from God? Nothing this world has to offer can compare to the love, hope, and joy found in Jesus. Make Him the focus of your life. Take time today to pray about finding ways to make God's truth--found in the Bible--central to the way you live. As Christians, we have God's Holy Spirit, and we can trust Him to remind us of His truth, love, and promises. Delight in Him, and He will strengthen you spiritually.

Today's Key Verse:
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (NKJV) (James 4:8)

Today's Key Thought:
Focus on Jesus

Kenya Prays

Bible Reading: Jeremiah 29:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Kenya ran to her room and quietly shut her door. Kneeling beside her bed, she began to pray.

One thing Kenya had learned from her grandma was how to pray. She had watched her grandma pray many times. If someone was sick, Grandma prayed. If someone was hurt, Grandma prayed. If someone was sad, Grandma prayed. If everything was awesome, Grandma prayed.

Kenya loved God, and she knew that God loved her too. She knew He cared about everything that was going on her life.

"Dear God, thank You for loving me and for listening to me when I pray. I'm so glad I can trust in You. My grandma is having surgery this morning. Please keep her safe and help her new knee work better for her. In Jesus's name I pray, amen!"

Kenya bounded out of her room and ran outside to play. She knew that God had heard her prayer and that He was taking care of her grandma.

"Kenya, Grandma is on the phone," Mom called to her later that day.

Kenya came running and took Mom's cell phone. "Hi, Grandma. How are you feeling? I prayed for you this morning."

"I could feel your prayers. Thank you for praying for me. The surgery went well and I will be able to leave the hospital soon."

"Yay! I can't wait to see you, Grandma. I love you!"

"I love you too, Kenya."

During devotions that evening, Kenya and her parents talked about prayer. "Isn't it awesome that God wants to have fellowship with us?" said Dad. "He is a personal God. He cares about each one of us individually. He wanted to have a relationship with us so much that Jesus died for us so we could have eternal life with Him. We can pray to Him anytime, and He will listen to us and let us know He cares."

Kenya smiled when Dad asked her to pray. "Dear God, thank You for loving us so much that you would want to talk to us. Thank you for caring about our concerns and worries. Help us keep our eyes on You and to listen and obey. In Jesus's name I pray, amen!"

"Amen!" Mom and Dad said in unison.

-Lisa Fuller

How About You?
Do you pray? Prayer is talking to God. You can talk to Him anytime and anywhere about anything that's on your mind. You can share your worries with Him, and you can thank Him for good things in your life. God wants to have fellowship with you--He wants you to talk to Him and know He's listening. He loves you and cares about your concerns. Spend time talking to God today and remember to thank Him for all He has done.

Today's Key Verse:
The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. (NLT) (Psalm 145:18 )

Today's Key Thought:
God listens when you pray

Children of God

Bible Reading: Galatians 3:26; 4:6-7; Hebrews 2:11

Marisol folded her pajamas and placed them in the top drawer of a white dresser. There was also room for her underwear, socks, and a photo of her mom and brother. Her jeans and a pair of shorts went into the drawer below, and she hung her three T-shirts in the small closet. Marisol placed the stuffed bunny a volunteer had given her on the bed, then sat down on the pink flowered quilt.

Beverly, her sponsor, knocked on the door. "Can I come in?"

"Sí," said Marisol. "Yes." She needed to remember to speak English.

Beverly sat beside Marisol. "The towels, shampoo, and soap are in the bathroom. If you need anything else, let me know."

"Gracias--thank you." Marisol smiled, but inside she wanted to cry. What she needed was Mami and Jorge, her brother. In this country, she was like an orphan, living with people she didn't know.

Several months ago, Marisol's family decided she'd be safer in the United States than in El Salvador, where gangs of men and boys attacked and hurt people. They couldn't afford for all three of them to make the long trip, so they sent Marisol with strangers. Ever since she'd left home, Marisol felt alone and scared.

Beverly put her hand over Marisol's. "I can only imagine how frightened you must be, but remember, you have family here."

Marisol understood more English than she could speak, but she was confused. "Mi familia, my family…" She tried to remember the correct words. "No está aquí--is not here!"

"But there's another family you're a part of," said Beverly. "Didn't you tell me you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior?"

Marisol nodded. Her family walked to church every Sunday. They thanked Jesus for their food before eating, and each night, Mami, Marisol, and Jorge thanked Jesus for protecting them.

Beverly smiled. "Then you are one of God's children and belong to His family--the church! You aren't alone." Beverly hugged her tight.

"En serio?" asked Marisol.

"Really," answered Beverly.

Marisol gave Beverly a small grin. She wouldn't stop missing Mami and Jorge, but it felt good to know she had family here too.

-Bonnie Carr

How About You?
Are you a follower of Jesus Christ? Have you trusted Him to save you from sin? If so, you are part of His family--the church. Families help and support one another. No matter how far away you are from your parents, grandparents, brothers, or sisters, you can find family in the church. You are a child in God's family!

Today's Key Verse:
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. (NLT) (John 1:12)

Today's Key Thought:
You are a child of God