Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

Here and Everywhere

Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 31:6-8

"Mom? Where is Dubai?" Sawyer asked when he got home from school.

"It's in the Middle East," Mom said. "Why do you want to know?"

"Tobias's dad got a job there. They're moving next month," Sawyer replied. He and Tobias, best friends since preschool, were almost inseparable.

"Oh, I see," said Mom. "Come on. Let me show you where it is." Mom turned on her laptop and opened up a map website. "Here's where we live," she said, pointing to a spot, "and…" She pointed to another spot. "This is Dubai."

At first, Sawyer didn't say a word. He just looked sad, and Mom rested her arm softly on his shoulder. "That's really far away!" Sawyer said after a minute. "I'll miss Tobias." He sighed. "We always play together at recess. I'll be all alone--and Tobias will be too. He won't know anybody in Dubai."

"Not at first," Mom said. "It's hard when friends and family move away." She looked at the computer screen thoughtfully. "Hmmm. Close your eyes and point to anywhere on this map." Sawyer pointed to Asia. "Now see where you pointed," said Mom. Sawyer opened his eyes and looked. "God is there," said Mom. "Now do it again!"

Sawyer closed his eyes again, pointed, and then looked at Australia. "God is there too! Do it again," said Mom.

Sawyer closed his eyes and pointed to Mexico. "Guess what?" Mom said. "God

is there too. No matter where Tobias goes, God will be there--and He's also right here with you. He will always be with you. People may come and go, but Jesus will never leave you! He promises to be with those who trust in Him, no matter where we are or what we go through."

"What if I'm here?" asked Sawyer as he pointed to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

"God is there too!" Mom assured him. "But I won't be! So for now, you're staying right here where I can keep an eye on you, young man!" They both laughed, and Sawyer felt better knowing that when Tobias moved away, neither of them would be alone. He was eager to see Tobias and tell him the good news.

-A. W. Smith

How About You?
Have you had to move to a new place? Has a good friend of yours moved away? Perhaps you sometimes feel alone even though there have been no big changes in where you or your friends or relatives live. Remember that God is with you wherever you are. He fills the whole earth, and if you know Jesus, He is always there to comfort you when you're feeling lonely. No matter where you are, you are never alone.

Today's Key Verse:
[Jesus said,] "I am with you always, even to the end of the world." (NLV) (Matthew 28:20)

Today's Key Thought:
You are never alone

Who Was This Baby Jesus?

Bible Reading: Matthew 1:20-23; John 1:14; Philippians 2:7-8

Ella taped the shiny red bow on top of the candy cane wrapping paper. "I think Mom will really like her present," she told her big sister, Amanda.

Amanda smiled. "It is a beautiful scarf. She will love that you knitted it yourself."

While Amanda was finishing up her own wrapping, Ella wandered over to the wood chest in her sister's living room. On top of the chest was a papier-mâché nativity scene, complete with Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus, a donkey, and two shepherds. The figures were hand-painted in reds, greens, purple, cream colors, and gold.

Ella picked up baby Jesus. "My friend Aubrey says Jesus was just some baby and that Christmas is all about Santa, cookies, and decorations."

Amanda walked over to Ella. "Do you believe Jesus was just like any other baby?"

"At Sunday school the teacher said Jesus is God and man at the same time. But that doesn't make sense. How could Mary have God in her belly?" Ella cradled the tiny Jesus in the palm of her hand. Who was this baby Jesus?

"It is confusing, isn't it?" Amanda sat down in a chair and pulled Ella close. "Jesus is God and has always existed, even before the world was made. But when the world became broken because the people God made disobeyed Him, God knew we needed Him to rescue us, so over two thousand years ago, Jesus came to earth as a baby to save us."

Ella still didn't understand. "How does God being a baby save us?"

"Well, Jesus being born is just the beginning of the story. The main event happened at Easter, after Jesus grew up. That's when Jesus took the blame for all our sins--all the bad things we do, or think, or say. He was punished for them so we don't have to be. He never sinned, but He died for our sins and then rose from the dead."

Ella couldn't imagine taking the blame for her little brother when he did bad things, or being grounded for her older brother when he broke the house rules. "Why would Jesus do that?"

Amanda laughed. "Now that's an easy question to answer. Because He loves us that much!"

-Bonnie Carr

How About You?
Do you celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas? He wasn't just some baby--He is God, and He loves you so much that He became human so He could take the punishment for the wrong things you do. He came to save you from sin and give you eternal life. Have you trusted Him to save you? If not, trust in Him today so you can live with Him forever. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page.)

Today's Key Verse:
She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. (CSB) (Matthew 1:21)

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus came to save us

The Hand in the Glove

Bible Reading: John 15:1-5

Dad walked into Pedro's room to say good night. "You've been quiet tonight, Pedro. What's on your mind?"

"I was just thinking about the missionary who spoke at church this week," Pedro said. "I really enjoyed hearing about the work he's doing and how people in the village where he lives are putting their faith in Jesus. It made me wonder if God wants me to be a missionary someday."

Dad saw the puzzled frown on Pedro's face. "You don't seem very excited about the idea."

"Well, it seems like a hard job--learning a new language and getting used to a different country. Sometimes you have to deal with heat and bugs and snakes--though I wouldn't mind those so much. But I might not be good at missionary work. What if God calls me to do something I can't do?"

Dad thought for a moment, then reached over to Pedro's desk and picked up his baseball mitt. "What's this?" asked Dad.

Pedro laughed. "It's my baseball glove."

Dad walked over to the corner of the room and propped the glove against the wall. "Let's see," he said, looking around. "This will work." He took a ball and tossed it at the glove. Although the ball hit the center of the glove, it rolled to the floor. Dad picked up the glove and shook his head in disgust. "This glove is a total failure."

Pedro furrowed his eyebrows. "The glove can't catch the ball by itself, Dad. It has to have a hand inside."

Dad smiled. "You're right. You put your hand inside the glove to give it guidance and strength--you give it power to catch the ball. In the same way, God will give you the ability to do whatever He calls you to do--and all Christians are called to tell others about Jesus and show them His love, no matter where we are. He has a purpose for your life, Pedro, just like this glove has a purpose. God will never prop you in a corner and leave you alone. His mighty hand does the work when you're willing to be used. Trust Him to give you the strength and power you need, whether it's to tell people about Jesus in another country or just down the street."

-Catherine Runyon

How About You?
Have you thought about God's plan for your life? He may call you to help people in a special way as a pastor or missionary, and He calls all Christians to love others and tell people about Him. But He doesn't expect you to do those things on your own--you can only do them through His power. So don't be afraid of God's calling in your life. He will guide you and give you the strength you need to do whatever it is He wants you to do.

Today's Key Verse:
[Jesus said,] "Without Me you can do nothing." (NKJV) (John 15:5)

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus gives power

Quokka Power

Bible Reading: Matthew 4:1-11; 2 Timothy 3:14-17

"Sky, come look at this video!"

"Mom, you're squealing," Sky said as she walked into the kitchen. "Is it another kitten video?"

"No, it's an animal I've never heard of before--a quokka."

Sky watched the video of the adorable furry marsupial and giggled. "It looks like a cross between a bear, a mouse, and a wallaby, but it's the size of a cat!"

After the video, Mom and Sky looked up facts on the quokka. "They only live in Australia," Mom said. "And they can survive off the fat stored up in their tails for up to a month without food and water!"

Mom's cell phone rang and she paused to answer it. Sky noticed her Mom sounded upset during the conversation. "Who was that?" Sky asked when Mom hung up.

"Our car will cost a lot more to fix than they were originally thinking. Between this and the situation I had to deal with last week…" Mom grabbed a rag and started tackling the dishes as she muttered to herself.

"Mom? I was just wondering--have you tapped into your power today?"

Mom paused her ferocious scrubbing. "What do you mean?"

"Have you read your Bible or prayed today? Whenever I'm having a tough time, you remind me to lean on God's power…and some of the best ways to do that are to talk to God and read His Word."

Mom set the rag down and smiled. "You're absolutely right, Sky. Thanks for reminding me. I allowed so many things to distract me today that I haven't taken the time to be with Jesus. When I take time to listen to His voice, He puts everything into perspective--even the hard things."

"If you think about it, Mom, our lives as followers of Jesus can be kind of like the quokkas. They rely on the fat stored in their tails to give them sustenance, and we can rely on God's Word stored in our hearts."

Mom nodded. "As we read and remember the truth of the Bible, Jesus feeds us spiritually us and reminds us that we can trust Him. This mom is going to fatten herself up with the truth of God's Word!"

Sky shook her head. "Okay, now you're just being weird."

-Savannah Coleman

How About You?
Where do you go for your power source? If you're a child of God, He promises that you have all you need for life (2 Peter 1:3). He is our source of strength, and the Bible reminds us of that truth. When Jesus was hungry and tired in the desert and Satan came to tempt Him, Jesus stood firm on the truth of God's Word. The next time you're discouraged, let the words of Jesus help you remember to rely on His power.

Today's Key Verse:
[Jesus said,] "People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." (NLT) (Matthew 4:4)

Today's Key Thought:
Rely on God's power for everything

Guest of Honor

Bible Reading: Luke 2:4-1

"We're still at the mall, Mom," Soren said, frustrated. "The car won't start, and a guy from a garage across the street is working on it now. Dad says we'll be there as soon as we can, but it'll be a while. He said to tell you the show must go on, whatever that means."

Mom knew what Dad meant. He was talking about the surprise birthday party they had planned for Soren. Dad had taken Soren shopping just to get him out of the house. The guests were in the living room now, waiting for him to come home. Mom knew Dad was telling her to go ahead with the games and food.

An hour later, Soren burst into the house. "Mom," he called, "we're home. You'll never guess--"

"Surprise! Surprise!" his friends shouted, interrupting him. Soren was surprised!

"About time you got here," said Patrick, one of the guests. "We were about ready to give your birthday presents to somebody else."

"Nuh-uh! They're Soren's," protested Soren's sister, Penny. She slipped her little hand into her big brother's. "It's his birfday."

"It's okay, Penny. We wouldn't give his gifts to anyone else," Patrick assured her. He handed a present to Soren. "Here, open mine first."

"Glad you finally made it, Soren" said another friend after Soren had opened all his gifts. "Your birthday party just wasn't right without you."

After all his guests were gone, Soren sat down to eat a piece of his birthday cake. "I wish I hadn't missed the games, but at least the car was fixed in time for me to see everyone and open my presents."

"I'm glad too," said Mom. "As Penny says, it's your 'birfday,' and a birthday celebration without the guest of honor--the birthday person--just isn't worth much."

"Happy birfday, Soren," Penny said, grinning. She pointed to the nativity set on a nearby table. "And happy birfday, Jesus!"

Mom laughed. "Thanks for the reminder, Penny. With everything going on this time of year, it can easy for us to forget that we celebrate Jesus's birthday at Christmas and how He became human so He could save us from sin. Let's make sure He's our guest of honor at Christmas and celebrate the wonderful gift of His birth."

-Hazel W. Marett

How About You?
Is Jesus the guest of honor in your Christmas celebration? Without Him, there would be no Christmas. In all the excitement of gifts, parties, and other Christmas events, don't forget Jesus. As you go about your holiday activities, celebrate the gift of His birth. Jesus is God, but He became human so we could be saved through His death and resurrection. Now that's something to celebrate each and every Christmas!

Today's Key Verse:
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (NKJV) (Luke 2:11)

Today's Key Thought:
Christmas honors Jesus's birthday