Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

The Trinity Tree

Bible Reading: Matthew 28:16-20; John 14:16-17, 26

Anya inhaled the rich scent of the woods. She loved these weekly hikes to various parks in Michigan with her homeschool group. Remi and Taylor, two of her best friends, ran around her. "Come on, Anya, race you to that dune!"

The three friends looked over the shimmering waters of Lake Michigan as they waited for the group to catch up. After a rest and snack on the beach, the homeschoolers headed back into the thick of the woods.

Anya stopped suddenly and gasped. "Guys! Look at this awesome tree!" This particular tree had a wide base that morphed into three separate trees two feet up. The kids all took turns standing in the middle of the three portions of the tree on its base. Remi, Taylor, and Anya could fit in the tree at the same time, and they each leaned back against their own section.

"This tree reminds me of the Trinity," Anya said thoughtfully.

"What's that?" Remi questioned.

"Well, the word Trinity isn't in the Bible, but it means that God is one God with three Persons--kind of like how this tree has three trunks." Anya shrugged. "At least, that's the way I picture it. My mom says it's hard to understand the Trinity because our human minds can't totally grasp it."

"I know about God the Father and Jesus the Son, but what's the third part of the Trinity?" asked Taylor.

"The Holy Spirit," Anya answered. "Remember when Jesus went back to heaven after His resurrection? Before He went, He told His disciples and other people that He would leave His Spirit to be with them always and to comfort them and remind them of everything He said."

"Mom said when we belong to Jesus, His Spirit guides us through the truth of the Bible and helps us through hard times," Remi said.

Taylor ran her fingers over the tree's bark. "This tree is one tree, but with three unified parts--just like how God is one God with three Persons."

"It's always been a little mind-bending to me, but seeing this tree helps me understand," Anya noted.

"Let's name it the Trinity tree," Remi suggested with a grin.

"Photo-op!" Taylor yelled as her mom aimed her phone camera at them. "Say trini-tree!"

–Savannah Coleman

How About You?
Did you ever stop to consider how God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one God but three Persons? In John 10 verse 30, Jesus says that He and God the Father are one. Jesus also promised His followers that God the Father would send them the Holy Spirit to help, comfort, and be with them forever. As God's children, we have access to a God who is our Father, the Son who died for our sins and rose again, and the Holy Spirit who helps us through each day.

Today's Key Verse:
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (NIV) (2 Corinthians 13:14)

Today's Key Thought:
God is Father, Son, and Spirit

Treasures That Matter

Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 6:6-12

"What's the matter, honey?" Mom asked when Amelia came into the house. "Your face is telling me something isn't right."

Amelia's words came in a rush. "Abby's always bragging about her clothes and all the places she gets to go and how much money she has. Today she wouldn't stop talking about the spring break trip her family has planned. I'm so tired of hearing about it!"

Mom looked at her thoughtfully. "You're not jealous, are you?" Amelia blushed a little. After a moment, Mom said, "I'm going to give you two gifts."

"Really?" asked Amelia in surprise. Then she narrowed her eyes. "I have a feeling there's a catch to this."

Mom smiled. "Here's the first gift." She reached out and gave Amelia a big hug. "I love you, love you, love you," Mom told her, using a favorite family phrase.

"Love you too, Mom," Amelia replied as Mom went to get her purse. "But I still think there's a catch."

Mom grinned, opened her purse, and handed Amelia some money. "Here's your second gift."

Amelia squealed. "I hear the ice cream truck coming. Can I use it for ice cream?" Mom nodded, and Amelia hurried out, forgetting to look for a catch.

When Amelia was ready for bed that evening, she went to tell her parents goodnight. "What do you have left of the two gifts I gave you?" asked Mom.

"Well, the money is all gone, and so is the ice cream I bought--though I might still have some blue moon left on my teeth!" She laughed as she hugged her mother. "But I still have your love, and you're not getting it back!"

"You'll always have it," Mom said. "I gave you those two gifts because I wanted you to realize that you have something far more valuable than anything the world has to offer. Earthly things are like the money I gave you--they don't last. But love does. And along with the love of your family, you also have God's love, which is far greater than human love. And because of God's unconditional love, you've been given eternal life through Jesus, who died for your sins so you could be God's child. So you see, you're really a very rich young lady."

–Susi McCord

How About You?
Do you ever wish you had things other kids do? Remember that earthly treasures are temporary--they don't last. The love of family and friends is far more important, and most wonderful and important of all is the love of God, who offers us eternal life through His Son, Jesus. So don't be jealous if other kids have more stuff than you do. Instead, remember that you have eternal treasure found only in Jesus.

Today's Key Verse:
Then Jesus said to them, "Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed. People do not get life from the many things they own." (ERV) (Luke 12:15 )

Today's Key Thought:
Don't be jealous of what other kids have

In God’s Care

Bible Reading: Psalm 34:4; Matthew 6:26-34; Philippians 4:6-7

On her way home from a job interview, Morgan and Lissa's mom stopped at school to pick them up. "Mom, when is Dad going to come back home?" Lissa asked as they started out. She asked the same question almost every day.

"He isn't," snapped twelve-year-old Morgan before Mom had a chance to answer. "Mom's told you a hundred times." Morgan wanted Dad to come back too. She missed him, and she felt scared. But Lissa's question just reminded her that it wasn't going to happen. How will we ever manage without Dad? Morgan wondered. What will we do if Mom doesn't find a job soon?

Mom seemed to sense Morgan's thoughts. "Don't worry," she said. "Jesus is with us, and He'll never leave us. We can trust Him to take care of us. One of the ways He does that is through the church--we can rely on them for help and encouragement when we need it." Morgan wanted to believe that, but sometimes it was hard.

Suddenly, the car sputtered and slowed down. Mom steered it to the side of the road just before the engine stopped. "Well," she said when she wasn't able to start the car again, "that's not good." She got out and raised the hood.

As the girls waited in the car, Lissa began to cry. "I'm scared! How will we get home? What will we do?"

"I don't know, but Mom will take care of everything," Morgan said, confident that their mother would know what to do. "I know you're scared, but we can trust her."

As Morgan tried to comfort her little sister, she realized her mom had been comforting them in a similar way--and now Morgan understood a little better. Even though none of them knew what to do about Dad leaving, God knew, and He cared. They could trust Him, even when they felt worried.

Mom opened the car door, got her cell phone out of her purse, and made a call. When she hung up, she smiled at the girls. "Help is on the way."

"See, Lissa? Everything will be okay," Morgan assured her little sister again. This time, Morgan also reassured herself of something she knew was true--God knew what the future held, and He would be with them through everything.

–Katherine R. Adams

How About You?
Are you worried about something? Are there things in your future that scare you? Trust God to take care of you. He knows all about it and has promised to take care of His children--those who trust Jesus as their Savior. Pray about your problem, and then leave it in the Lord's hands. And let other Christians know about your struggles too so they can help you, encourage you, and pray for you.

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:
Don't worry


Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6, 22-24

"Good morning, Albert," Sarah said. She opened the door of Albert's cage and fed the bearded dragon a breakfast of worms and small chunks of vegetables. Her pet happily gobbled it up. As he crawled onto his hammock, Sarah saw that the scales on his face and his tail were coming off.

"Mom," Sarah called, "I hope Albert isn't getting sick. His skin is falling off!"

Mom came over and peeked in Albert's cage. "Don't worry, honey," she said. "That's natural. When bearded dragons and other reptiles grow too big for their skin, they shed. Just like how when you grow, we have to buy you new clothes and shoes."

"Is he itchy?" Sarah asked. "He keeps rubbing his face against his rocks."

"Shedding is a little uncomfortable. We can give him a bath to help."

Mom and Sarah filled a tub with warm water and placed Albert inside.

"A bath will help make the old skin soft and loosen it so it's easier to shed," Mom explained. "Soon all the old skin will be gone, and then we'll be able to see just the new skin!"

"That sounds like a verse I learned at church about taking off our old self and putting on our new self," Sarah said.

"You're right! That's just like Albert outgrowing his skin. When we become Christians, our old sinful habits don't fit us anymore because Jesus has made us new people, so we need to shed them. If a bearded dragon's shed gets stuck, that can be dangerous for him. His body is bigger and needs more space to be healthy."

"What if we get stuck in our old sin? I wish we could just wash it all away with a bath like Albert!" Sarah said.

"He might not give us a bath, but God does help us shed our sinful habits," Mom said. "He has given us His Word, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit to help us do what is right. And at church, He has given us other Christians who can encourage us as we grow to be more like Jesus."

–J. R. Kleeberger

How About You?
Do you have any old habits that don't fit who you are now in Christ? If you know Jesus, He has made you a new person, and He will help you take off your old self and make you more like Him in your words and actions. It can be difficult sometimes, but we can look to the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and other Christians to teach us and encourage us as we shed our old habits and form new ones.

Today's Key Verse:
You have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (NIV) (Colossians 3:9-10 )

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus helps us form new habits

The Sparkplug

Bible Reading: Acts 4:13; 1 Corinthians 1:27-31

When Micah's family got home from church and sat down to dinner, Micah didn't say a word.

"You've been quiet," said Mom. "Did something happen today at church?"

Micah sighed. "Today we were assigned parts for the church play, and I didn't get one."

His older brother Ethan chimed in. "They didn't give you a part?"

"Well, not the one I wanted! I'm in charge of set decoration. Mr. Ritter told me that he really needs me on the decorating team. But I was hoping for a more important part." Micah sighed again. "I just wish I was good at something else."

Ethan thought for a moment. "Micah, why don't you come out to the garage with me after dinner? I've been working on Mom's car, and there's something I want to show you."

When the table was cleared, the boys went to the garage and Ethan lifted the hood of their mother's car. "Mom's car was running rough, so she asked me to take a look at it," Ethan said. "There was a part that had gone bad. Can you guess which one?"

Micah didn't know as much about cars as his brother did, but he pointed to a big box that looked pretty important. "This part?" he guessed.

Ethan smiled. "Nope!" He reached over the whole engine and pulled out a tiny piece not much bigger than his finger. "This is a sparkplug," he explained. "Without these guys, the whole car stops working right."

Micah held the part in his hand. "Wow," he said. "But it's so small!"

"You know," Ethan said, "sparkplugs sort of remind me of how God uses people. The Bible tells us that people were amazed when they saw the boldness of Jesus's disciples because they were uneducated and common men. But God still used them to do incredible things! Because we're followers of Jesus who have been given the Holy Spirit, it isn't about what talents and abilities we have to offer--it's about what Jesus can accomplish through us when we trust Him to use whatever gifts we have. The gifts themselves aren't as important as trusting Jesus to help us use them for His glory."

–Emily Tenter

How About You?
Have you ever felt like you were too young or too small to be used by God? The Bible is filled with stories of people who probably felt that way too. But God still chose to use them to do mighty things! And He wants to use you too. No matter what gifts you have to offer, Jesus can use you to shine the light of His love and truth into people's lives and point them to Him.

Today's Key Verse:
God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (NIV) (1 Corinthians 1:27 )

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus can use anybody