Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

Your Second Birth Certificate

Bible Reading: Romans 10:8-13

"Hey, Dad?" Ember said one night as her dad was making a fire in the fireplace. "Remember when I asked Jesus to be my Savior at church last year?"

"I sure do," Dad replied as he added another log to the fire.

"Well, how do I really know if God saved me?" Ember asked.

"Let's think about that," said Dad. He placed a screen in front of the fireplace and smiled at Ember. "Who are your parents?" he asked.

"Dad! You know that. You and Mom are."

"How do you know we are?" Dad asked.

"Well…I just know. You said so--and you showed me my birth certificate too! It says that you and Mom are my parents." Ember grinned. "You showed me a piece of paper that says you and Mom are Seth's parents too, although it's not a birth certificate."

"Right. Since your brother is adopted, he has a different paper that says he's our son, but both papers prove that you and Seth are our children. Now, you believe what your birth certificate says, don't you?" Dad asked, and Ember nodded. "Well," said Dad, "in a way, some Bible verses are like a birth certificate. They remind us of the truth that if we trust in Jesus, we are God's children. Why don't you get your Bible and I'll help you find some verses where God assures you that if you believe in Jesus, you're part of His family."

Ember got her Bible from the shelf, and they found and discussed several verses where God promises that those who trust in Jesus are saved and belong to Him. "Why don't you pick one of these verses and write it in the front of your Bible?" suggested Dad.

"Okay," said Ember. She chose Romans 10:13 and carefully copied it onto a blank page.

"Now," said Dad, "are you really saved?" Ember nodded. "Are you sure?" Dad asked.

"I'm sure!" Ember replied.

Dad smiled. "Think of this Bible verse as your second birth certificate. It states the truth about your new birth in Jesus and your adoption into His family. Point to it any time Satan tries to get you to doubt your salvation."

A wide grin spread across Ember's face. "Thanks, Dad!"

-Dean Kelley

How About You?
Do you ever wonder if you're really saved? Click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page and make sure you know Jesus as your Savior. Then pick a Bible verse (such as John 1:12, John 3:16, Romans 10:9, or Romans 10:13) as your spiritual birth certificate--a promise from God saying that since you trust in Jesus, you now belong to Him. Whenever Satan causes you to doubt it, go back to that Bible verse and know you are saved.

Today's Key Verse:
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (NIV) (Romans 10:13)

Today's Key Thought:
You can be saved and know it

The Leopard and the Goat

Bible Reading: Isaiah 11:6-9; Hosea 2:18

Sara loved working with her dad on Saturdays and holidays. He was a large animal veterinarian who took care of several farms in the area. She helped him give vaccinations and bandage wounds. Once, Sara even watched a foal being born!

At Riverside Ranch, Sara handed her father a blood collection tube that he attached to the end of a syringe. Blood flowed from the large gray horse into the tube.

Just as he placed the tube into a plastic carrier, her father's cell phone rang. "We have an emergency," he told Sara after he hung up. He grabbed the carrier and headed for the truck.

Sara picked up some gauze, antiseptic, and discarded wrappers as she followed him out of the barn. "What happened?" she asked when she caught up to him.

"One of Mr. Samuels' geldings was snake-bit on his nose. We need to make sure the swelling doesn't interfere with his breathing." Her father drove out the ranch gate and headed down the road.

Sara felt sad. She loved all animals and couldn't stand the thought of one being in pain or unable to breathe.

When they arrived at the farm, Sara's heart sank at the sight of the horse. His face was all swollen. He looked miserable. Fortunately, they had arrived in time to administer medication that soon helped.

"Keep an eye on him," Sara's dad told Mr. Samuels as they packed up their supplies. "But I'm sure he'll do fine."

On the way home, Sara couldn't stop thinking about the horse. "Why do animals have to hurt each other?" she asked.

"The snake was just protecting itself from being stepped on," said Dad. "In our world broken by sin, animals and people will hurt one another for many different reasons. But we have hope."

"What do you mean?"

"When Jesus comes back, He will heal the earth and free it from the brokenness caused by sin," replied Dad. "All who trust in Jesus will live with Him forever, and there will be peace among both animals and people. The leopard will lie down with the goat, and babies will be able to play with cobras!"

"Wow!" said Sara. She wished Jesus would come soon.

-Bonnie Carr

How About You?
Do you ever watch documentaries about animals in the wild? It's hard to see alligators attacking otters or lions stalking gazelles for food. The news can also be distressing. There are so many stories about people doing terrible things to other people. But God has a plan. One day, Jesus will come back to rule the earth. He will change everything. Sin and death will be gone forever, and all people and animals will live in peace!

Today's Key Verse:
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (NKJV) (Isaiah 11:9 )

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus will bring peace

Cora’s Creation

Bible Reading: Genesis 1:1, 26-31; Hebrews 11:3

The hum of the sewing machine stopped, and Cora examined her work. "Mom, this is almost ready for you to see." Cora had been measuring and cutting and stitching ever since she arrived home from school, only taking a break for dinner.

"You spent a lot of time on that today," said Cora's brother Bryce. "What are you making?"

"I'll show you." Cora stood up and shook out the material she was using. "Ta-da! Here it is--my own special creation! It's an apron for Dad to use when he barbecues."

Mom smiled. "He needs one of those."

Bryce snorted. "Yeah. Especially one that has flowered pockets and a polka dot bib. Dad won't wear that!"

"Sure he will," Cora said. "It's quite a creation, isn't it?"

"That's not a creation, Cora," said Bryce. "At church we talked about creation and how God created the universe from nothing. You didn't make that thing out of nothing--you used material covered in flowers and polka dots!"

"Then I guess God is the only one who can really create," Cora said. "He's the only one who can make something out of nothing."

"That's true," said Mom. "However, the word create has other meanings in English than just that. When people say they created something, they mean they made something new out of things that already existed."

"Like the thread and fabric I used to make this apron," said Cora. "Or an artist creating a picture using paint and a canvas."

"Right," said Mom. "Or even a writer putting words together to tell a story. There are lots of ways for us to be creative, and God wants us to enjoy using our creative gifts. In fact, our creativity is one of things that shows He made us in His image. He loves to create new things, and He made us that way too. And though we could never create something from nothing like He can, we can take things He's already created and make something new out of them."

"Well, okay," said Bryce. "I guess that flowery apron is your creation after all, Cora."

Cora grinned at her brother. "And since you like my creation so much, the next thing I make will be for you!"

Bryce rolled his eyes and groaned.

-Geri Walcott

How About You?
Did you know that God created you to be creative? He made humans in His own image, and our creativity is one of the ways we reflect Him, the Creator of all. Only God can make something out of nothing, but when you draw a picture, build a birdhouse, or write a story, you are creating by using things He created. Thank Him for creating you and loving you, and find ways to get your creative juices flowing!

Today's Key Verse:
So God created humans in his own image. He created them to be like himself. (ERV) (Genesis 1:27)

Today's Key Thought:
God created us in His image

A Reading Lesson

Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 3:1-5; Galatians 5:22-26

Nova stared at the rain out the window while her brother Silas thumbed through a magazine. "There's nothing to do!" Nova said.

"Why don't you come help me with this picture album," said Mom. "Since you know most of the people in the pictures, you might enjoy it." So Nova and Silas joined Mom at the table. "By the way, have you learned your memory verses for church yet?" Mom asked as she got out more pictures.

"I did. Want to hear it?" asked Nova. She recited it. "You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone."

"But we're people, not letters," said Silas. "How can anybody read us?"

"I don't know, but--oh, look!" exclaimed Nova. "Here's a picture of Silas when he was really little. He's wearing big sunglasses. He looks so funny!"

Silas grinned. "You think that's funny? Well, look at yourself in this one." He held up another picture. "You have a giant bow on your head!" They both laughed.

"Here's Dad's aunt from Ohio," said Nova, picking up a picture taken at a family reunion. "She looks mad. Do you remember her?"

"Sure do," said Silas. "She was grumpy and complained about everything!" He pointed to a picture of a tall man. "I remember this guy too. He brought a croquet set to the reunion and taught all us kids how to play. He was a lot of fun!"

"That's Great-Grandma Rita standing next to him," said Nova. "Just by looking at her, you can tell she's really nice. She's always smiling."

"I notice you're both reading people," observed Mom. "You read one of the people at the reunion as grumpy, one as fun, and another as nice."

"Oh, I get it!" Nova said. "To read people means to get impressions about them by the way they act. We learn something about them by seeing and watching them."

"And they get impressions of us by the way we act," added Silas.

Mom nodded. "And that's why we need to depend on the Holy Spirit, who is shaping us to be more like Jesus. Let's trust Him to help us display the fruit of the Spirit--things like goodness, patience, and love--so that others can read that we belong to Jesus."

-Geri Walcott

How About You?
How are people reading you? Do they see characteristics that are written by the Holy Spirit as He works in your life and makes you more like Jesus? Do they see you being patient with your family members? Do they hear kind words coming from your mouth? Trust God to help you live in such a way that others can read you belong to Jesus.

Today's Key Verse:
You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. (NIV) (2 Corinthians 3:2 )

Today's Key Thought:
Let others read Jesus in you

The Floating Knife

Bible Reading: Matthew 5:43-48; John 13:34; Romans 5:8

"I know we're supposed to love everyone, but…" Theo paused and stared at the river. He and his brother Colby were having a serious discussion with Dad as they took advantage of a lovely fall afternoon for one last fishing trip before winter. "But to tell you the truth, I don't think I'll ever be able to love Graham," Theo said.

"Me neither!" said Colby. "Why would you even try to love him?"

"As Christians, we're supposed to love people like God does," Theo replied. "But Graham is such a bully! How can we love someone who acts the way he does? It's impossible!"

Dad reeled in his line. "Boys," he said, taking out a small pocketknife, "what do you think will happen if I toss this knife into the water?"

"It will sink like a rock, of course," said Theo, and Colby nodded.

"Don't be so sure," said Dad. "Let's try it. Just watch."

"Dad! Don't throw it in the water," said Theo. "You know it won't float!"

Dad turned to his tackle box. He took out the biggest cork bobber he could find and tied it to his fishing line. He added another above that, and then attached the knife just above the bobbers. The boys watched as Dad threw the whole assembly into the river. It sank beneath the water, but then it reappeared and began to float.

"Oh, I knew the bobbers would float," Theo said. "The knife is just riding along."

"You're right, Theo," replied Dad, reeling it in. "The knife is way too heavy to float alone. It needs the bobbers to carry it along." Dad removed the knife and bobbers from his line. "You said it was impossible for you to love Graham, but it's only impossible if you try to love him on your own. But Jesus doesn't expect you to love Graham on your own. He has filled your heart with His love--the same love He had for each one of us when He died for our sins on the cross. None of us deserve God's love, but He loves us anyway. And He will help us love others." Dad grinned at the boys. "Trust Him to hold you up and carry you along as you demonstrate His love to Graham."

-Hazel W. Marett

How About You?
Is it difficult for you to love someone who is mean to you? It may seem impossible at times, but if you know Jesus, you can love the way He does because He has put His love in your heart. Even though we all deserve to be punished for the wrong things we've done, Jesus loved us so much He took that punishment for us on the cross. Trust Him to help you show that same kind of love to others, even when it seems impossible.

Today's Key Verse:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (NKJV) (Philippians 4:13)

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus helps us love others