Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

Sadie’s Kitten

Bible Reading: Colossians 3:12-17

When Sadie walked into the kitchen one morning, she found Dad cradling a tiny orange kitten. The kitten's eyes weren't even open.

"What's wrong with him?" Sadie asked. "Why is he crying?"

Dad used an eyedropper to give him milk. "I found this little guy outside, alone and hungry. I'm afraid something happened to the rest of his family."

"So you're going to take care of him?"

"Yeah, he's too little to survive on his own."

Sadie thought of the first story in the Bible about how Adam and Eve cared for the animals. She wanted to care for God's creation too. "Can I help?"

"Absolutely! I'll show you how."

Sadie was extra-gentle when Dad put the kitten in her arms. He was the color of a carrot, so that's what she'd call him.

For the next few weeks, Sadie watched Carrot grow. His eyes opened, then he started walking with more confidence. Soon he no longer needed the eyedropper--he ate kitten food. Sadie felt proud.

One day, when she was giving Carrot his food, he scratched her arm with his sharp claws. Tears welled in Sadie's eyes. She picked up his food bowl. He didn't deserve food after that.

The front door opened. "Is everything okay, Sadie?" Dad asked.

"No!" She burst into tears. "Carrot scratched me. All I've ever done is love him, and now he hurt me!"

"Oh, Sadie. I'm sorry." Dad hugged her. "The way you care for Carrot reminds me of the way God cares for us. You are kind, gentle, and patient. That's the way God loves us too, only His love is even stronger."

Sadie stopped crying. "Sometimes, I hurt God. When I do things I know I shouldn't." She looked at Carrot's food bowl. "But God forgives me. Jesus died for me so that I could live with Him forever."

Dad nodded. "Jesus set a wonderful example for us."

Sadie knew what to do. She put the food back on the ground. Carrot began to eat. She looked at the blood on her arm. "It's okay, Carrot. I forgive you, and I love you."

Sadie was thankful God often said those same words to her.

-Becca Wierwille

How About You?
Have you ever struggled to show kindness? When someone hurts us, it can be hard to be kind and forgiving. The good news is, God is always kind and forgiving to us. Even though we have sinned against God and hurt others by doing things that are wrong, He still loves us. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins so we could be forgiven. And we can follow His example by showing kindness and forgiveness to those around us.

Today's Key Verse:
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (NKJV) (Ephesians 4:32 )

Today's Key Thought:
Be kind and forgive

Like an Eagle

Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 32:11-12; Isaiah 40:31; Revelation 4:6-11

Kaia dropped her backpack on the kitchen table and sat down with a big smile. "We saw a great video in science today!"

Kaia's mom looked up from her bill paying. "What was it about?"

"Eagles." Kaia showed her mom a large color photo of a bald eagle. The white-headed bird of prey looked to be floating on air, its wings stretched out like the wings of a jet. "Mr. Thompson gave us all a print of this eagle. Isn't it beautiful?"

"It sure is," Mom agreed.

Kaia was excited to share what she'd learned. "June 20 is National American Eagle Day. In 1782, the bald eagle was made a symbol of the United States."

Mom closed her computer. "They're certainly one of God's amazing animals."

"Did you know that their wingspan can be up to seven and a half feet long?" Kaia didn't wait for an answer. "The video said eagles spend their first four years exploring the country, traveling hundreds of miles before they settle down to have a family. And listen to this! When they dive to catch their food, which is mostly fish, they can move up to a hundred miles per hour!"

"Wow! I didn't know they were that fast," said Mom. "But I do remember reading in the Bible that eagles are swift and strong."

"The Bible talks about eagles?" asked Kaia.

Mom nodded. "Many verses mention eagles. After God brought His people out of Egypt, He gave Moses a song to teach the Israelites. In this song, God compares Himself to an eagle protecting its chicks with its wings."

Kaia was impressed. "So the eagle isn't just fast and strong. It's a protector too!"

"That's right. And like an eagle, Jesus covers us with His love and grace. In the book of Revelation, the eagle is also one of four creatures surrounding God's throne, singing, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!'"

"We sing that in church," said Kaia. "So, God is like an eagle because He protects us, and we can be like eagles by worshiping Him. I guess God wants all His creation to worship Him!"

"He does," said Mom. "Now and forever!"

-Bonnie Carr

How About You?
What's your favorite animal? All God's creatures are magnificent and purposeful in their own ways. But did you know that all were created for God? When Jesus comes back to rule, and when heaven is established on earth, all God's creatures will rejoice and serve Him in their own way. Today, take some time to worship God and marvel at His creation. Thank Him for covering you with wings like an eagle.

Today's Key Verse:
You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things. (NKJV) (Revelation 4:11)

Today's Key Thought:
Worship God

Christmas Wreath

Bible Reading: Romans 8:1-4, 38-39

"Mmm, this smells so good," Kyle said as he picked up a fresh Christmas wreath out of the back of his mom's car.

"I know. I love the smell of pine too," Mom said. "You can set the wreath on the porch for now."

Kyle was just a couple of feet from the porch when he tripped over his skateboard. The wreath flew out of his hands and hit the ground with a thud. When it fell, some parts of it came loose.

"Oh, Kyle!" exclaimed Mom. "Are you all right?"

"Yeah," said Kyle as Mom helped him up. Then they both examined the wreath to assess the damage. "I'm so sorry. Did I ruin it?" Kyle asked.

"It's a little beaten up," said Mom. "But I should be able to fix it." She paused. "Didn't I tell you to put your skateboard away earlier?"

Kyle nodded. "Yes, but I forgot. I'm sorry."

"Why don't you grab your skateboard and take it to the garage where it belongs?" Mom smiled. "That way, no more humans or wreaths will get injured."

Kyle smiled and did as he was told. When he got back to the front porch, his mom had the wreath fixed and was hanging it on the front door.

"How does it look?" Mom asked as she took a step back.

"Looks good, Mom," Kyle replied. "Why do we put wreaths up at Christmastime anyway?"

"Well, I like to think of wreaths as reminders of God's endless love for us," said Mom. "Wreaths are in the shape of a circle, and circles have no end. And there's also no end to God's love for us. Jesus demonstrated this when He came to earth as a baby that first Christmas. He is fully God, but He also became fully human to die for our sins, and even though He is now risen, He will always be human. He will be both God and man--both divine and human--for all eternity! That's how much He loves us. He became one of us so He could be with us forever."

"I'm thankful God's love for us is endless," said Kyle.

"Me too," said Mom. "Whenever I look at this wreath, I remember that, no matter what we do or what we face, God's love is greater."

-Melissa Yeagle

How About You?
Do you know how much God loves you? At Christmastime, we remember that Jesus, who is God, loves us so much that He came to earth as a human and died for our wrongs so we could be saved from sin and death. He became one of us so we could have a home with Him forever. His love for you is endless. Have you put your trust in Him? (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page.)

Today's Key Verse:
So the Word [Jesus] became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. (NLT) (John 1:14)

Today's Key Thought:
God's love is endless

New Glasses

Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:8-12, 16-18

"Well, Erin, it looks like you'll need an updated prescription for your glasses," the optometrist said as Erin got out of the chair at the eye doctor's office.

Erin found her mom in the waiting room. "New glasses again!" she announced.

"Well, let's look around the store to see if we can find some frames you like," Mom suggested.

As Erin tried on various colors and styles of glasses, she talked with Mom about school. "It feels like everything is going wrong. I have two tests tomorrow, and I'm struggling in those classes. My favorite teacher has been home sick all week, and one of my friends broke her arm during gym class! I know God is in control of all that happens and I should trust Him, but it's hard when nothing is going well."

"I'm sorry all these things are happening at once." Mom put a hand on her shoulder. "The world is chaotic." She thought for a moment. "Do you remember what it was like before you got your first pair of glasses?"

"Oh yeah," Erin laughed. "Everything was so blurry. I could only see a few feet in front of me."

"Life can be a bit like that," Mom said. "The world can feel blurry and confusing. Just imagine how confused Jesus's followers were when He died on the cross! But Jesus had a bigger plan--to die and take the punishment for our sin and bring new life through His resurrection three days later. We can't always see how God is working today, but we can keep our eyes focused on Jesus and trust Him."

Erin understood. "Because He doesn't just see the present. It's like He sees through different glasses than us, where He can see the whole world--past, present, and future."

Mom smiled. "Exactly! And God can use challenging things to teach us to trust Him. When our plans don't work out, we need to remember that He has a bigger plan in mind--one that ends with Jesus getting rid of sin and death forever. We may not understand now, but one day, we will see how God worked everything for good."

Erin nodded. "So I can trust Jesus and focus on Him even when I don't understand what's happening." She hugged her mom. "Thanks."

-Abby Ciona

How About You?
Do you feel confused or overwhelmed? Maybe you're struggling in a friendship, or a family member has health challenges. Sometimes things that happen to us feel unfair or hurt a lot. When you face hard times, focus on Jesus's love and His promise to be with you. Remember that He has a plan and is working everything out for your good. Trust Him.

Today's Key Verse:
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (NIV) (Hebrews 11:1)

Today's Key Thought:
Trust God's plan

Draw Near

Bible Reading: Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 7:8; 11:28-30; James 4:8

Sara and Mom left church and headed out to Uncle Dan and Aunt Susan's farm for lunch. Sara couldn't wait to meet her cousin's new pygmy goats!

On the way, Mom asked Sara what her Sunday school class had discussed that morning.

"We talked about worship," Sara said. "Mrs. Taylor told us that God created us to worship Him. We worship when we go to church, right?"

Before Mom could answer, they'd arrived. Sara's cousin Charlie ran to the car. "Come meet Max and Mavis!" He grabbed Sara's hand and led her inside a fenced area next to the barn. "Sit still and they might come over," Charlie said. He sat next to Sara on the grass.

The two small goats jumped in the air, ran around the yard, and butted heads in a play battle. At first, they ignored the cousins, but eventually Mavis came close enough for Sara to stroke her back. Then she went off to climb a wooden platform.

"They're so cute," Sara told Charlie.

"Yeah," agreed Charlie. "I love it when they come over and let me pet them. I just wish they did that more often!" He grinned. "Don't they know I feed them, fill their water dish, and clean up their messes?" They laughed. Charlie sounded like a parent.

On the way home, Mom brought up the topic of worship. "I think God feels a little like Charlie does with his goats," she said.

"What do you mean?" asked Sara.

"Charlie cares for his goats. He makes sure they have everything they need, and he loves it when they come to him. It's similar to us as Christians. We're God's children. He loves us and provides for us, and He wants us to enjoy being in His presence every day."

"I guess worshiping God only on Sundays is kind of like Mavis only letting me pet her for two seconds," said Sara.

Mom nodded. "Worship is something we do at church, but it can also be anything we do with an awareness of Jesus's love and presence and a desire to serve Him. That's where we find true joy."

"Maybe we could read the Bible together before bed," suggested Sara.

Mom nodded. "That's a great way to spend time with God!"

-Bonnie Carr

How About You?
Did you know that God wants to spend time with you? Praying, reading the Bible, talking about God with your family and friends--these are just some of the ways you can spend time in Jesus's presence. As Christians, we have a relationship with Jesus, and that means we can talk with Him, serve Him, and worship Him every day. Draw near to Him and enjoy spending time in His loving presence.

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

Today's Key Thought:
Enjoy God's presence