Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

Peyton and Her Shadow

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Timothy 4:11-15

"Look, Mom!" Ruby called from the patio. "Look at Peyton." Mom looked, and she and Ruby laughed together as they watched the three-year-old play with her shadow in the bright sunlight. Peyton would run as fast as she could, and she saw that her shadow moved right along with her. "Stay there," Peyton commanded the shadow. But it didn't. She took a big jump, and her shadow jumped too. Next she walked slowly. The shadow walked with her. "Okay," said Peyton. "Come with me then." She skipped, and the shadow skipped along, making Peyton laugh.

At dinnertime, Ruby helped set the table. "I'll help too," said Peyton. She carefully watched to see how Ruby placed the dishes and silverware. Then she copied what she observed.

When they sat down to eat, Mom put some lima beans on Peyton's plate before passing them to Ruby, who frowned but put a few on her plate too. After handing the bowl to her younger brother Joey, Ruby hesitantly tasted the beans. Then she took a larger forkful. Seeing her eat them, Joey did the same. Peyton watched them for a minute and then began to eat hers.

After dinner, Dad got up from the table. "Who will help me wash the car before dark?"

Ruby spoke after a few moments of silence. "I'll help. I can wash the windows inside the car while you wash the outside."

"I'll help too!" said Joey quickly.

"Me too!" added Peyton.

Ruby laughed. "What is this? Copy Ruby night?"

Mom smiled. "Remember Peyton and her shadow? Whether she liked it or not, her shadow was with her wherever she went. That's like the influence we have over others. What we do and say can influence other people."

"Yes," said Dad. "Which is why we need to trust God to help us influence others in a good way. As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit, who is working in our lives to make us more like Jesus, allowing us to become living examples of what He is like--especially to other believers, our brothers and sisters in Christ."

Mom nodded. "It's such a blessing to have mature Christians in our lives who encourage us through their examples, and I think Joey and Peyton are really blessed by your example, Ruby."

Ruby smiled. "Thanks."

-Hazel W. Marett

How About You?
Does your influence encourage those who know Jesus to live for Him? Does it encourage those who don't know Jesus to want to learn more about Him? Remember that being out under the bright sun gives you a good, sharp shadow. In a similar way, resting in the Son of God--Jesus--allows you to be a living example of His goodness through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Today's Key Verse:
Be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (NKJV) (1 Timothy 4:12)

Today's Key Thought:
Live as an example of Jesus

A Church Flock

Bible Reading: Hebrews 10:22-25

"Look!" Dad pointed to the sky as he, Mia, and Kingston walked home from church together. "That flock of geese is flying south. Winter must be coming."

Kingston had been waiting for this chance all day. "Speaking of winter," he began hesitantly, "hockey season starts soon." He paused. "The thing is, practice will be on Sunday mornings this year."

"That's too bad," Dad said. "We attend church on Sundays."

"But it's only for a few months! Can't I go?" Kingston pleaded. "I promise I'll read my Bible at home."

Their attention was drawn to another flock of geese honking loudly as they flew over. "Do you know why geese fly in a V formation?" Dad asked. Kingston shook his head. "It's because the air behind the leader spreads into a V…something like the wake of a speed boat," Dad said. "When the other birds follow in that V, a swirl of air actually gives them a push forward, making it easier to go a long way and not get tired."

"Pretty smart," said Mia. Then she pointed to a bird trailing far behind the others. "I wonder why that one isn't in the V."

"I suppose he may have been distracted or just slowed down to rest," said Dad. "Now he's probably having a hard time catching up."

"I imagine he'll be pretty tired when he gets to wherever they're going," said Mia.

Dad nodded. "God didn't design geese to go the distance alone." He looked at Kingston. "God didn't design Christians to go it alone either. We gain strength from the support of other believers. Without it, we would be like that last goose--alone and struggling. And the church would be one goose short."

"Oh, Dad!" Kingston shook his head. "The church doesn't need me."

"Oh yes, it does! Jesus created the church so we could encourage one another in our faith and offer support when someone is struggling. Every one of us is needed, because that's one of the ways Jesus shows us His love and strengthens us--through the church."

Kingston sighed. "Okay, I guess I'll find a different hockey team to play on this year," he said. "Hey, maybe we could start a church team--one that holds practices a different day?"

Dad smiled. "That's a great idea!"

-Heather Tekavec

How About You?
Are you a faithful part of your church? Do you meet with other Christians regularly? Jesus didn't intend for His followers to do life on their own. He wants you to gain spiritual strength from the friendship and fellowship of other believers. So don't neglect going to church. You're needed there, and you need the support and encouragement of others who also trust in Jesus.

Today's Key Verse:
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another. (NLT) (Hebrews 10:25)

Today's Key Thought:
Attend church faithfully

A Matador’s Motivation

Bible Reading: Galatians 6:7-10

Easton stood in the yard waving a red blanket. "Prepare to be amazed! I am the most amazing matador, the most amazing bullfighter that ever lived!"

Easton's little brother, Tyler, poked his head out from behind a tree and put his fingers to his forehead, pretending to be a bull. "Charge!" Tyler said, racing toward the blanket.

Easton waited until Tyler had almost reached the blanket before yanking it away. Tyler flew straight past Easton, slowing down when he didn't get the blanket. Tyler turned around and called, "Again!"

They played for several more turns, with Easton always pulling the blanket just out of Tyler's reach. Easton knew he should let Tyler get the blanket at least once, but he was having too much fun frustrating his little brother.

Finally, Tyler turned around and stomped his foot. "That's not fair!" he shouted. "I want to be the bullfighter now."

"No, it's still my turn!" Easton shot back.

They continued arguing until Mom slid open the back porch door. "What's going on?" she asked. Easton and Tyler immediately started blaming each other. Mom shook her head. "Enough! If you boys can't play nicely, you can help me set the table."

Grumbling, both boys trudged inside. Easton slouched all through dinner, annoyed at Tyler for ruining his fun.

"Today's verse is a short one," Dad announced after the meal. "It says, 'And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works.'"

"What does provoke mean?" Tyler asked.

"Provoke means to deliberately encourage someone to do or feel something." Dad looked at Easton. "Like how a bullfighter will provoke a bull to charge by waving his cape. This verse is telling us that, because we are loved and accepted by Jesus, we should provoke our brothers and sisters in Christ in a way that stirs up love and good deeds--not anger and frustration."

Easton looked down, understanding Dad's point. He had been provoking Tyler to a bad attitude, not love and good deeds. "Tyler, I'm sorry for being rude today. Will you forgive me?"

Tyler looked at Easton and nodded his head. "Yeah, I forgive you."

Easton smiled. "Let's clean the table. Then we can play the bullfighter game again. And this time, you can be the matador."

-Olivia Summers

How About You?
Do you have a sibling that annoys you? Do you look for ways to annoy them back? Doing that will only lead to more anger and frustration for both of you. Instead, show them the love of Jesus and encourage them to do good. Provoke others to love and good deeds by following Jesus's example. Today, look for opportunities to motivate others to be like Christ.

Today's Key Verse:
And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works. (CSB) (Hebrews 10:24)

Today's Key Thought:
Encourage others to do good

A Soccer Match

Bible Reading: Acts 20:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:11

"Go, Rockets, go!" shouted Pete's family. "Go, Rockets, go!"

It was a beautiful Saturday morning, and the whole family was there to watch Pete's soccer match. Pete had just turned five, and he was super excited for his first game.

"Go, Bobcats, go!" cheered the supporters of the opposing team.

The cheers from both sides filled Pete's ears as he got the ball and started to dribble it toward the goal. His heart lurched in excitement as he realized he would finally have a chance to score. But what he didn't realize was that he was moving toward the wrong goal!

Pete's older sister Annie tried to warn him. "No, Pete! Wrong goal!" shouted Annie.

Pete continued to dribble and then kicked the ball into the goal. "Goal!" he shouted with a big smile. But it quickly turned to a frown when he realized his mistake.

"It's okay, Pete!" shouted Dad.

"I don't understand. Why is he so silly?" asked Annie.

"Annie, this is your brother's first game," Dad replied. "He probably got distracted with all the noise. We should be patient with him and encourage him. After all, everyone makes mistakes like that sometimes--even adults."

"Really?" asked Annie.

"Yes," answered Mom. "Whether it's a soccer game or our walk with Jesus, we lose track of where we're going when we get distracted."

Dad nodded. "That's why we need the encouragement of other Christians who help us keep our focus on Jesus and show us His patience and love when we make mistakes." He turned toward the soccer field. "Let's cheer for Pete and his team."

"Go, Rockets, go! Go, Pete, go!" cheered the family.

Just then, another boy from the Rockets team made the same mistake as Pete. He looked crushed and was almost in tears.

"We should encourage him," said Annie. "It's okay! It's all right!" she shouted.

Other people in the stands joined in. "It's okay! It's all right!"

Then Pete went over and gave him a hug. The boy smiled and continued the game.

A few moments later, Pete got the ball. This time, he made sure he was aiming at the right goal. He kicked, and the ball went in. "I did it!" Pete shouted.

Pete's whole family jumped up and cheered. "Way to go, Pete!"

-Kelly Choy

How About You?
Have you ever made a mistake during a big game? How about in your Christian life? Sometimes we can let the things of this world distract us from our goal of following Jesus and helping more people know about Him. But when other Christians encourage us and remind us of Jesus's patience, forgiveness, and love, we can quickly refocus on what's important. How can you encourage someone today?

Today's Key Verse:
Encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing. (CSB) (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Today's Key Thought:
Encourage one another

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