Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

A Gift to Share

Bible Reading: Romans 1:15-16

Rodrigo stood in his front yard, tossing a baseball into the air. He grinned as his friend pulled up on his bike. "Hey, Damon!"

"Hey!" Damon stopped and kicked the bike stand into place. He handed Rodrigo a small present. "Happy birthday!"

"Thanks!" Rodrigo grinned. "I also got this new mitt from my grandparents. No balls are going to get away from me now!"

"Cool," said Damon. "I could really use a mitt like that."

"And my brother gave me this baseball, and Mom and Dad gave me a scooter."

"Wow!" Damon flopped down on the lawn. "I could use all those things."

Rodrigo laughed. "Sorry, but your birthday isn't for another six months! But I'll share the gifts I got with you." Suddenly, he remembered he had never shared with his friend about another gift he'd recently received--the gift of eternal life. I should tell Damon about that, he thought. It's a gift he can have too.

Rodrigo took a deep breath and sat down on the grass next to Damon. "I got another gift I really want to share with you." He paused and said a silent prayer asking God to help him say what he needed to. "It's a gift from God."

Damon gave him a questioning look. "What kind of gift?"

"A few months ago, Riley invited me to come to vacation Bible school at his church. The teacher there explained how Jesus, God's Son, died to take the punishment for our wrongs and then rose from the dead. If we trust in Him, He gives us the gift of eternal life. I decided to accept that gift, and…" Rodrigo paused. "I just wanted you to know you can have it too. It's way better than any other gift you could ever get! I go to Riley's church every week now, and you can come with me sometime to learn more about Jesus if you want to."

Damon picked at the blades of grass at his feet. "Maybe I will. I've heard of Jesus, but I don't really know much about Him." He nodded at the unopened present Rodrigo was still holding. "Well, what are you waiting for? Open your gift!"

-Hazel W. Marett

How About You?
Have you received God's gift of eternal life through Jesus? If you know Jesus as your Savior, He's given you that gift. He's forgiven you for the wrong things you've done and promises you'll never be separated from Him, not even by death. Have you shared that gift with your friends? Eternal life with Jesus is a wonderful gift they can have too. Don't be afraid to share what Jesus has done for you.

Today's Key Verse:
When people sin, they earn what sin pays--death. But God gives his people a free gift--eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (ERV) (Romans 6:23)

Today's Key Thought:
Share the gift of Jesus

The Treasure Hunt

Bible Reading: Ecclesiastes 5:18-19; James 1:17

The music stopped, and Ellie frantically tried to sit down on the chair she had just passed. She was too late, and she laughed with the other kids when she saw she was out of the musical chairs game. Wearing brightly colored paper hats, the kids were having a great time at their Bible club party.

"Okay, kids. We have just one more game--a treasure hunt," announced Mrs. Weston. "There will be a prize for the first one to find a silver star."

The kids ran all around the yard, looking for the star. They scanned the trees, poked around the flowerbeds, hunted in bushes, and searched the lawn. There was no star anywhere. Suddenly, Anna squealed in delight. "Oh, I see it! I see the star!"

Ellie glanced at Anna, who seemed to be looking over her head. As she turned around to see what it might be, Paul ran up from behind her. "I see it too," he said.

One by one, the kids declared they saw the star…all except Ellie. "Why can't I see it?" she wondered out loud.

With a laugh, Anna reached up and took the paper hat that had been perched on Ellie's head. There on the bright blue hat was a small silver star.

Mrs. Weston came over with two wrapped packages. "Anna gets a prize for finding the star first," she said. "And to be fair, Ellie, this prize is for you since you couldn't see the star on your own head. And now, kids, it's time for a short devotional before you head home."

Mrs. Weston directed them to all sit down on the patio. "Ellie had the treasure and didn't even know it," she said, "and we're all like that sometimes. We fail to see the treasures Jesus gives us. Let's see how many we can name."

The kids took turns mentioning people or things they enjoyed, and Mrs. Weston nodded in agreement. "Those are all treasures from Jesus, and let's not forget the greatest treasure of all--the sacrifice He made so we could have eternal life with Him. Let's ask Him to open our eyes each day to see and appreciate the blessings He's given us."

-Tanya Ferdinandusz

How About You?
Do you have treasures you have failed to see? Perhaps it's a family member, a friend, or a teacher God has placed in your life. Maybe it's your home, clothes, food, or the ability to do something well. What about God's greatest blessing of all--the gift of His Son, Jesus? Don't miss all the treasures He has given you. Ask Him to help you see them, then thank Him for them and enjoy them.

Today's Key Verse:
[God] richly provides us with all things to enjoy. (CSB) (1 Timothy 6:17)

Today's Key Thought:
Enjoy God's blessings

An Unsinkable Boat

Bible Reading: James 5:13-15

Gavin walked to the end of the dock and sat down. He let his bare feet touch the water and stared off into the distance.

"Whatcha doing?" Dad asked, sitting down next to Gavin.

"Just thinking about things." Gavin swirled his feet around in the water.

"Anything you want to talk about?" asked Dad.

Gavin was silent for a moment. "You know my friend Aiden who came over last week?"

Dad nodded. Gavin gently kicked at the water, causing it to splash slightly. "Aiden just found out he has cancer."

"I am so sorry to hear that," Dad said. "We will have to add Aiden to our prayer list."

Gavin pulled his feet out of the water and hugged his legs to his chest. "Dad, if God loves us, why does He allow bad things to happen? Why should we even pray for Aiden if God allowed him to be sick?"

Dad was silent for a moment before he spoke. "God loves each of us very much, but that doesn't mean we won't face problems. It just means we won't face them alone. Our world is broken by sin, but Jesus is with us."

Dad paused and looked out over the lake. "Do you see those two people fishing out there in that rowboat?" Gavin nodded. "That boat is like Jesus," Dad said. "Those two fishers are still going to experience things of nature--wind, rain, and everything else. But as long as their boat is intact, they won't sink, no matter what happens. It's the same with us. We all face problems in life, but because our faith is in Jesus, we are never alone, and we will always have hope because He has promised us eternal life with Him. Jesus's love is like an unsinkable boat. He holds us even in sickness and death."

Gavin sighed. "I just feel so bad for Aiden."

Dad nodded. "I know it's hard to see Aiden go through this, but you can help him by praying for him and reminding him that Jesus loves him and knows what he's going through. Talk with Jesus about it, and trust Him to help you be there for Aiden."

For a few moments, Gavin silently watched the rowboat. Then he asked, "Dad, can we pray for Aiden now?"

-Melissa Yeagle

How About You?
Do you pray for friends and loved ones who are sick? Are you going through a hard time yourself? As Christians, we can take our concerns to Jesus. His love for us is like a boat that can never sink. Though we live in a broken world, we have hope because Jesus has rescued us from sin and death and is working to make all things new. In the meantime, we can pray, knowing He is always by our side and comforts those who are hurting.

Today's Key Verse:
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life…shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJV) (Romans 8:38-39)

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus's love will never fail

Faith Over Fear

Bible Reading: Psalm 27:1-5; John 16:33; Hebrews 11:1

Editor's note: This story addresses war and may not be suitable for some children.

Alina held tightly to Pursia, her fluffy white cat. She could see her mom's creased forehead in the car's rearview mirror, and it reflected the fear Alina felt squeezing her own heart. On the distant horizon, black smoke billowed from the bombs that had been falling for days now. Whatever road they took, Alina didn't have to ask to know her mom couldn't verify their safety.

"There's about one hour left, Lina," Mom said softly as they passed by the wreckage of a bombed-out shell of a building.

"Are Titka and cousin Artem safe?" Alina whispered.

Mom smiled tightly. "Last time I talked to them, they were just fine. They are eagerly waiting for us to arrive."

"I'm glad they're safe, but I miss my room and our home.

Do you think we'll ever get to go back?"

"Only God knows, Lina. I know you're scared--I am too. We just have to remember right now that God is greater than our fear."

"How do we remember, Mom? How can we know that for sure? People are attacking our country, and we haven't done anything wrong! I don't understand how God could allow this to happen." Alina blinked back a mixture of sad and angry tears.

"I know, sweet girl. We have to have faith in Jesus even though we're afraid. Remember, we live in a broken world where there are wars, sickness, and suffering. God didn't intend the world He created to be this way, but when Adam and Eve sinned, everything changed. But thankfully, that wasn't the end of our story, because God sent His Son, Jesus, to save us from sin and be with us in our suffering. In this world we will have trouble, but Jesus has overcome the world, and He wins in the end."

Alina started singing softly in the backseat. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous--for the Lord your God is with you." Then her mom joined in. Their voices lifted louder until Pursia meowed in protest. Alina giggled. "I think Pursia is afraid we're going to keep singing, Mom."

"Well, I'm glad you started that song, even if she isn't! What a great reminder that God is with us wherever we go."

-Savannah Coleman

How About You?
Have you ever had to endure something terrible? Maybe you've experienced the horrors of war, injustice, or evacuation from your home. Even though we encounter troubles in this world, we can be strong and courageous because God is with us wherever we go. No matter what hardships we walk through, we don't have to fear because we belong to Jesus and He loves us completely.

Today's Key Verse:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (NIV) (Joshua 1:9)

Today's Key Thought:
God is greater than fear

Too Much Money

Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:24-28

Ambrose's eyes widened as he glanced at the change the clerk had given him and then at the ten-dollar bill she was placing into the cash drawer. He quickly stuffed the money into his pocket, picked up the candy bar he had bought, and hurried out the door.

Wow! thought Ambrose. She must have been daydreaming or something. She gave me change for a twenty-dollar bill and didn't even notice it was a ten-dollar bill she was putting away. Now I have enough to buy that skateboard I want.

When Ambrose arrived home, he put the extra ten dollars in his desk drawer with the rest of his money. But he didn't feel comfortable all evening. He couldn't shut out the voice in his head. Over and over it said, That was stealing. Take it back!

When Ambrose entered his classroom the next day, he overheard a classmate talking to her friends. "I can't get a drama club T-shirt because my dad's out of work," Shelby said. "My sister planned to buy it for me. But at her job yesterday, her cash register was ten dollars short, so she had to pay it."

Ambrose felt like his heart almost stopped. It was Shelby's sister who had given him too much money. It's not my fault, he tried to tell himself. It's not like I took it. She gave it to me. But he knew that by keeping money that didn't belong to him, he was stealing just as if he'd gone into the store and taken it out of the register himself.

As he glanced at Shelby, Ambrose realized that any time something was stolen, someone had to pay. If I keep the money, Shelby and her sister are the ones who will pay for it, he thought. That's not how I'm supposed to treat others as a Christian. Jesus sacrificed His life to pay for my sins, and He says to love others the way He does. That means doing what's right.

Ambrose had planned to ask his mom to take him to the sporting goods store after school, but instead he went to the grocery store to return the ten dollars to Shelby's sister. Then he went home with a smile instead of a skateboard.

-Barbara J. Westberg

How About You?
Are you careful to do what's right? Even when it's not easy? It wasn't easy for Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, but He did it because He loves us. If you know Him as your Savior, He's given you the ability to obey Him and show His love to others. Trust Him to help you do the right thing and put others before yourself so they can see that you're honest and trustworthy like He is.

Today's Key Verse:
Indeed, we are giving careful thought to do what is right, not only before the Lord but also before people. (CSB) (2 Corinthians 8:21)

Today's Key Thought:
Do the right thing