Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

The Circuit Breaker

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:12-14

"Hey, Owen!" Owen looked up and saw his friend Bennett walking toward him. "Some of us figured out a way to sneak a peek at the words on Friday's spelling test," Bennett said. "You want in on it?"

"Sure!" said Owen, but his conscience started to bother him immediately. He knew it was wrong to cheat. But how can I help it? he wondered. The guys will think I'm a wimp if I don't. I can't back out now.

As Mom was getting dinner ready that evening, the lights suddenly went out. "Oh no!" she exclaimed. "I must have used too many appliances at the same time. Owen, ask your Dad to check the breaker box."

Owen grabbed a flashlight and went to the basement with his father. "How do those things work?" Owen asked as he watched his dad reset the circuit breaker.

"Well, it's a little complicated," said Dad. "From here, wires run through the walls to various switches and electrical outlets. If too many things are turned on at the same time, it requires so much electricity that the wires could get very hot and could even cause a fire."

"Wow! That sounds dangerous," said Owen.

"Yes, but we don't have to worry about it," said Dad. "The circuit breaker here will shut off the flow of electricity when too much is being used." Owen nodded, and they started back up the stairs.

"You know, the circuit breaker reminds me of how God cares for us," said Dad. "He won't allow any temptation into our lives that we can't handle. He's like our breaker box."

"But sometimes we still do what's wrong," observed Owen.

Dad nodded. "Yes, but if we know Jesus, He has shut off the power of sin in our lives, and we don't have to give in to it. When we're tempted to do something wrong, we need to remember that God gives us the strength to resist temptation. We can trust Him to help us do the right thing instead."

So because I know Jesus, sin has no power over me. I don't have to cheat, Owen thought. All right. I'm gonna trust Him. Owen went to his room, got out his list of words, and began to study.

-Hazel W. Marett

How About You?
Do you sometimes feel like you can't help doing something wrong? That the temptation is just too great? It isn't. No matter what the temptation is, if you know Jesus as your Savior, you can overcome it. He has freed you from the power of sin, and that means you can escape every tempting situation. The next time you're tempted to do something wrong, trust Him to help you stand firm and not give in.

Today's Key Verse:
[God] will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out. (NLT) (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Today's Key Thought:
You don't have to sin

Animal Charades

Bible Reading: John 3:1-7, 16

"Okay, kids. We'll end with a short game of animal charades." Miss Ellen looked around at her Sunday school class. "Eli, would you like to start? Pretend to be an animal--any kind you want--and we'll see who is first to guess which animal you've chosen. Then that person can pick an animal to imitate."

Eli nodded and dropped to his hands and knees. He walked a few steps on all fours, then rolled over and panted. "You're a dog!" Parker shouted.

"That was an easy one." Eli laughed and got to his feet.

Parker thought for a minute. Then he got down on his stomach and wriggled his way across the floor. "Are you a worm?" someone asked. Parker shook his head. As he crawled along, he rapidly stuck out his tongue several times. "A snake!" called out one of the girls, and it was her turn. After several of the kids had a turn, Miss Ellen announced she would do the final charade.

The kids watched as Miss Ellen began her act. She folded her hands and bowed her head. "You're a praying mantis," said Eli.

Miss Ellen shook her head. "Good guess, but I should have told you that this time I'm human, not an animal." She picked up her Bible and pretended to read. Next, she walked to a chair, sat down, and appeared to be listening to someone. Then she opened and closed her mouth several times. "She's singing," whispered someone, and Miss Ellen nodded.

"Yeah. She's in church," whispered someone else. Again, Miss Ellen nodded.

Then Leah jumped up. "You're pretending to be a Christian!" she exclaimed.

"That's it!" said Miss Ellen. "Now, think about this: Pretending to be something doesn't make it so. You're not a dog unless you're born into the canine family, and you're not a Christian unless you're born into God's family. It doesn't matter if your parents are Christians or if you go to church every week. The only way to be born into God's family is by trusting in Jesus as your Savior. Then the Bible says you will be born again--as a child of God!"

-Hazel W. Marett

How About You?
Have you been born again? You may pretend to be a Christian. You may act the way you think a Christian should act by reading the Bible, going to church, and even praying. But you're not a Christian unless you've been born again into God's family by trusting in Jesus. You need the new spiritual life He offers you. Stop pretending and trust Him as your Savior today! (To learn more, click the "Good News! button in the right column of this page.)

Today's Key Verse:
[Jesus said,] "You must be born again." (NKJV) (John 3:7)

Today's Key Thought:
Trust in Jesus and be born again

The Trail

Bible Reading: Isaiah 55:10-11; 2 Timothy 4:5-8

"Dad, can we hike that trail?" asked Anya, pointing to a path a few feet from their campsite. "The sign says it's a thirty-minute walk."

"It's okay with me if mom doesn't mind waiting with Alex for half an hour," said Dad.

Mom laughed. "Go! Alex is sound asleep, and I have a good book to read."

Anya and her dad began their hike, talking as they walked. "Dad, I kinda have a problem with my friend Mika," Anya said. "Sometimes she's really nice and even asks me questions about why I go to church and believe in Jesus. Other times, she acts like she doesn't even know me. She and some other kids laughed when a boy in my class made a joke about me being a Christian the other day. Sometimes I wonder if it does any good to try to tell people about Jesus."

"I know, Anya," said Dad sympathetically. "Just remember that we don't always get to see the results of our efforts. But God promises that the truth of His Word will always accomplish what He wants it to, so don't give up telling others the good news of Jesus."

As they went on, the trail became more difficult. They climbed hills, fought branches, swatted at bugs, and stumbled over rocks. After a while, Anya stopped to rest. "Tired?" asked Dad as he sank down beside her on a fallen log.

Anya nodded. "I didn't realize we'd have to go through so many little hills and valleys on this trail."

"Do you want to quit?" Dad asked.

Anya vehemently shook her head. "No! We're not quitters!"

"You know, Anya, the Christian walk is a little like this trail. Sometimes it seems easy. Other times, there are rough spots to cross. Life has a lot of ups and downs--hills and valleys, you might say. We sometimes get weary and discouraged as we walk through life with Jesus, and it can be very tempting to stop and give up. But the Bible tells us to run with endurance, knowing Jesus is with us and will help us finish the course."

With a grin, Anya scrambled to her feet. "Don't worry, Dad--I'm not going to give up being a Christian or quit this hike. Let's go!"

-Vicki L. Reinhardt

How About You?
Do you ever grow weary or get discouraged in your Christian walk? Have you experienced disappointments? Have you been mocked because of your beliefs? Have you wondered if your efforts to serve God are accomplishing anything? Remember that your Christian walk will have both highs and lows. Don't give up! Keep on going, knowing Jesus is with you, giving you strength. Trust Him to help you finish the course and use your example to accomplish His purpose.

Today's Key Verse:
Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (NKJV) (Hebrews 12:1)

Today's Key Thought:
Don't give up

No Such Thing

Bible Reading: James 1:16-17

"Aiden is so lucky!" Caleb told his dad after spending the night at a friend's house. "He has a room all to himself, and you should see all the stuff he has in there!"

"I'm glad you enjoyed it," said Dad, "but now you need to do your chores."

"Okay," said Caleb. "But can Aiden come over later?"

"Sure," said Dad.

When Aiden pedaled his bike up the driveway a couple hours later, Caleb and his dad were in the garage. "Mr. Davis, did you know your horse jumped the fence and is in your neighbor's field?" asked Aiden.

"Not again!" Caleb and his dad said at the same time.

It didn't take long to catch Dolly, who was very tame. "She's a good horse," Caleb told Aiden when Dolly was back where she belonged. "But she sure does like to jump that fence!"

"That she does," said Dad. He grinned at the boys. "Hey, would the two of you like to go fishing with me this afternoon? Your dad is welcome to join us too, Aiden."

"Yeah!" said Caleb. "Let's go ask your dad if he wants to come."

Aiden shook his head. "My dad's out of town right now. He has to travel a lot for his new job. You're so lucky to have a dad who can take you places, Caleb."

"You know, boys," said Caleb's dad, "you both used the word lucky today, but there's no such thing as luck. We should be thankful to God for what we have instead of wishing for what others have. God's plan is so much better than what we think we need. Like Dolly, we sometimes think things are better on the other side of the fence."

"Yeah." Aiden grinned. "I wouldn't trade my dad for anybody else--no offense, Mr. Davis."

Caleb and his dad laughed. "I wouldn't trade either," said Caleb.

Dad smiled. "God has given us all so much. He gave us His own Son, Jesus, so we could be His children, and He fills our lives with good things--luck has nothing to do with it. Instead of wishing for what others have, let's thank Him for the many blessings He gives us each day."

-Vera M. Hutchcroft

How About You?
Do you think you're lucky? Think of all the special things in your life that you love and enjoy, including the people who care about you. You are not lucky to have them; you are blessed by God, who even gave His own Son so you could live with Him forever as His child. God has a purpose for your life that has nothing to do with luck. So don't be jealous of what others have. Be thankful for all the blessings He has given you.

Today's Key Verse:
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father. (CSB) (James 1:17)

Today's Key Thought:
God, not luck, directs lives

Dancing Pine Needles

Bible Reading: Romans 8:18-23, 28-30

"I'm sick of watching Lucas!" Olivia couldn't believe her mom had asked her to stay home again.

Olivia's mom looked up from her computer. "I'm sorry, but I need to get this report done."

Olivia charged out the back door, letting it slam. Lucas sat on the porch swing, twisting a pine needle between his thumb and forefinger. He was always playing with pine needles. It was his "thing."

Olivia sat at the porch table. "I could've been swimming at Hannah's house," she grumbled. "Instead, I have to watch Lucas again!"

Olivia got busy with a game on her tablet, but a few minutes later, she heard Lucas scream. She looked up and saw him pulling his hair with one fist and hitting his head with the other.

Olivia called into the house and Mom rushed out. She ran to Lucas and began to soothe him. After some time, Lucas calmed down, and Olivia's mom helped him into the house. Before he went inside, Lucas grabbed another pine needle off the grass.

Olivia clenched her fists. "I hate it when he has a meltdown!"

"He's frustrated," said Mom. "Lucas isn't able to use words to tell us what he needs."

"Why doesn't God do something?" Olivia asked. "I pray every day for God to help Lucas feel better!"

"I don't know, Olivia," said Mom. "But I do know God is good and that He is with us. Jesus loved us enough to die a terrible death so we could have eternal life with Him, and He promises to end suffering and heal our broken world one day. Because of Him, the troubles we face in life won't get the last word. We can trust Him, even though we don't have all the answers."

Later, Olivia and Lucas walked into the living room to watch a show together. Olivia even brought her brother an oatmeal cookie, his favorite.

Lucas chewed the cookie while twirling his pine needle. As Olivia watched the pine needle dance between Lucas's fingers, she prayed a silent prayer. God, thank You for making Lucas my brother, even if he is different. Please keep him safe. And thank You for loving him--and me--so much.

-Bonnie Carr

How About You?
How do you feel when you or someone you love is suffering? Have you brought those feelings to Jesus? He is with you no matter what you are facing, and He is working all things for His good purposes. As Christians, we can find comfort knowing God is good and that He loves us very much. We can trust His promise to make all things new--free from sin, suffering, and death.

Today's Key Verse:
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (NLT) (Romans 8:28)

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus will end suffering