Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

The Drawing

Bible Reading: Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 5:8

"Hi, Mom. Can we have a cookie?" asked Eloise, and Mom nodded. "There was a new girl at school today," Eloise said as she and her brother Jacob grabbed a chocolate chip cookie from a package in the cupboard. "You should see her. She is so short!"

"Yeah. She looks like she belongs in kindergarten," said Jacob. "Maybe she's an alien from outer space." Both kids erupted into giggles.

Mom looked at them sternly. Before she could say anything, Eloise took a picture out of her backpack. "Look what I drew for art," she said, quickly changing the subject to avoid the lecture she knew Mom was about to give. "My teacher said it's really good."

Jacob munched on his cookie as he studied the drawing of a farmyard. He grinned. "Look at this pig." He pointed and laughed. "The legs are too short for its body and its ears are too long. And look at that horse!" Jacob laughed louder. "He's even worse than the pig. His face looks more like a cow's!"

"Mooom," whined Eloise. "Jacob's making fun of me!"

"I'm not making fun of you," Jacob said, seeing Mom's frown. "I'm just making fun of this picture--not you!"

"I drew the picture, so you're making fun of me too!" Eloise cried, grabbing the picture back.

"Eloise is right," Mom said. "If you make fun of a picture, you're making fun of who created it."

"Sorry," Jacob mumbled. "I was just teasing."

Mom paused for a moment. "Here's something for both of you to think about. If you make fun of people--like the new girl at school--because of the way they were created, who are you making fun of?"

Both Eloise and Jacob looked startled. "God, I guess," Jacob replied.

"Exactly. Every person is created by God and is special," said Mom. "Every person is loved by Him--loved so much that Jesus died on the cross for them. Never make fun of other kids because of the way God made them. Remember how you'd feel if someone made fun of something you made."

Eloise looked at her picture again. "Don't worry," she said. "I'll remember."

"Yeah," Jacob agreed. "Me too."

-A. W. Smith

How About You?
Have you ever made fun of other kids because of their looks? God made every person in the world, and each one is unique and special. Jesus loves each one of us so much He died on the cross so we could live with Him forever. If you make fun of the way someone looks, you're not just hurting them, you're making fun of how God created that person. Remember God created and loves each person and treat all people with respect.

Today's Key Verse:
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (NIV) (Psalm 139:14 )

Today's Key Thought:
Every person is special

Oil Needed

Bible Reading: Isaiah 61:1-3; Hebrews 1:8-9

"Dad, can I use your oil can to get rid of the squeak in the cupboard doors?" Jayden asked. "Mom said I could oil the hinges. If they don't get oiled soon, the squeaking is going to drive her crazy."

Dad laughed as he took the oil can from the workbench and handed it to Jayden. "Then by all means, take it away!" he said.

When Jayden returned the oil can some time later, Dad was still at his workbench. "I oiled the hinges all over the house," Jayden said. "I told Mom that if she hears any squeaks now, she'll know we have mice. She says that would really drive her crazy." They both laughed, and then Jayden went out to play basketball with his friends.

At dinner that evening, Jayden shared the neighborhood news. "Troy and Kai are mad at each other again," he said. "And did you know that Mrs. Gentry broke her arm? She fell down her front steps." Jayden helped himself to a piece of ham. "And Mr. Gomez stood at his window for half an hour and watched us play basketball. I guess he doesn't have anything better to do." Jayden nibbled his salad.

"It sounds like the people in our neighborhood could use some oil," Dad observed.

"Oil?" asked Jayden. "What do you mean?"

"The Bible says Jesus gives the 'oil of joy' to those who trust in Him, and it sounds like some of our neighbors could use a little joy in their lives," Dad replied. "I think it would be nice if you spread some oil of joy around the neighborhood."

"Yeah?" Jayden scratched his head. "I know one thing I can do. I can offer to rake leaves for Mrs. Gentry. I don't know what I can do about Troy and Kai though--but I'll think of something!" Jayden eyed the dessert on the counter. "Can I take a piece of pie to Mr. Gomez?" he asked. Then he grinned. "And I better take an extra piece so I can sit down and eat with him!"

Dad nodded. "Those all sound like good ways to spread the joy of Jesus and remind others of His love for them."

-Hazel W. Marett

How About You?
Are you spreading joy? The Bible says Jesus was anointed with the "oil of joy." If you belong to Him, you can have that same joy in your heart too. Will you share it with others? Offer a kind word to help someone feel better. Take a few minutes to chat with a neighbor who lives alone. Lend a helping hand to take the hardship out of somebody's day. Let the joy you have in Jesus point people to Him.

Today's Key Verse:
I will give them the oil of joy instead of sorrow, and a spirit of praise instead of a spirit of no hope. (NLV) (Isaiah 61:3)

Today's Key Thought:
Spread joy

Practice, Practice, Practice

Bible Reading: Psalm 145:6, 10-12

Drake was thinking as he slowly walked home after school. I had a perfect chance to tell Liam about Jesus when he asked why I always go to church. I should have told him I'm a Christian and that Jesus saved me. But I just shrugged and changed the subject. Drake sighed. I wish I could talk about Jesus, but I never know what to say. I feel like a failure!

That evening, Drake heard the sound of a voice coming from his older sister's room. Who is Melanie talking to? he wondered. He went to see who was there and was surprised to find his sister alone. Melanie was standing in front of the mirror, talking out loud. "What are you doing?" asked Drake.

Melanie turned around and laughed. "Practicing," she said. "Remember when I first started speech class? I hated it. I was scared to get up in front of class, but you know what? I kind of like it now!"

"Aren't you scared anymore?" Drake asked.

Melanie shrugged. "A little, but I'm taking my teacher's advice. He said that just like you have to practice in order to play a musical instrument, you have to practice to become a good speaker. He told us to practice, practice, practice, so I do." Melanie turned around. "I always practice in front of the mirror now so I can see how I look and what gestures I should use. I know I may never be a great speaker, but at least I'm getting better at expressing what I want to say." She grinned at her brother. "You can stay and listen to my speech if you want to."

"Thanks," said Drake, "but I think I'll pass." He walked away as Melanie began her speech again.

Practice, Drake thought as he went to his own room. That's what I should do too.

When Melanie passed Drake's room a little later, he was standing in front of his mirror. "I'm a Christian," Drake said. "Can I tell you about it?" He cleared his throat. "I'm a Christian," he repeated. "I believe in Jesus…" Melanie smiled and walked down the hall as Drake continued to practice what he might say if someone asked why he went to church.

-Hazel W. Marett

How About You?
Are you afraid to tell others you know Jesus? Do you have trouble knowing what to say? Practice at home--try talking to yourself in front of a mirror. Then, when you've gotten used to the sound of your own voice talking about God, you may want to practice with a friend or parent. It may seem strange at first, but try it. And then speak up about Jesus whenever you have a chance. Tell others what He's done for you!

Today's Key Verse:
My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord. (NKJV) (Psalm 145:21)

Today's Key Thought:
Practice speaking up for Jesus

The Things You Can’t Lose

Bible Reading: Romans 8:35-39

Patting the front pocket of his backpack and finding nothing, Nathaniel searched all the other pockets. "Caleb, I lost it!" he said, his heart sinking.

Caleb frowned. "What did you lose now?" he asked his friend.

"The little leather Bible my dad gave me for my birthday. He had my name engraved on the front, so it means a lot to me. I shouldn't have taken it to school."

"Probably not, the way you lose things!" agreed Caleb.

When Nathaniel reached his house, he went to the kitchen to find his mom. He was surprised to see his dad there too. "I didn't know you were home," said Nathaniel. "Your car's not in the garage."

"I lost my car keys, so one of the guys at my office brought me home to get another set," Dad explained. "He's waiting out front."

Just then Olivia burst through the back door. "It's terrible!" she wailed. "I'm losing my best friend! Marissa just told me they're moving to Arizona next month."

"Wow!" said Nathaniel. "Dad lost his keys, Olivia is losing a friend, and I lost my new Bible. We're all losing things today. How about you, Mom? Did you lose anything?"

Mom laughed. "Not me! At least not today," she replied. "As your grandma used to say, it's a good thing your heads are fastened on, or you'd lose them too!"

"Yeah!" exclaimed Olivia. "That would be bad."

Dad smiled. "Well, I'm glad there are also some other things--very important things--that we can never lose," he said.

"Like what?" Olivia asked.

"Like the love of God," Dad replied. "God's amazing love is always ours. And how about our salvation? Because God loves us, He offers eternal life to us through Jesus Christ. Anyone who trusts in Jesus is saved from sin and becomes God's child, and nothing can ever separate us from Him."

"Hey, yeah," said Nathaniel. "So even though we lose things, we can't ever lose the really important stuff!"

Olivia nodded as she placed her bag on the table. Then, seeing a strange bulge in the front pocket, she unzipped it. "Hey, Nathaniel," she said. "What's your Bible doing in my backpack?"

-Harriett A. Durrell

How About You?
Do you ever lose things? It's inconvenient if you lose a book, a homework assignment, your favorite baseball cap, or some other thing you're fond of or use regularly. Aren't you glad you'll never lose the most important things--God's love and the hope you have in Jesus? If you trust in Jesus, nothing can ever separate you from Him. You can count on Him for the rest of your life and for all eternity!

Today's Key Verse:
Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT) (Romans 8:39)

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


Bible Reading: Isaiah 53:3-6; Romans 5:1, 6-8

Raelyn reached for a bowl of nuts. She took a pecan and placed it between the jaws of a nutcracker. "Mom, in Sunday school yesterday, we had a lesson on hell," she said in a troubled voice. "It scared me. What if I go there when I die?"

"Hell is a scary place," agreed Mom. "God created it for the devil and his angels. People who refuse to trust Jesus as their Savior will join them there."

Raelyn's brother Andy spoke up. "But if you trust Jesus to forgive you and wash your sins away, you'll go to heaven instead."

"I've trusted Jesus as my Savior," Raelyn said slowly, "but I still worry about hell sometimes." She held the pecan carefully as she squeezed the nutcracker. But the nut slipped away, and the jaws of the nutcracker closed on her finger. "Ouch!" she wailed. She tossed the nutcracker into the bowl. "I don't want to crack nuts anymore," Raelyn said, nursing her finger. "That hurt!"

"You're scared of a little nutcracker?" Andy asked. "Not me! Watch!" He grinned as he put his finger between the jaws of the nutcracker. Then he put a book beside his finger. "Go ahead--squeeze it," he said, holding out his hand. Raelyn obliged, but the book kept the nutcracker jaws open. Andy laughed. "See, it doesn't even hurt!"

"The book took all the pressure Andy should have felt when he stuck his finger in the nutcracker," Mom observed. "That's a pretty good example of what Jesus does for us."

"I think I get what you're saying," said Andy. "We all sin and deserve to be punished for the wrong things we've done, but when we trust in Jesus, He protects us from hell, sort of like the book protected my finger. Right, Mom?"

Mom nodded. "Andy trusted the book to keep his finger safe, Raelyn, and we can trust Jesus to keep us safe, now and for all eternity. He took the punishment for our sin when He died on the cross so we wouldn't have to. We can have the joy of knowing we won't go to hell. Instead, we'll spend eternity with Jesus."

-Hazel W. Marett

How About You?
Do you worry that you might go to hell? Everyone has sinned and deserves to go to hell, but when Jesus died on the cross, He took that punishment for our sin. If you trust in Him, you don't need to worry about going there. If you haven't trusted Jesus as your Savior, don't wait any longer. Trust in Him right now and experience the joy of having your sins forgiven and knowing you have eternal life. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page.)

Today's Key Verse:
Christ carried our sins in his body on the cross…By his wounds you were healed. (ERV) (1 Peter 2:24)

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus took your punishment