Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

All the Same

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:4-12

"Dad!" Quentin ran into the kitchen. "Tell Chloe not to put the little animals in the Noah's ark until the big ones are in. That's how I do it. They fit better that way. Why can't she do things like I do?"

"Because I'm different," argued Chloe, following her brother. "You're always telling me how I should play games or put puzzles together or color or…or do whatever I'm doing. You think everybody has to do things your way!"

"There's more than one good way to do most things, Quentin," Dad said as he put plates on the table. "Now go tell your mom supper is ready." Quentin scowled and went to get his mother.

After prayer, Dad watched as Quentin put various foods on his plate. "Quentin, should I put all that in the blender for you?" asked Dad.

Quentin looked puzzled. "In the blender? Why?"

"The grains of rice, the chicken, and the carrots and broccoli not only look different, they all taste different too. If I put them in the blender, everything will come out looking and tasting the same," Dad explained.

"Yuck! I like them all different," said Quentin.

Dad smiled. "So do I. The differences make the food more interesting and enjoyable. That's true about people too. God didn't make people to be the same, like robots. He gave us different personalities, talents, and abilities."

"Yeah, Quentin," said Chloe. "I'm not the same as you!"

"None of us are the same," said Dad. "God made us all different, and we bring glory to Jesus both individually and as His body of believers, the church, through the different ways we do things and help one another. Don't you think that's a good thing, Quentin? Would you really want everybody to be the same and do everything the same way?"

Mom shook her head in confusion. "Did I miss something here?"

"I think our son is discovering the beauty of having everyone be different," Dad explained. "Right, Quentin?"

"I guess so," Quentin said. Then he grinned. "But there are some things that are better when they're blended."

"Like what?" Chloe asked.

"Milkshakes!" Quentin stated triumphantly.

-Tanya Ferdinandusz

How About You?
Do you accept people who are different from you? Are you patient with those who do things differently? Remember that all Christians are part of the body of believers. Each part of a body--the hand, the foot, the eye, and so on--looks and functions differently, but each part is important. Similarly, each person looks, thinks, and acts in a different way and has different skills and talents. But each one is precious and important to God.

Today's Key Verse:
In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (NIV) (Romans 12:5)

Today's Key Thought:
Accept differences in others

Worth It

Bible Reading: Mark 5:1-20

"Hey, buddy," Dad said to Jamal as he cleared away the lunch dishes, "after I help your mom clean up, let's head over to the park."

"Nah, that's okay," Jamal said quietly. "I don't really want to go."

"That doesn't sound like you," said Dad. "You usually love going to the park. What's up?"

Jamal hesitated, then said, "I heard a couple of ladies talking at church this morning about how difficult it must be for you and Mom to take care of me with my disability. I feel like it's not fair you have to do all these extra things for me that other kids don't need. You have so much to do; it's not worth your time."

Dad put his hand on Jamal's shoulder. "What was our lesson about in Sunday school this morning? And you better remember, because I'm your Sunday school teacher!"

Jamal chuckled. "It was about the demon-possessed man Jesus healed."

"Yes," Dad said, reaching for his Bible. "But there's something significant about that story I didn't have time to talk about this morning. In the chapter before, Jesus spends all day preaching on one side of the lake and then asks His disciples to take Him across the lake in a boat. They endure a terrible storm during the night that Jesus silences with just His words, then arrive safely on the shore where the man is living among the tombs. Then look here--after healing the man, where does Jesus go next?"

Jamal looked at the verse. "Back across the lake."

"That's right. So Jesus took the time, and the disciples' time, and risked all their lives in that storm just to go find one man everyone else had given up on." Dad looked Jamal in the eyes. "Jesus believed that one individual was worth all His time and energy that day. Do you think Jesus feels any differently about you?"

Tears filled Jamal's eyes as he shook his head.

"In fact, Jesus is so sure of your worth that He died on the cross for you," Dad said.

"So what you're saying is, if I'm that important to Jesus, I'm pretty important to you and Mom too, right?"

Dad smiled and called toward the kitchen, "Hey, honey, is Jamal pretty important to us?"

Mom looked up from the dishes and grinned. "You better believe it! Now you two better head to the park before all that good sunshine is wasted!"

-Karen McMillan

How About You?
Do you sometimes have a hard time believing you are worth it? Maybe you feel the stress of others and think you are just too much for them to handle. Jesus never feels that way about you. He created you for a purpose, and He sacrificed His life for you. You are worth loving!

Today's Key Verse:
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God…Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (NIV) (Luke 12:6-7)

Today's Key Thought:
You're worth it to Jesus

Jesus’s Library

Bible Reading: John 20:31; 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Friday was Maribel's favorite day of the week! Because on Fridays after school, Maribel and her mom went to the library to look for books. And today was no exception.

As the library doors swooshed open, Maribel breathed in the familiar scent of book pages. She headed over to her favorite section--fiction--and began to take in each of the colorful spines lined along the shelves.

Her mom didn't have a favorite section though. She would go up and down the different aisles, always ending her search with a pile of books about lots of different subjects.

"Mom," asked Maribel as they drove home, "how do they keep track of all the books at the library?"

"They use something called the Dewey Decimal system," Mom said. "There are numbered sections for different subjects and types of books. They have sections for books about history, science, art, travel--anything anyone would want to read about, really."

"Wow!" said Maribel. "That's a lot of different types of books."

"Yes," said Mom. "Did you know that there's a very special type of book that includes a whole library?"

"No way!" said Maribel. "What book is that?"

"It's the Bible," said Mom. "It's made up of many different types of books written by lots of different people who were empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Bible includes history, law, poetry, prophecy, songs, letters, and more!"

"That's so cool!" said Maribel. "How did people know what books to put in the Bible?"

"God is so creative," Mom said. "He guided the people who wrote the books of the Bible in a very special way called 'inspiration.' Then He guided other people in helping choose which books belonged in the Bible, His library. That's how we can know the Bible is true. God wrote it, using human people who trusted in Him and listened to Him. And the people who chose the books in the Bible knew the story of Jesus and listened to the Holy Spirit to figure out which books proclaimed that story well."

"So, if the Bible is a library, then Jesus is the librarian?" asked Maribel.

"Yes," said Mom. "And we can trust Him to tell us His story."

-Kandi Zeller

How About You?
Did you know the Bible has different genres--books on different subjects with different styles of writing? The amazing thing about the Bible is that even though there are lots of different books, genres, and writers, it all tells the same story: Jesus died and rose again to beat sin and death! What questions do you have about the Bible? Talk with your parents, pastor, or another Christian adult about them today.

Today's Key Verse:
He [Jesus] is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name. (NLT) (Acts 10:43)

Today's Key Thought:
The Bible is a library

All Is Not Lost

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:51-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Desperately, Erica tossed items from her closet onto her bedroom floor.

"What's going on?" Mom asked as she walked into the bedroom.

"I have to find them!" Erica cried, digging even faster through toys and clothes in the closet. "It's all I have left of Grandma."

Mom sat down on the bed. "What's all you have left?"

Erica sighed. "I woke up crying this morning because I miss Grandma so much, Mom. And then I realized I've lost all my special gifts from her. The watch from last Christmas? It cracked when I fell on stage during that skit at summer camp. The gold necklace snagged on my sweater, and the chain broke. And you know that starfish tank at the aquarium, where you can reach in and touch them? Well, the bracelet with the purple stones Grandma gave me fell in there on our field trip. Only I didn't notice until we'd gotten home." Erica sniffled. "Now all I have to remember Grandma are the green polka-dotted socks she got me last summer."

Mom looked at the items piled on the floor. "So that's why you're digging through your closet."

Erica nodded and wiped her eyes. "What if I never find those socks?"

Mom scooted closer to Erica. "Honey," she said, "you remember at Grandma's funeral, how Pastor Nate shared about Grandma's love for Jesus--how she had placed her faith in Him as her Savior, trusting Him to forgive her sins and give her eternal life?"

Erica nodded. "Grandma told me a lot about Jesus. She explained that, when we put our faith in Jesus, we live forever with Him. Even after this life is over. Is that right, Mom?"

Mom smiled. "That's exactly what God tells us in the Bible. Those who trust in Jesus and come into His kingdom have eternal life. So, even though Grandma's not here with us now, we know she's with the Lord, and one day, when He comes back, He'll raise her from the dead!"

"And we'll see her again, right? If we put our hope in Jesus, we'll be with Him forever. And with Grandma too," Erica added. "You know, even if I don't find those socks, I think Grandma won't feel too far away."

-Allison Wilson Lee

How About You?
Have you lost someone close to you? Jesus knows how hard it is to lose a person you love. It's normal and natural to miss family members or friends who have died. But for those who trust in Jesus, death is not the end. In Him, we have eternal life and the promise of resurrection. We can grieve with the hope that we'll be reunited with our loved ones who have trusted in Jesus when this life on earth is over.

Today's Key Verse:
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die." (NIV) (John 11:25)

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus gives His followers eternal life

Flying Words

Bible Reading: Proverbs 15:1, 4; Ephesians 4:29-32

"Hey, Steve! Check out the progress I've made on my coloring book!"

Miffed by his little sister's insistent nudge, Steve barked a quick-tempered, "Not now, Lily! Can't you see I'm trying to sleep?"

"Guys, please try to get along," Mom chimed in. "We'll be at our next stop in just a few hours."

"A few hours? You mean, for all that time, I have a choice between staring at cows or having to comment on coloring technique?"

Just as Steve let out a big sigh, a large dump truck pulled in front of his family's van. He could just make out the words on the back, which read, "Driver not responsible for flying debris. Stay back."

"What?" Steve exclaimed. "Did you see that sign? How can a truck launch a rock or whatever out the back of it and be completely inculpable?"

Dad, using an over-the-shoulder lane check to make brief eye contact with his son, said, "First of all, I can tell you've been working on those vocab words, so well done."

Steve cracked a grin. He'd recently learned that inculpable was another word for innocent or blameless.

"And I'm glad you caught those words on that truck, because they remind me of something that happened just a few moments ago when you snapped at your sister," Dad continued. "I know you're tired. We're all tired and cranky right now, but you chose to throw gentleness out the window because of that. If you think about it, it's not much different from a truck not being responsible for what flies out of it at any moment, right?"

Steve was completely caught off guard. "I…I guess."

Dad smiled in the rearview mirror. "That truck may not claim responsibility for what comes flying out of it, but we're responsible for our words and attitudes toward others. And, because we trust in Jesus, we can control them. We have the power of the Holy Spirit, who helps us speak kind, loving words--even when we're cranky."

Pulling his gaze off a sea of bovines--another vocab word that meant cows--Steve shifted toward his sister. "Lily, I blew it. I let my words fly at you. I'm bored and tired, but that's no excuse for how I spoke to you just now. Will you forgive me?"

"Course!" Lily grinned. "Want a gummy bear?"

-Sara Woodard

How About You?
Have you ever hurled unkind words at someone? Like rocks blown off a truck, flying words can cause serious damage and hurt people. But if you know Jesus, He gives you the power to control your words. Trust Him to help you speak to others with love and kindness--even when you feel tired and cranky.

Today's Key Verse:
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (NIV) (Proverbs 18:21)

Today's Key Thought:
Control your words