Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

Bearing Much Fruit

Bible Reading: John 15:5-6

"Look at all the pumpkins!" Tanner exclaimed, excited to help Aunt Carolyn harvest her pumpkin patch. Orange pumpkins dotted the ground of the huge field.

Aunt Carolyn smiled. "Do you know each pumpkin has five hundred seeds inside?"

"No, but I know pumpkin pie tastes good," Tanner said.

Aunt Carolyn tousled his hair then carefully stepped into the field, making sure she placed her feet in powdery dirt and not on the plants.

Tanner lifted his leg high to avoid stepping on the vine. He stopped by a raised mound of dirt. "What's this?"

"This is where I planted the seed that grew into the pumpkin plant."

"One seed?" Tanner scrunched his face. "One seed made all these vines?" Several vines with large, dark green leaves shot out from the main plant like octopus tentacles stretching and curling across the field. "But there are several pumpkins on each vine!"

"One seed can produce a lot of fruit." Aunt Carolyn patted his shoulder. "After you pick the pumpkins, carry them over to the fence."

"Okay." Tanner plucked a small pumpkin from the plant, then a larger one. As he carried them to the fence, his foot tangled in a vine. He placed the pumpkins on the ground and carefully unwound the plant from his ankle. Once he was free, he gently worked the twisted vine into a straight line, plucking the ripe fruit from it as he went. When he finished, the vine stretched to the fence where Aunt Carolyn stood watching him. "I harvested eight pumpkins from this one runner!" Tanner exclaimed.

"It was a good vine." Aunt Carolyn set down a pumpkin. "It reminds me of Jesus. He provides us with spiritual nourishment, just like a healthy vine helps a pumpkin grow."

Tanner smiled and wiped his brow. "We learned in Sunday school that if we trust in Jesus, we can show His love to others and tell them about Him. Then they may decide to trust in Him too!"

"Right!" said Aunt Carolyn. "By sharing the good news of Jesus, we can bear good fruit just like these pumpkin vines. Planting the seeds of God's love helps others know and follow Him!"

-Rose Ross Zediker

How About You?
Are you bearing good fruit for Jesus? If you know Him as your Savior, He nourishes you spiritually and helps you grow so you can share His love with others. Let Him nourish you as you study the Bible, go to church, and pray. Trust Him to help you love others through your daily thoughts and actions. As you bear His good fruit in your life, you'll be helping God's kingdom grow!

Today's Key Verse:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (NIV) (Galatians 6:9)

Today's Key Thought:
Help grow God's kingdom

God’s Mosaic

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:4-14; Revelation 7:9-10

"Mom, there's so many beautiful things here!" Eliana exclaimed. She and her mom were visiting an art museum, and Eliana stood in awe of the different shapes, sizes, colors, and materials that made up the art displayed around every corner. But one particular piece stood out. "Is that painting sparkly?" asked Eliana.

Mom smiled. "Kind of," she said. "It's actually not a painting. It's a mosaic. It sparkles because it's made of tiny pieces of colorful glass arranged together to make a picture."

"Wow!" said Eliana. "I think we need a mosaic at home."

"You know," said Mom. "You can make mosaics out of anything. You just need a canvas and lots of tiny items in the colors you want. We should make one together."

And so they did. Once they got home, Eliana gathered small items from the craft bin in the colors she wanted, while Mom found a canvas from their supply cabinet. Soon, they were arranging the pieces on the canvas, making a picture of a tree.

As they worked, Mom spoke. "This reminds me of church," she said as she dabbed some glue on a green button and pressed it to the canvas.

"Huh?" asked Eliana.

"I guess that was a little confusing," said Mom with a laugh. "Let me explain. You know how at church everyone has different talents and backgrounds and many people at our church come from cultures different from our own? That's how God designed His church--His family--to be. He wants His people to have all kinds of beautiful differences--just like all the random pieces that make up our mosaic. Together they make up a beautiful church that glorifies Him."

Eliana nodded. "Mosaics are amazing because they are made up of lots of different pieces that create one big picture."

"Exactly!" said Mom. "The canvas holds all the random pieces together. In the same way, as Christians, we gather together in all the amazing ways Jesus made us to worship Him and remember that He saved us through His death and resurrection. That's what unites us and makes us into God's beautiful mosaic."

-Kandi Zeller

How About You?
What are some of the different talents, backgrounds, and cultures in your church? God created us all so differently, and when we become Christians, each of us is also given different spiritual gifts to use in serving the church. God uses the differences He created in us to help us grow in Christ and glorify Him together--just like a beautiful mosaic. As Christians, we are united by Jesus, and through the amazing diversity of His family, He creates a picture of His love and goodness.

Today's Key Verse:
God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. (NLT) (1 Corinthians 12:6)

Today's Key Thought:
The church is united around Jesus

Scattered Seeds

Bible Reading: Proverbs 11:13; James 3:7-10

Isabella sat on the grass and watched her grandmother get ready for a family picnic in her backyard. "Grandma, what should I do when I hear something about someone else and then my friends ask me about that person?" Isabella asked as she picked a dandelion. "Should I tell them what I heard?"

Grandma spread a red-and-white checked tablecloth on the picnic table. "That depends," she replied. "Was what you were told true? Could it hurt the person it was about? Is it something that person would want others to know?"

Isabella carefully picked a dandelion that had gone to seed. She blew hard on the fluffy, white globe, and the seeds drifted in all directions. They landed on the grass like tiny parachutes.

"Repeating bad things about others is called gossip," Grandma continued. She looked at the dandelion stem Isabella was holding. "Why don't you gather up all the seeds you just scattered?"

Isabella looked surprised. "Grandma, that's impossible! The wind blew them all over the place. I could never get them all back."

Grandma nodded. "That's what happens with gossip too. Someone tells you something. You tell somebody who repeats it to someone else, who repeats it to someone else, who repeats it…and on it goes. It's as if the wind carries it in all directions. Gossip can spread quickly, and it's impossible to take it all back."

Isabella twirled the dandelion stem in her fingers. "So I guess I shouldn't tell anyone what I heard."

"Unless it's something an adult needs to know about, I'd say you're right," Grandma said as she set forks and napkins out on the table. "Gossip is hurtful and can even break up friendships. So instead of repeating unkind things we hear about others, we need to trust Jesus to help us be the kind of friend He is. Instead of rumors, we can spread His love and kindness in the way we talk about others."

With a smile, Isabella nodded. "Okay, I'll do that. I'll stop those rumors in their tracks!" Then she got up to help Grandma finish setting the table.

-Jacqueline J. Leaycraft

How About You?
Do you repeat unkind things you hear about others? It may seem harmless, but gossip is hurtful, and the words you say can't be taken back. If it's something an adult should know about, talk to a parent or teacher. But don't gossip about people. Jesus loves them, just like He loves you. Trust Him to help you say only good and helpful things about others so they can hear His love in your words.

Today's Key Verse:
Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (NLT) (Ephesians 4:29)

Today's Key Thought:
Gossip hurts others

God’s Family

Bible Reading: Ephesians 1:3-6

Damian walked over to the window of the pet store, his heart beating excitedly in his chest. He had waited a long time for this moment.

"Are you ready to go inside?" Aunt Rita asked.

A wide smile lit up Damian's face as he nodded. He followed his aunt inside the store and stopped in front of a large wooden hutch. Two plush calico-colored rabbits hopped over one another, eagerly making their way to the food bowl. Damian's eyes drifted to a light-gray rabbit nestled in the corner, its furry chin resting on an extended paw.

Aunt Rita followed Damian's gaze and chuckled. "Something tells me you already picked which rabbit you would like to adopt."

Damian lowered his hand into the uncovered hutch and rubbed the sleeping rabbit's soft, silky fur. "Can we really adopt it, Aunt Rita?" he asked, finding it hard to believe. The past year had been difficult for him with his parents fighting a lot and his father still unable to find a job.

"We sure can," Aunt Rita replied, hugging Damian to her side. "Did you know that God adopts us to be part of His family?"

"What do you mean?" Damian asked.

"Well," said Aunt Rita, "God loves us so much that when we trust Jesus as our Savior, He adopts us as His sons and daughters."

Damian's eyes widened. "So, God is our Father and we become members of His family forever?"

Aunt Rita nodded. "That's right. Think of how much you already care for this rabbit and the happiness you feel knowing it will be part of our family. God feels the same way about us. He takes great delight in adopting us as His children." She squeezed Damian's shoulder. "I know things haven't been easy lately, but remember you're not alone. Because you know Jesus, you're part of God's family, and He promises to be with you and take care of you." Aunt Rita pointed to the rabbit. "Just like I know you'll take care of him."

Damian felt the warmth of Aunt Rita's words wrap around him. Joy filled his heart as he realized how special it made him feel to be included in God's family.

-Ann Garde

How About You?
Do you ever feel like God is far away? Or that you have to face difficult situations alone? Everyone feels like that at times, but God promises us that when we trust Jesus as our Savior, we become His children. He is a kind and loving Father who will always take care of us and be there when we need Him. Are you part of His family? If not, trust Jesus today, and God will make you His child. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page.)

Today's Key Verse:
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. (NLT) (Ephesians 1:5)

Today's Key Thought:
God adopts us into His family

Trace It

Bible Reading: 1 Peter 2:21-22; 1 John 2:3-6

"Mom, why do we do devotions every day?" asked Bo as she picked up a book with colorful illustrations of birds and flowers. "It seems like we get enough Bible teaching by going to church every week." As she spoke, she thumbed through the book she was holding. She studied a picture of a beautiful red cardinal. "I'd sure like this picture for my bird project," Bo said. "Can I cut it out?"

"That would ruin the book. Why don't you trace it?" suggested Mom.

"Good idea." Bo jumped up and found some tracing paper.

Mom watched as Bo worked. "Why do you put the paper right on top of the picture?" Mom asked.

"It's tracing paper," replied Bo, surprised at her mother's question. "I put it on top of the picture so I can see the lines through the paper and trace them."

"But you just saw the picture a minute ago," said Mom. "Why not put the paper to the side and look back at the picture every now and then?"

"Mom! I'm tracing it, not copying it," said Bo. "When you trace, the paper has to touch the picture." She looked at her mother suspiciously.

Mom nodded. "You're right. I'm thinking of your question about having devotions every day. The Bible says our lives should look like that of Jesus--we should follow in His steps and love others the way He does."

"And you're comparing that to tracing a picture?" asked Bo.

"Yes, because in order for you to trace that bird, your tracing paper needs to be right there on the picture, and in order for us to be like Jesus, we need to know what He's like. The Bible is His story--it shows us who He is. As we read and study the Bible--at church and on our own--we learn more about Jesus, and the Holy Spirit helps us apply what we learn to our lives. It's one of the ways He shapes us to be more like Jesus."

"You mean, it's like He's tracing us over Jesus?" Bo lifted the tracing paper and looked at it, then put it back on the picture. "Okay," she said as she traced more lines. "As soon as I'm done with this, let's do our family devotions!"

-Hazel W. Marett

How About You?
Do you live the way Jesus lived? He lived a perfect life that none of us ever could, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can follow in His steps. One way to do that is to spend time reading the Bible so you can learn more about Jesus. It's important to read and study God's Word with other people at church, but it's also good to do it on your own. Learn what Jesus did and said, and then follow in His steps.

Today's Key Verse:
The one who says he belongs to Christ should live the same kind of life Christ lived. (NLV) (1 John 2:6)

Today's Key Thought:
Follow in Jesus's steps