Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

Feeding Yourself

Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 4:11-16

"Mom, look at Tommy!" Avery laughed as her little brother waved his spoon and smeared mashed potatoes over his face. He dipped the spoon back into his bowl and then put it to his mouth. "Big boy!"

Avery cheered. "You got it all in this time."

"Pretty soon he'll be eating everything by himself," said Mom. She patted Tommy's curly head as she reached for a spoon to feed him the last bit of food from his bowl. Then she handed him his cup of milk. "There you go. You can finish that while Mommy clears the table."

"Can I be excused?" asked Avery. "I need to finish my history project for school."

Mom nodded. "And if you haven't had your devotions yet, do that too before you watch TV."

Avery sighed. "Sometimes I think I might as well skip having devotions by myself. I don't understand the Bible very well. I get a lot more out of our family devotions because you and Dad explain things I don't get. Why can't I just wait until I'm older to read the Bible on my own?"

Mom looked at her thoughtfully. "What if Tommy wouldn't try to feed himself until he was…oh, maybe ten years old? Would that be a good thing?"

"No," said Avery. "That wouldn't be good at all!"

"Right," said Mom. "We're happy to help him when he needs it, but we're also glad to see him try to feed himself--even when he misses his mouth and makes a mess. As he practices, he'll become better at it."

Avery smiled at Tommy. "He's getting better already."

"Well, the Bible is like spiritual food," Mom said. "As we learn the truth of God's Word, the Holy Spirit uses it to strengthen our faith and nourish our souls. You take in spiritual food by learning about the Bible at church and during devotions with the rest of us, which is very important, but it's good for you to learn to feed yourself spiritually too."

Avery glanced at Tommy's messy face. "When I don't understand what I read, I guess it's kinda like I missed my mouth," she said with a grin.

Mom laughed. "Then you can ask for help. But don't stop trying. Learn to get some spiritual food all by yourself."

-Hazel W. Marett

How About You?
Are you learning to feed yourself spiritually? As you learn to read the Bible for yourself, you may not understand every word, but as you keep at it, you'll understand more and more. The Holy Spirit will teach you. He will also use people--like parents, pastors, or teachers--to answer your questions when you need help. Take time to read God's Word, and ask for help when you need it.

Today's Key Verse:
Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow up into your salvation. (CSB) (1 Peter 2:2)

Today's Key Thought:
Read the Bible for yourself

Gimme! Gimme!

Bible Reading: Luke 17:11-19

"Did you enjoy working in the nursery this morning, Kylee?" Mom asked as they headed home after church.

"I did--except for one little kid named Jalen," Kylee replied. "The only thing he said all morning was gimme! 'Gimme that toy. Gimme a juice box. Gimme, gimme, gimme!'"

Kylee's brother Micah grinned. "Sounds like you," he teased.

Kylee rolled her eyes. "Jalen doesn't appreciate anything you do for him or give him," she said. "Somebody should teach that kid to say thank you. Instead, the minute he gets what he wanted, he wants something else!"

"That's what two-year-olds are often like," Mom told her.

"In fact, it's what all of us are like sometimes," said Dad. "What Micah suggested isn't so far from the truth."

Kylee's mouth dropped open. "Dad!" She didn't like being compared to a two-year-old.

Dad laughed. "Relax, Kylee, I'm not just talking about you. I'm talking about all of us. We can all have a 'gimme' attitude at times--adults included."

"Adults?" Micah laughed. "They ask for juice boxes?"

"Well, maybe not that," said Mom. "But does this sound familiar? 'Dear God, please help me find a new job…and help the kids study hard and get good grades in school.'"

"And help me get a hit in our next ball game!" Micah chimed in.

"And help me eat healthier and exercise," added Dad with a grin.

Kylee laughed. "We all ask for a lot, don't we? I guess the world must seem like a great big nursery to God."

"You may be right," said Dad. "But even if we sound like a nursery full of small children, we're God's children, and Jesus tells us to bring our troubles and concerns to Him in prayer. He loves us and promises to help us with our problems. When we bring Him our requests, we should also remember to thank Him for saving us from sin and answering our prayers."

"I know I'd like to hear thank you from Jalen once in a while," said Kylee. "I guess working in the nursery will help me be more thankful when I ask Jesus for things."

"That's one thing we can all ask Jesus to give us right now," said Dad. "A thankful heart."

-Heather M. Tekavec

How About You?
How do you sound when you talk to God? Do you sound like a little kid who asks for one thing after another and doesn't seem to appreciate what he has? Or do you take time to thank Jesus for all He's done for you? God loves you and wants to give you good gifts. Bring your problems and requests to Him in prayer, but do it with a heart full of gratitude for all He has given you.

Today's Key Verse:
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. (NKJV) (Psalm 107:1)

Today's Key Thought:
Thank God for His goodness

A Friend to Count On

Bible Reading: John 15:13-15; Ephesians 5:1-2

"Elena, wait a minute!" Hearing someone calling to her just as she was about to walk out to the bus, Elena paused.

Riley, a friend from school who had recently started attending Elena's church, approached her. "Can you help with the fall cleanup at church on Saturday?" she asked. "My family signed up to help, but no other kids I know are coming. It'd be really nice to have a friend there!"

"This Saturday?" asked Elena. "Um…I think my family might be out of town." She knew that wasn't likely, but she didn't want to spend her Saturday raking leaves.

Two days later, Elena walked into the kitchen as she talked on the phone. "Please, Nora," she said. "I need someone to quiz me…" She paused. "Okay, fine! Goodbye!"

"What's wrong, honey?" asked Mom.

"It's Nora!" Elena plopped down into a chair. "I spent two whole hours helping her study for her English test." Elena held up two fingers. "Two hours!" she repeated. "But when I asked her to help me with my science test, you know what she said? 'No way! I hate science!'" Elena scowled. "Nora's supposed to be my friend."

"I can understand how you feel," said Mom. "It hurts when we give our time and energy to help a friend but they won't return the favor. Let this be a reminder to be a faithful friend yourself--a friend like Jesus, who sacrificed so much when He became human and died for our sins so we could be His friends forever. Like Him, we should be willing to make sacrifices in our friendships too."

As Mom spoke, Elena remembered how Riley had asked her to come to the fall cleanup that weekend. Riley's always been a good friend to me, but I wasn't there for her when she needed a friend, Elena thought. I wasn't willing to sacrifice my Saturday for her.

Elena got up. "I've got to call Riley," she said. "She asked me to help with the fall cleanup at church on Saturday, and I want to tell her I can be there after all."

-Beth Ingram

How About You?
Are you a good friend to others--a friend like Jesus? Are you willing to make sacrifices when your friends ask for help? Or do you put yourself and your own needs first? Jesus sacrificed His life so we could be His friends and have eternal life with Him. He is always faithful and available to help you when you need Him. As His friends, we should imitate His love in our friendships with others. Be the kind of friend He is--one your friends can count on.

Today's Key Verse:
There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. (NLT) (John 15:13 )

Today's Key Thought:
Be a friend like Jesus

The Wrong Road

Bible Reading: Ezekiel 18:30-32; John 14:1-6

"Oh no!" exclaimed Uncle Dave as he noticed a road sign. "I was so busy talking that I missed the turnoff to the lake--about five miles back. I shouldn't have muted my phone."

Zeke looked at the map on Uncle Dave's phone. "According to this, if we stay on this road, we won't get anywhere near Black Lake." He looked at his uncle. "When you're on the wrong road, the sooner you turn around, the better." As Uncle Dave turned the car around, Zeke said, "All right, fish! Here we come! I hope you're biting today."

Uncle Dave laughed. "I hope they're biting too!" As they headed back in the direction they had come, he added, "I'm looking forward to having you come to church with me again this week."

"I was going to come, but…" Zeke hesitated. "It's just that, well, Mom and Dad don't think it's important to go to church, and I'm not sure I want to get into that religious stuff either."

"I'm sorry to hear that," said Uncle Dave. "Last week you said you really liked Pastor Green's message. You even said some of the things he talked about were beginning to make sense to you--like why Jesus had to die to save us from sin."

"Yeah, but…I don't know." Zeke sighed. "I don't really feel like getting into all that Jesus stuff right now. My friends would think I'm crazy. Maybe someday, but for now, well…I know I'm not perfect, but I'm not so bad either."

"The road we were just on wasn't a bad road," said Uncle Dave. "So why didn't we just continue going the way we were?"

"It doesn't go to Black Lake," said Zeke. "We'd never have gotten there."

"That's right. Like you said, when you're on the wrong road, the sooner you turn around, the better. That's true when it comes to life too. The Bible says there's only one way that leads to eternal life, and that's through Jesus. Think about it, buddy. Don't let anybody or anything keep you from turning around when you're going in the wrong direction in life."

Zeke pointed. "There's our turn!" Uncle Dave got on the road toward the lake, and as they drove, Zeke thought about his uncle's words.

-Sherry L. Kuyt

How About You?
Do you need to go in a different direction in life? You do if you haven't trusted Jesus as your Savior. In today's Bible reading, God told Israel to turn away from sin and turn to Him. He wants you to do that too. Don't let habits, the opinions of others, or anything else keep you on the wrong road. Trust in Jesus now! (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page.)

Today's Key Verse:
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (NKJV) (John 14:6)

Today's Key Thought:
Turn to Jesus

The Little Toe

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

"I wish I could do something important at our special church service this week," Ranya said with a sigh. "Baylee, Hope, and Leah are singing a trio, Dexter and Aaron are going to play a trumpet duet, Roman's playing the piano, and Elodie's going to read her poem about prayer. Everybody's doing something--except me!"

"I thought you were helping in the nursery," said Mom.

"Oh, I always do that," said Ranya. "I'd like to do something that's really important for once."

Ranya's older brother, Tarek, limped into the room. "How's the toe you hurt yesterday?" asked Mom.

"Much better," said Tarek, sinking into a chair, "but it still hurts." He lifted his foot onto a stool. "I never realized how important a little toe is. I didn't ever think about my little toes until I hurt this one!"

Mom smiled. "Did you look at your little toes this morning, Ranya?" she asked.

Ranya laughed. "I don't think I did. How about you, Mom? Did you?"

"No, but I combed my hair and looked at my face," Mom said. "Did you do that too?"

"Sure," Ranya replied. "What are you getting at?"

"I'm just pointing out that we normally pay more attention to some parts of our bodies--like our hair and faces--than we do to others," said Mom. "Tarek reminded us that even our little toes are important, yet we don't pay much attention to them."

"And?" asked Ranya. "I know you've got some lesson in mind for us."

"Well, it's also like that with Christians," said Mom. "The Bible refers to us as the body of Christ. Together, we share the truth and love of Jesus with the world."

"Oh, I know what you're going to say now," said Ranya. "That my job in the nursery is just as important as the stuff the other kids are doing."

Mom grinned. "It is! But we tend to pay more attention to the people who are up in front and often fail to notice those who work in the nursery, provide coffee and snacks, or clean the church. But Jesus notices them, and He uses their faithful service to bring more people to Him. That's what counts."

"Okay, Mom," said Ranya. "I'll remember that while I hold crying babies!"

-Hazel W. Marett

How About You?
Do you feel like no one notices the things you do for the Lord? Some jobs may seem more exciting or important than others, but the attention and praise of people is not what matters. Jesus sees how faithfully you do the work He has given you at church, school, and home, even when others don't notice. Each task is important in His sight as we work together to show the world who He is.

Today's Key Verse:
Those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. (NKJV) (1 Corinthians 12:22)

Today's Key Thought:
You are important and needed