Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

Always Light

Bible Reading: Psalm 27:1-5

"Tre, what are you doing out here?" Granddad asked. Tre sat cross-legged on the balcony of his grandparents' apartment. Honking car horns and screeching city buses filled the night air.

Tre scrunched his knees to his chest. "Trying not to think about school," he said, looking down.

"Aw, Tre, I know it's been hard." Granddad put his hands on Tre's shoulders and sat down with him. "Hey, look at that!" Granddad pointed. "Tre, what do you see?"

"Mr. Frank's Fried Chicken sign?" The neon sign across the street gave a red tint to Tre's face.

Granddad chuckled. "Well, yes, that's good too. Real good. But look up even higher." Granddad pointed up into the dark sky.

Tre stretched his neck up and gave a half smile when he saw the moon, then looked back down.

"You see it, Tre?"

"Yeah." Tre twirled his untied shoelace around his finger. Earlier that day, some kids at school had made fun of him for the shoes he wore. Between struggling with math and now kids making fun of him, he didn't even want to think about school. But at the same time, school was all he could think about. He was worried about what would happen the next day and every day after that.

Tre looked up again. The moon was so big and so radiant that not even the city lights or Mr. Frank's Fried Chicken sign could drown out its glow. The moonlight brightened his face.

"Tre, who made that moon?"

"God." Tre smiled.

"That's right, and that moon is always there, even if there are clouds or blinding fried chicken signs making it harder for us to see it." Granddad looked up at the moon. "Just like that moon, God is always there too. Even if it's hard to see Him through the stuff you face at school sometimes, Jesus is still there with you, like a light that never goes out. He saved you from the darkness of sin, and He promises to be with you through all the tough stuff."

Tre smiled, still looking up at the moon. "So, God's like a light?" Granddad nodded. "A light as bright as Mr. Frank's Fried Chicken sign?" asked Tre.

Granddad winked. "Even brighter."

–Amanda Gott

How About You?
What is a tough situation you've faced at school or home? Maybe math or reading or doing homework is hard sometimes. Maybe classmates or siblings have said something hurtful. Whatever your circumstances, God is with you, like a light that never goes out. Jesus promises to always be with those who trust in Him through all life's troubles. Even if it's hard to see Him, He is there--just like the bright moon in the sky.

Today's Key Verse:
The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid? (NIV) (Psalm 27:1 )

Today's Key Thought:
God is always there with you

Soaring Eagle

Bible Reading: Isaiah 40:28-31

Julie loved watching the birds with her grannie. There were so many colorful species to see, and her grannie knew the names of them all.

"It would be fun to fly," Julie said as she watched a bright red cardinal take off from the bird feeder. "Can you imagine soaring into the sky like a bird?"

Grannie smiled. "It would be fun just to see what it's like, wouldn't it?"

"I wonder why God made birds fly and we just have to be boring and walk."

Grannie chuckled. "He must have His reasons."

Julie watched another bird take off and fly through the sky, and she put her arms out like wings.

"You know, the Bible does mention something about us flying," Grannie said.

Julie glanced at her. "It does?"

"In Isaiah, it says that those who hope in the Lord will soar on wings as if they were eagles," Grannie said.

Julie's eyes widened. "Does it really?"

"Yes." Grannie smiled. "But I don't think it's meant to be taken literally--it's not saying we'll physically fly. I think it means that when we put our trust in God, it will feel like we're flying because of the strength, hope, and joy He gives us."

Julie turned toward the window again as a beautiful orange oriole landed on the feeder. She would love to fly like a bird, but she was glad God had made her a human.

A few days later, Julie and Grannie took a walk to look for birds. They saw many beautiful species fly about before her grannie pointed excitedly toward the sky.

"Look, an eagle!" Grannie said.

Julie's eyes widened as she watched the huge bird soar gracefully through the sky. "Wow. That's what God can help us be like?"

Grannie nodded. "Because we trust in Jesus, we can soar like that strong eagle. Jesus gives us strength to face life's difficulties, and one day, when He returns, He will give us new bodies that will never grow tired or weary."

"Wow," Julie said again. It was fun to see how much larger and more majestic the eagle looked than the other birds, and it was amazing to know that God could make her soar just like it.

–Bethany Acker

How About You?
Have you ever seen an eagle fly? The Bible says those who trust in the Lord are like powerful eagles that can fly through the air without growing weary. Whenever we feel tired or weak, we can look to Jesus for strength and remember the hope of eternal life we have in Him. Trust Him to give you strength, hope, and joy so that you can soar like an eagle.

Today's Key Verse:
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (NIV) (Isaiah 40:31)

Today's Key Thought:
God makes you soar

Wear Your Shoes

Bible Reading: Ephesians 6:11-17

Lilly and her family lived in Florida out in the country. Her neighbors were horses on one side and cows on the other. Lilly loved it, but her older sister--not so much. Cora preferred the big city nearby.

Lilly spent most of her time outdoors. She loved to run around their farm and play in the creek on their property. But one thing she didn't love doing was wearing shoes. It was almost always hot outside, so Lilly really didn't see the need.

"Ouch!" Lilly cried out one day. She had stepped on a small cactus again, and a thorn was poking out of her foot. Lilly sat on the ground and carefully pulled it out.

After playing in the creek most of the afternoon, she took off back toward the house. Ouch again! This time she stepped on some sand spurs.

"Did you have fun down at the creek today?" Mom asked when Lilly got home.

"I don't know how you can stand being outside in the heat, playing with who knows what," Cora interrupted.

"It's fun. Today I caught some crawdads, minnows, and baby frogs. But I also caught a cactus thorn and some sand spurs in my feet."

"I hope you left all your creatures at the creek," Cora said.

"I did, and I left the thorn and sand spurs too."

"That's why I always tell you to wear your shoes," said Mom. "It helps keep your feet protected."

After dinner that evening, Mom said, "Our conversation about wearing shoes made me think of some verses I'd like to read to you." Mom opened her Bible and read some verses from Ephesians that talked about putting on the armor of God.

"These verses remind us that the truth and promises of God offer us spiritual protection," said Mom. "When we read the Bible and learn about what it says in church, we are filling our hearts and minds with God's truth. Then when Satan or the world try to throw their lies at us, we are better prepared to fight them off. We can stand firm in the truth that we belong to Jesus and that He is more powerful than evil."

Cora nodded thoughtfully. "I understand those verses better now."

"Me too." Lilly giggled. "And I understand why you tell me to wear my shoes!"

–Lisa Fuller

How About You?
Did you know there is a spiritual battle going on for your heart and mind? This is why the Bible tells us to prepare ourselves by putting on the armor of God. Spend time with Jesus each day praying and reading His Word and spend time with other Christians learning about His truth and promises in the Bible. Fill your heart and mind with God's truths so that you are better prepared to resist Satan's lies.

Today's Key Verse:
Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. (NLT) (Ephesians 6:11)

Today's Key Thought:
Stand firm in God's truth

An Unfair Reward

Bible Reading: Matthew 20:1-15; Ephesians 2:8-9

Jonathan and Maeve ran next door to show their report cards to their grandma. "Good job!" she exclaimed and gave them each a candy bar.

"Grandma gave Maeve the same thing she gave me," Jonathan complained to his mom when he and his sister returned home. "That's not fair! I got better grades than she did, so I should have gotten more."

"That decision was up to Grandma," replied Mom. "Maybe the reward is the same because she loves you both and knows you did your best."

After dinner, Mom baked some cookies. As she took the last pan out of the oven, Jonathan came to the kitchen to see what was baking. "Anyone who wants to try my cookies has to help clean up first," said Mom, so Jonathan started washing bowls and utensils. When Maeve followed her nose into the kitchen a little later, Mom repeated the message. "Anyone who wants cookies has to help clean the kitchen." There wasn't a lot left to do, but Maeve got busy.

"Are the cookies ready?" asked Dad a little later, and Mom repeated the message one more time. Dad looked around, but everything had been washed--even the cookie sheets. Taking a sponge, he wiped the counters.

"Thanks for helping," said Mom, and she handed two cookies to each of them.

"Two for everybody?" objected Jonathan. "Maeve and Dad didn't do as much work as I did. Why do they get the same number of cookies?"

"They responded when I told them I'd give them cookies if they helped, just like you did," said Mom. But Jonathan continued to scowl.

"Time for devotions," called Dad a little later. "Would you read this parable in Matthew for us, Jonathan?" Dad handed Jonathan the Bible.

When Jonathan had finished reading, Dad said, "Grandma and Mom gave equal rewards today--not for equal work, but for equal kindness and generosity on their part. God is like that too. Even though none of us deserve His kindness because of our sin, He offers us forgiveness through Jesus. When we put our faith in Him, He gives us eternal life and helps us serve Him according to the abilities and opportunities He's given us." Dad smiled at Jonathan. "Aren't you glad God's grace isn't fair?"

–Nance E. Keyes

How About You?
Do you get upset when you think you deserve more than others but they get just as much as you? It might help to remember that God offers us a gift none of us deserve. There's nothing we could do to earn eternal life--Jesus earned it for us by dying for our sins so He could share His reward with us. God's grace isn't fair--it's generous and undeserved, and it's better than any reward you could earn yourself.

Today's Key Verse:
For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift. (CSB) (Ephesians 2:8)

Today's Key Thought:
God's grace is generous

The Immovable Rock

Bible Reading: Psalms 18:1-3, 31-32; 121:1-3

Lucy closed her book with a THWAP! "I've studied and studied until I can't even see the numbers on the pages anymore, Mom, but I just know I'm going to fail that math test tomorrow."

"But you've studied hard, and you've prayed about the test too," said Mom. "Now just do the best you can and trust the Lord to help you."

Lucy sighed. "It's just that I keep thinking about how terrible I am at math. I just know I'll do the problems all wrong."

"Lucy, do you remember the time we were out on that big rock at the ocean? It was so big, and we just stayed out there, enjoying all the space. We didn't notice the tide coming in, and we got caught out there, remember?"

"Yeah," said Lucy. "A storm came up before we could get back to shore, and the winds and waves beat against that rock. That was one of the scariest times of my life!"

Mom nodded. "It was scary, all right. Do you remember what Dad said?"

"He told me not to be afraid. He said something like, 'We may tremble on the rock, but the rock will never tremble under us.' And he was right--the rock held firm, and we were safe." She paused for a moment. "Dad said God is our Rock and that even when we face difficult times, we can rest on Him and don't need to be afraid."

"Right," said Mom. "Jesus died to save us from sin so we could have eternal peace and joy with Him, and He promises to be with us and help us in everything we face--in hard times like when Grandpa died last summer, but also in everyday situations like math tests."

"So I didn't even have to study after all?" Lucy said with a grin.

Mom smiled. "You know I don't mean that. You still need to study, and you did, so now you can trust God with the outcome. That doesn't mean things always turn out the way we hope they will--you might still fail the test even though you studied. But whatever happens, God is always faithful and will be there for us. We can trust Him to help us and to use our efforts to do good things."

–Mary Rose Pearson

How About You?
Do you pray about your concerns in life? Do you trust God to help you, or do you focus on your own abilities or circumstances? God loves you so much He sent His Son to die for you, and He cares about everything that troubles you, no matter how big or small it seems. You can trust Him to help you with all your problems, even if it's in a way you don't expect. He's the immovable Rock. Rest on Him!

Today's Key Verse:
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust. (NKJV) (Psalm 18:2)

Today's Key Thought:
Trust God in everything