Keys for Kids Devotional Feed


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

No Throwaway Friends

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

"Emma, don't forget that you need to clean your closet," said Mom.

But the closet was the last thing on Emma's mind as she finished her snack after school. "Wren said she would sit with me at lunch today, but when I went to the lunchroom, she wasn't there. She's been doing lots of stuff like that lately. I'm never going to speak to her again!"

"I know it hurts when friends disappoint us," said Mom. "But instead of dumping her as a friend, maybe you could try to find out if something's wrong. Maybe she's having problems at school or at home."

Emma shook her head. "We're not friends anymore," she declared as she stomped off to clean her closet.

When Emma returned to the kitchen, she was clutching something furry in her arms. "Look what I found in the back of my closet!" she said, holding out her old teddy bear.

Mom smiled. "That old thing," she said fondly. "You used to take him everywhere."

"Teddy was my best friend," Emma said, hugging him closer.

Mom took Teddy from Emma's arms. "Yes, but look at him now. The color is rubbed off his nose, the fur is gone from the back of his head, and--pew! He doesn't smell very good. I think it's time to get rid of him." Mom walked toward the wastebasket.

"No, Mom!" Emma cried, reaching for the bear. "I can't throw him away! He's my friend."

Mom stopped. "Well, okay. But if you want to keep him, you'll have to clean him up a bit." She handed the bear back to Emma. "You're right--we shouldn't throw our friends away, should we?"

Emma hugged Teddy tightly. "You mean Wren, don't you?" She sighed. "I guess I don't want to throw her away either."

Mom rubbed at an old chocolate stain on Teddy's arm. "We all disappoint our friends at times. Sometimes we just need some extra attention like Teddy here--we need a friend who's there for us no matter what. That's the kind of friend Jesus is--He wouldn't ever throw us away. He loves us and forgives us and promises to be with us when things are hard. And because you know Him, you can be the same kind of friend to Wren. With a little extra love, I'm sure she'll be as good as new."

–Katherine R. Adams

How About You?
Have you ever wanted to throw one of your friends away? Maybe they said something mean to you or weren't much fun to be around. But a real friend loves at all times--even when it's hard. That's the kind of friend Jesus is, and because He's a good friend to you, you can be a good friend too. Trust Him to help you be there for your friends, even when things get tough.

Today's Key Verse:
A friend loves at all times. (NKJV) (Proverbs 17:17)

Today's Key Thought:
Be a faithful friend

Buried in the Deepest Sea

Bible Reading: Psalm 103:8-12

"School was rotten today," Kevin said.

"Rotten? Why?" Dad asked. "Was there broccoli in your hot lunch again?"

"No." Kevin grimaced. "But I do hate broccoli. School was rotten because my teacher, Mr. Harper, got arrested for drugs. A bunch of parents are trying to get him fired."

Dad was stunned. "Kevin, are you sure? I've known Ron Harper for years. Is he still in jail?"

Kevin shook his head. "No, it happened fifteen years ago, when he was in college."

"Then why are people talking about this now?" Dad asked.

"Someone found out about it online, so now everyone's mad. I never liked Mr. Harper anyway. He gives tons of homework and quizzes. But the worst thing is, he always says, 'Don't use drugs, not ever, not even once.'"

"Maybe that's because he cares about you and knows from experience that drugs can destroy your life," said Dad. "You know, Kevin, it's easy to believe bad things about someone you don't like."

Kevin shrugged. "Some kids are transferring out of his class. Can I transfer too?"

"I want to hear about this from Mr. Harper himself. I'll see if he can meet me for coffee. Until then, you aren't to gossip about this with anyone, understand? You know the Bible warns against gossip."

"Even if it's true?"

"Especially if it's true," said Dad.

That evening, Kevin's dad called him for dinner. "Kevin, before we eat, let's talk. Mr. Harper told me that it's true he was arrested for drugs in college. He spent many months in jail and paid a big fine, and he deeply regrets doing what he did. He also told your school principal about his arrest before he was hired as a teacher." Dad sighed heavily. "Kevin, don't forget that as Christians, our sins have been buried in the deepest sea of God's forgiveness, and--"

"I know," said Kevin. "If Jesus can forgive us, we can forgive Mr. Harper."

"Absolutely. Forgiveness doesn't always mean we trust people to be in certain positions, but in Mr. Harper's case, I can see he's changed, and I trust him to be a good teacher."

Kevin nodded, then looked toward the stove. "Well, I'm starving. What's for dinner?"

"Broccoli," said Dad. Kevin frowned, but Dad smiled. "Just kidding. I made spaghetti."

–Teresa Ambord

How About You?
Have you heard gossip about someone you didn't like? It can be tempting to believe bad things about somebody else, even without proof. But even if it is true, remember that the only person who ever lived a perfect life without mistakes was Jesus. He forgave us, and we can show the same forgiveness to others.

Today's Key Verse:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (NIV) (Ephesians 4:32)

Today's Key Thought:
As Jesus forgives, so must we

Effort Rewarded

Bible Reading: Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 Peter 4:12-16

Malik was having a difficult day. While he was in the locker room, he overheard some boys laughing because he had been friendly to a new student who was very awkward. Then at lunchtime, some other boys told him Christians weren't allowed to sit at their table. The way they said "Christians" made it sound like something bad.

In math class, something good finally happened. Mrs. Brown announced that the regional math competition would be held the next week. "The students who will represent our school are Amy, Rita, Byron, and Malik," she said. "They'll be staying at the Grand Hotel while they're at the competition. The winning team will get a trophy and go to the state competition next month."

"Wow! That's a cool place to stay. It's got a huge swimming pool and really fancy rooms," said one of the students. "I wish I could go!"

"Well, I can assure you that earning the right to go to the math competition was not easy," said Mrs. Brown. "These students have shown that they're willing to put in the necessary effort to get ready for the competition and do well in it."

When Malik arrived home, he told his mom about his day. "Some of the kids are jealous because I get to go to the competition," he said with a grin. Then he sighed. "But other kids still make fun of me for being a Christian."

Mom looked at him. "Tell me--did you always feel like studying your math?"

Malik shook his head. "Of course not."

"But you studied because you had your mind set on going to the math competition. Now your efforts are being rewarded." Mom smiled. "As Christians, we will one day be rewarded too. You earned your place in the math competition, but there's nothing any of us could do to earn our place in heaven. Jesus earned it for us by dying for our sins so we could enjoy the reward of eternal life with Him. But the Bible warns us that the Christian life isn't easy--we'll experience hardship in our lives just like Jesus did. But we can persevere as we keep our focus on Him, knowing our reward will be greater than anything we can imagine."

–Sam L. Sullivan

How About You?
Do other kids make fun of you for being a Christian? The Bible tells us that even though following Jesus isn't easy, we can rejoice when we suffer for Jesus because it shows that we belong to Him and will share in the eternal reward He earned for us on the cross. Look to Him for the strength you need to persevere, knowing that He is with you and that your reward will be great.

Today's Key Verse:
[Jesus said,] "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me." (NIV) (Matthew 5:11)

Today's Key Thought:
Christians will be rewarded

All Clean

Bible Reading: Psalm 51:7; Romans 6:23; 1 John 1:9

"Cupcake, where have you been? You're filthy!" Jenny said to her puppy. Cupcake was covered in mud and sticktights. Jenny scooped him up and took him straight to the bathtub. "Time to get you clean."

Jenny put lots of puppy shampoo on Cupcake and scrubbed and scrubbed. After the bath, she brushed his fur and removed all the sticktights. "Now, don't do that again," Jenny said as she cuddled her puppy.

"Mom, look at all the sticktights I got out of Cupcake's fur. He was covered in mud too. Boy, was he a mess!"

"He sure looks clean now. His fur looks as white as snow. You did a good job cleaning him up." Mom grinned. "I think you might need a bath now though."

Jenny looked down at her wet clothes and laughed. "I think I do."

Mom was in the kitchen getting lunch ready when Jenny walked in after her bath. "Boy, that feels better. When Cupcake gets dirty, he makes me dirty too!"

As they ate their lunch on the back deck, Jenny asked her mom some questions about what she had learned in Sunday school that week. "Mrs. Nelson taught a Bible lesson on sin and salvation, but I didn't completely understand all that she was talking about," Jenny said.

"Well," said Mom, "just like Cupcake needed the mud and sticktights cleaned off him today, we need to be cleaned of sin. Cupcake couldn't clean himself--he needed you to give him a bath and remove the burrs from his fur. What would have happened if you hadn't cleaned him up?"

"He would still be dirty--and miserable!" Jenny replied. "He'd be getting poked by the sticktights stuck in his fur."

Mom nodded. "Our sin does the same thing--it brings pain and sorrow into the world and separates us from God, and it eventually leads to eternal death. Romans 6:23 tells us, 'For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.' God offers us the free gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus, who paid the price for our sins on the cross. When we trust Him as our Savior, He removes our sin and makes us clean so we can live with Him forever."

–Lisa Fuller

How About You?
Do you know God loves you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for your sins? When you admit that you're a sinner and trust in Jesus, He forgives your sins and makes you clean. It's that simple! You can receive the free gift of salvation and eternal life today. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page or go to www.keysforkids.org/goodnews.)

Today's Key Verse:
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (NLT) (John 3:16)

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus makes us clean
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