Keys for Kids Devotional Feed


Beginning to Fly

Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:20-24

"Leave my stuff alone!" Elijah shouted at his younger brother. "Get out of my room right now!"

Mom hurried to see what was going on. When she got to Elijah's room, five-year-old Lance came running out, his eyes brimming with tears. "Elijah! What's the problem?" asked Mom as she sat on the edge of his bed.

Elijah's eyes flashed with anger. "Lance knows he's not supposed to touch anything on my desk, but I caught him holding my clay dinosaur! He could have broken it!"

"Calm down," said Mom. "I'll have a talk with Lance."

"Well, he'd better not touch anything on my desk ever again!" exclaimed Elijah.

Mom listened while Elijah continued to spew his anger. She sat quietly for a moment once he was finished. "Remember that colorful butterfly we saw earlier today?" she asked. "We talked about the big change that takes place while butterflies are in a chrysalis. Do you think they ever try to crawl back into those old things?"

"Of course not," said Elijah. "Why are we talking about butterflies?"

"I was thinking about how much you've been changing since you trusted in Jesus a few months ago. It's clear He's been working in your heart and helping you follow Him and love others. You may not realize it, but you've become more obedient, more patient, and more respectful," said Mom quietly. Elijah stared at the floor as she continued. "Seeing you change is a little like seeing a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis and begin to fly." Mom paused. "God doesn't want butterflies to return to their old homes, or for you to return to your old ways of behaving."

"I guess I haven't been flying very well this afternoon," Elijah admitted. "But Lance is supposed to leave my desk alone!"

"That's true," Mom said. "But don't you think there's a better way to teach him that?"

Elijah sighed. "You mean without shouting or calling him names?" Mom nodded. "I guess I shouldn't have lost my temper," said Elijah. He paused, and then his face brightened. "I'll go find Lance. And don't worry, Mom. I won't yell at him this time."

–Linda Avallone

How About You?
Did you know that when you trust in Jesus, He changes you? He makes you a new person the moment you trust in Him, and He continues to work in your heart throughout your life. That doesn't mean you'll instantly be totally different or that you'll never do anything wrong, but it does mean that God will help you become more like Jesus each day. The changes may seem slow to you, but those around you should see God working in your life. Don't go back to old, sinful habits--try out your new wings!

Today's Key Verse:
If anyone is in Christ…old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. (NKJV) (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus makes you a new person

Dangerous Lies

Bible Reading: 1 Peter 5:8-10

Editor's note: This story's subject matter may not be suitable for young children.

Tayla watched her mother in the mirror as she clasped a necklace around Tayla's neck. They were getting ready to go to a funeral.

"Mom, you've been really quiet this morning," Tayla pointed out.

Mom smiled weakly. "Funerals are always difficult, but this one will be especially hard."

Tayla knew what her mother meant. She had been to only one funeral in her life, and it was for her great-grandmother. Today they were going to a funeral for Jessica, a girl from church. Nobody had told Tayla much about what happened to her--all Tayla knew was that Jessica had taken her own life.

"I just don't get it, Mom," said Tayla. "I thought Jessica was a Christian. How could she do something like this?" Tayla's eyes started filling with tears. She was friends with Jessica's younger sister Summer, and Jessica used to take the two of them out for ice cream when Tayla went over to their house. She seemed like a nice, normal teenager.

Turning Tayla around, Mom hugged her tightly. "Sometimes things happen that we don't understand, but nothing is ever out of God's hands," Mom assured her.

After the funeral service ended, Tayla hugged Summer goodbye and then climbed into the car with Mom. "Mom, is Jessica in heaven?" asked Tayla.

"I don't know, honey," said Mom. "If she truly trusted Jesus as her Savior, she's in heaven."

Tayla was still upset. "I just don't know why she did it."

"Sometimes even Christians listen to the wrong voices," said Mom. "The Bible says that the devil is like a lion, looking for those he can devour. He doesn't want us to believe God's promises--he wants us to believe his own lies, and that's always very, very dangerous." Mom squeezed Tayla's hand. "Always remember that God promises to be with you, Tayla, no matter what. Jesus died and rose again to save you from sin and death and to give you eternal life. Because of Him, you always have hope, even when things seem hopeless. Run to Him when you face pain and difficulties, and run away from Satan's lies."

–Emily Tenter

How About You?
Has Satan been telling you lies? The devil wants to hurt people by telling them God won't forgive them for things they've done or that there's no way out of a difficult situation they're facing. Don't believe it! Jesus died for our sins so we could have life, and He promises to be with us in everything we face. Stand firm in God's truth, and if you or someone you know is having trouble fighting Satan's lies, talk to a trusted adult immediately.

Today's Key Verse:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (NIV) (John 10:10)

Today's Key Thought:
Run from Satan's lies

Dig In

Bible Reading: Hebrews 5:12-14

"Harper sure drinks a lot of milk, doesn't she?" said Layla one day as she watched her baby sister. "You'd think she'd get tired of it."

"Maybe she does," replied Mom. "Shall I fix her a peanut butter sandwich or offer her an apple?"

"No!" Layla laughed at Mom's joke. "I just think milk all the time sounds boring, but I know Harper can't eat sandwiches or carrots or stuff like that. She isn't big enough yet. She doesn't have any teeth to chew with."

"You're absolutely right." Mom smiled. "But before too long she'll be able to have soft foods, like cereal and mashed bananas."

"But it'll be a long time before she can have hamburgers, won't it?" asked Layla.

"Yes, it will," said Mom. "She's got a lot of growing to do before she'll be big enough for that."

Dad held up his roast beef sandwich. "Well, I'm glad I'm big enough to have this," he said with a grin. "But you know what, Layla? Just like human babies slowly grow big enough to eat different things, baby Christians do too."

"Baby Christians?" asked Layla, looking puzzled.

Dad nodded. "When a person first trusts Jesus as their Savior, they're like an infant. Older Christians have to help them understand the milk of God's Word--the easiest verses and stories. Then, as a new Christian grows spiritually, they need the meat of God's Word--the deeper truths of Scripture that are harder to understand."

Layla thought for a moment. "What stage do you think I'm at?" she asked. "I don't think I'm at the milk stage anymore, but I'm probably not quite ready to start chewing the meat of the Bible either. I'm probably at the mashed banana stage, and that sounds pretty gross!" Layla wrinkled her nose.

Dad laughed. "It's not gross at all--no matter what stage we're at, we need the spiritual nourishment of God's Word. As you learn more about Jesus and His promises in the Bible, the Holy Spirit will use the truth of God's Word to feed you spiritually and help you grow. So keep digging into God's Word and growing in the Lord."

–Cathy L. Garnaat

How About You?
Do you listen to Bible stories and look for lessons they're teaching? Are you ready to listen to sermons at church and learn from them? Do you read God's Word for yourself? Don't get discouraged when you don't understand everything. As you read and listen to the truth of God's Word, the Holy Spirit will help you understand more and more as you grow in your relationship with Jesus.

Today's Key Verse:
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (NKJV) (2 Peter 3:18)

Today's Key Thought:
Grow in the knowledge of God

Kyla Is Ready to Quit

Bible Reading: Colossians 1:9-14; Hebrews 12:1-2

Kyla sank down onto the bed, exhausted and upset. "I can't do it."

"Patience," her mom said quietly. "You'll get there eventually."

Kyle shook her head. "I'm not going to," she said, staring over at the door to her hospital room. "I'm not going to be able to walk, and then I'm not going to be able to leave here. I'll be here forever."

"You won't be here forever."

The next day, Kyla worked with a therapist again. This time, she walked even less than she had the day before and then was too tired to go on. Tears filled her eyes as she was helped back to her bed.

"Sweetheart…" Mom pulled her chair close to the bed. "You just need to be patient and keep trying."

Kyla shook her head. "I prayed, Mom. I prayed that God would help me do it this time."

"I'm sorry that things didn't work out the way you wanted," Mom said. "I prayed that you would stay safe, yet you're in a hospital bed. I prayed that you would recover quickly, but things are going slowly." She sighed. "I think God is using this situation to work on us. On both of us."

Kyla frowned. "Why?"

"Maybe to teach us patience," Mom said. "And to help us remember that Jesus is with us and is still at work even when bad things happen." She reached over and ran her fingers through Kyla's hair. "I remember when you were first learning to walk--my baby trying to grow up. You got so frustrated when you fell. And I got frustrated too. I wanted you to get better balance so I wouldn't have to worry about you falling and hurting yourself. It took a lot of tries, but you got better, and I learned to be patient. Eventually, you got it figured out. I believe you'll do the same this time around."

"I wish I could just pray and then be done. Be out of here," Kyla said.

"I know," Mom said. "But healing takes time. I think we need to keep praying and trust Jesus to help us be patient. He endured death on a cross to give us eternal life, and He'll help us endure every trial we go through."

–Emily Acker

How About You?
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like God was trying to teach you patience? It can be hard to endure difficult things that happen in life, but Jesus promises to help us. He is always at work, even when things aren't going well, and He can use those situations to do good things. Trust Him to be with you in the trials you face in life and to endure them with patience.

Today's Key Verse:
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (NIV) (Psalm 27:14)

Today's Key Thought:
Endure trials with patience

No Sneaking In

Bible Reading: John 10:1-10

"Hey, Taj," whispered Caleb after the two boys had gone to bed. "I forgot the lures Dad gave me to bring along tomorrow. I left them in my room." The boys were going on a fishing trip with their church group early the next morning, and Caleb was spending the night at Taj's, who lived a few houses down from him.

"Let's run over to your house and get them," said Taj.

"It's too late," replied Caleb. "Everybody will be sleeping."

"We'll just sneak in so we don't wake anybody up," said Taj. "If we don't do it now, we might forget in the morning." After thinking it over, Caleb agreed.

The boys quietly left the house and hurried to Caleb's home. As expected, the house was dark. "I'll pry the screen off my bedroom window," Caleb whispered. "That way we won't wake anyone up."

Caleb carefully removed the screen and started climbing in as quietly as he could. He had one foot through the window when a voice yelled, "Stop!"

Caleb froze as he recognized the figure of his father towering in the shadows, holding a baseball bat. "It's me, Dad!" Caleb called out. "Me and Taj!"

Dad flicked on the light. "Caleb? Taj? What's going on here? Why are you sneaking in through the window?" Caleb gulped. He knew he and Taj had a lot to explain.

The next day, the boys told their church group leader what had happened. "My dad thought we were burglars," said Caleb. "He was pretty upset. I'm definitely never doing that again."

"You boys trying to climb in through the window instead of using the door reminds me of our lesson last week," said Mr. Bates. "Do you remember what name we learned for Jesus?"

"Um…oh, I know," said Taj. "He's called the door because it's only through Him that anyone can enter heaven."

"Right," said Mr. Bates. "You couldn't sneak into your house, Caleb, just like we could never sneak into heaven. It would be impossible, and we've done nothing to deserve spending eternity with God. But Jesus offers us the incredible gift of salvation--He died on the cross so our sins could be forgiven and we could become God's children. He's the door, the only way we can enter into eternal life."

–Jan L. Hansen

How About You?
Are you trying to sneak into heaven--to get there without trusting in Jesus? You can't do it. On earth, a person might be able to sneak into a house and get away with it. But the only way to be saved and enter God's eternal kingdom is through the Door--Jesus Christ. Trust in Him 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:
I [Jesus] am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved. (NKJV) (John 10:9)

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus is the door to eternal life
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