Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

A Gift of Me

Bible Reading: Galatians 5:13-14; 6:9-10

Fifty cents is all the money I have left, and that won't buy much of a gift for Mrs. Morgan, Ivy thought as she passed Mrs. Morgan's house. It was just the kind of day her neighbor liked--cool air and lots of bright sunshine. But Mrs. Morgan was sick and in the hospital. I hope she has a window in her hospital room, thought Ivy.

When Dad came home, Ivy asked if he had any idea what gift she could get Mrs. Morgan with only a little money. Dad thought about it. "I don't know. Do you want me to add some money to what you already have?"

"No--it wouldn't really be from me then," said Ivy. "I want to get something for her with my own money."

"Then how about an advance on your allowance?" suggested Dad.

Ivy hesitated. "I guess that would be okay. I thought about earning some more money, but Mrs. Morgan is the only one who ever hires me to help her." She looked at Dad. "Is there anything I could do for you to earn money?"

"Well, maybe," said Dad. "But Ivy, there are many ways of giving. Your gift to Mrs. Morgan doesn't have to be something you buy. The Bible tells us to bear one another's burdens. What do you think that means?"

Ivy thought for a moment. "I think it means we should help others when they're going through hard times."

"Right," said Dad. "Maybe your gift to Mrs. Morgan could be something to show her that you're sharing her troubles. That's the kind of gift God gave us when He sent us His Son. Jesus took our sins on Himself when He died on the cross, and He promises to be with us through every struggle we face, giving us strength and comfort. When we help others in their struggles, we give them the gift of ourselves, just like Jesus did."

Ivy thought about how Mrs. Morgan was a widow with no family living close by. I'll try to go see her a couple times a week, she thought. And I don't think anyone's watering her plants or bringing her mail in--I can do those things too! I'll do all I can to help Mrs. Morgan.

–Daryl B. Knauer

How About You?
Do you know someone who needs help? Maybe you have a friend who is sick or a neighbor who can't keep up with their yard work. Is there a way you could help that person bear their burden? Perhaps you could help them by raking leaves, running errands, or just stopping by to visit every once in a while. When you share other people's burdens, you lighten their load and show them Jesus's love.

Today's Key Verse:
Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. (NLT) (Galatians 6:2)

Today's Key Thought:
Help others

Blind Spots

Bible Reading: Job 29:1-3; Psalm 119:105

"How did your driving test go?" Alex asked her older sister when Becky walked into the house with Dad.

Becky gave a sigh. "I failed!"

"What happened?" asked Alex.

"I nearly got into an accident. I was trying to change lanes and a car appeared from nowhere and I almost crashed into it!" exclaimed Becky. "The examiner said I had to be careful of blind spots."

"Blind spots? What are those?" asked Alex.

Dad answered, "Well, in driving, a blind spot is an area around your car, usually behind the driver's shoulder, that you can't see with mirrors. You must turn your head to check for cars before you change lanes."

"Yup, and I just looked at the rearview mirror and didn't see the car right next to me," said Becky. "I forgot to turn my head to look for cars."

"Hopefully with more practice you'll remember," said Dad. "But there's another kind of blind spot we can't see ourselves--we need someone else to point it out to us."

"Does that mean no one should ever drive alone?" asked Alex.

Dad chuckled. "No, I'm not talking about a blind spot around a car. I'm talking about an area we can't see in our spiritual lives, like weaknesses or things we've done wrong that we're not aware of."

"What should we do then? Turn our head?" asked Alex.

Dad smiled. "We turn to God's Word. The Bible shows us our sin, and God also puts people in our lives who can help us see our shortcomings. Then, when we see what we've done wrong, we need to turn to Jesus for forgiveness and trust Him to guide us and lead us the right way."

Becky nodded thoughtfully. "You and Mom always correct me when I say something rude without realizing it."

"And you remind me not to whine and complain," said Alex.

"Well, we all have our blind spots," said Dad. "When people point out our mistakes, we become aware of them. Then we can ask Jesus to forgive us and help us change."

"We need God's light to guide us and help us see," commented Becky.

"Well said, Becky," said Dad with a smile.

–Kelly Choy

How About You?
Do you know your blind spots? You can't see them yourself--you need God to show them to you through the truth of His Word. He often uses people to help you see them too. When someone points out something you shouldn't have said or done, be thankful that you can now see that blind spot. Then turn to Jesus, who died for your sins and promises to forgive you. Trust Him to guide you as you live in His light.

Today's Key Verse:
[Jesus said,] "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (NIV) (John 8:12)

Today's Key Thought:
Let Jesus guide you

What’s in the Water

Bible Reading: Luke 6:45; James 3:8-13

"Your turn to pray, Carlos," said Maria when their family sat down to eat.

"Okay." Carlos bowed his head. "Thank you, God, for this day and this food…"

When Carlos looked up a moment later, he groaned. "Oh no! Not broccoli again! I hate broccoli--and I don't like chicken fixed like that!" But Carlos knew he had to eat some, so he took a small portion from each dish. "This weather is way too hot," he complained between bites.

Dad frowned. "Carlos, do you think God heard your prayer tonight?"

Carlos looked at Dad in surprise. "Of course," he replied.

"And does He hear your grumbling too?" asked Dad.

Carlos looked down at his plate. "I guess so," he admitted.

Dad nodded. "I think so too. After dinner, we'll go out to the pond. I think it has something to teach you."

At the edge of the pond a short time later, Carlos watched as Dad took a bucket and hauled up some water. "Are we going to water the garden?" asked Carlos.

Dad shook his head and held out the bucket. "Here. Have a drink."

"Eww!" exclaimed Carlos. "Dad, you know the water in this pond is filthy!"

"Yes," said Dad, "but you won't be drinking the water in the pond. You'll be drinking the water in the bucket."

Carlos made a face. "If the water in the pond isn't good, the water in the bucket won't be good either. It's the same thing."

Dad nodded. "Right again. What's in the pond comes up in the bucket. That's like something Jesus taught. He said, 'What you say flows from what is in your heart.' Think about your prayer tonight, Carlos--and about what you said after you prayed. You thanked God and then griped about the very things you thanked Him for. I've noticed that attitude more often lately, but you have the ability to change it. Jesus has given you a new, clean heart because He loves you, Carlos--He loves you so much that He died for your sins. Because of that, your words should be rooted in gratitude for everything He's done for you."

Carlos looked at the stuff floating on the water in the bucket. "I'm sorry," he murmured. "I'll tell Jesus I'm sorry too."

–Mary Rose Pearson

How About You?
What kind of attitude do you show others by what you say? The Bible says that our words flow from what's in our hearts. Do your words tell others that you have a thankful heart? Life isn't easy, but if you know Jesus, He is always with you and has given you a new heart so you can share His love and goodness with others. Instead of complaining, thank Him for His goodness to you and tell others about the good things He does for you each day.

Today's Key Verse:
Blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! (NLT) (James 3:10)

Today's Key Thought:
Have a thankful heart

Weeds and Flowers

Bible Reading: Philippians 4:4, 11-13

It's not fair, Tayden thought as he pulled weeds out of the flower beds in front of his house. All my friends are at the water park today, but because I can't get the bandage on my foot wet, I'm stuck weeding. He thought of everything that had happened that week. First he cut his foot on a piece of glass and had to get stitches. Then his bike was stolen. And yesterday his best friend told him he couldn't come to Tayden's birthday party because his family would be on vacation then. What a horrible week, thought Tayden as he yanked another weed out of the ground.

Later that day Grandpa came over and looked at the garden Tayden had been weeding. "You did a good job," said Grandpa. He pointed to one of the flower beds. "Those bright pink blossoms sure are pretty."

Tayden looked at the flowers. "They must've just bloomed this afternoon. They weren't there when I weeded this morning."

Grandpa laughed. "Actually, I saw them when I was here a few days ago. They're so bright, I'm surprised you missed them."

"I guess I was too busy looking for weeds to notice them," said Tayden.

Grandpa nodded. "It's funny how our eyes miss things like that sometimes when we're not actively looking for them." He scratched his head in thought. "That can happen in life too. Sometimes we only see the weeds in our lives--the bad things that happen to us. We're so busy fretting and complaining that we don't notice the flowers--the good things God has put in our lives."

Wow! That sounds like me, thought Tayden as he recalled his thoughts earlier that day about what a bad week he'd had.

"Life is far from perfect," said Grandpa. "Yet we have so much to be thankful for. We have the hope of eternal life with Jesus, who gave His life to save us and be with us forever. He fills our lives with love, grace, joy, and other blessings every day, even when things are hard. If we only focus on the bad things, we might miss the beautiful blooms of God's blessings."

Tayden gave his grandfather a little smile. "Okay, Grandpa. I'll be on the lookout for the good things God has given me."

–Hannah Banura

How About You?
Do you often worry and complain about what's going on in your life? Does it seem like everything that happens to you is bad? Even though you may have some bad things to deal with, Jesus promises to help you. He died for your sins so you could experience the blessing of knowing Him as your Savior, and He fills your life with many daily blessings too. When you look for life's flowers, you'll soon see the many good things God has given you.

Today's Key Verse:
Be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, "I will never fail you. I will never abandon you." (NLT) (Hebrews 13:5)

Today's Key Thought:
Focus on good things

Different Kinds of Seeds

Bible Reading: Galatians 6:7-10

Mia and her brother Caden were getting ready to plant a small vegetable garden. "I'll get the seeds," said Caden. "They're in my room."

But Caden soon returned empty-handed. "I put the seeds on my desk, but they're gone!" he said. "Let's go ask Mom if she's seen them." Mia and Caden found Mom busily washing dirt off their little sister's face and arms. "How did Libby get so dirty?" asked Caden.

"She was playing outside--digging in the flower beds," Mom answered.

"I wasn't playing," said Libby. "I was planting a garden. I found the seeds on Caden's desk, so I planted 'em for you."

"You what?" Mia was shocked. "You don't know how to plant a garden!"

"Do too!" said Libby. "I dug a big hole and put all the seeds in it."

"They weren't yours!" yelled Mia. "You stole them, you little thief!"

"That's enough, Mia," said Mom.

"Well, she did!" Mia exclaimed. "And everybody hates thieves--including me!" She turned and ran to her room.

Mom came in a little later. "Mia, do you remember what we read this morning?"

"Um…something from the Bible about reaping what we sow," mumbled Mia.

"Yes," said Mom. "It was wrong of Libby to use those seeds, but what you planted was worse."

"I didn't plant anything," said Mia. "Libby stole our seeds, remember?"

"You planted a seed of hate between you and your sister," said Mom. "Do you want that seed to grow and reap hatred back from Libby?"

Mia sighed. "I…I didn't mean what I said. I was just mad."

"I know," said Mom. "But when we sow mean, angry words, it's going to have an effect on our relationships. That's why we need to trust Jesus to help us love others the way He does and be patient with them. Because He loved us enough to save us by dying for our sins, we can sow seeds of love in our relationships with others."

Mia nodded. "I'll tell Libby I'm sorry. And maybe we could buy some more seeds so I can teach her how to plant them the right way."

"I think that's a great idea," said Mom. "And I think you're learning how to plant some other seeds the right way too--seeds of kindness."

–Tiare A. Street

How About You?
What kind of seeds do you sow? How do you react when people do things you don't like? The Bible says you reap what you sow, meaning that what you plant in your relationships with others is what will grow over time. You sow seeds by the way you treat others. Trust God to help you sow seeds of love that will produce a fruitful harvest of the love He has shown you.

Today's Key Verse:
Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. (NKJV) (Galatians 6:7)

Today's Key Thought:
You reap what you sow