Keys for Kids Devotional Feed


New Beginnings

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:51-57

Garrett lay in the warmth of the bright sunshine and watched beautiful butterflies flit from one flower to another. "This is the saddest day of my life," he said to his brother Wyatt, who was lying on the ground next to him.

"Yeah, mine too," Wyatt said as he dug at the grass with a stubby piece of stick. "I can't believe Grandma died. She wasn't sick very long at all!"

"I know," said Garrett. "I miss her."

The back door opened, and Mom came out carrying two glasses of juice. "Can I join you?" she asked as she handed each of them a glass. The boys scooted apart, and Mom sat down between them. She had been crying--her eyes were puffy and her nose was red. She closed her eyes and lifted her face toward the warm sun. "The sun feels so good, doesn't it? I'm glad God gave us such a beautiful day," she said as she looked around the yard. "Look at all those pretty butterflies!"

"I guess they hatched from these things," said Garrett, handing a couple of empty gray casings to his mother. "Grandma showed these to me a few days ago. She said the caterpillars in them would turn into butterflies."

Mom smiled and nodded. "Those caterpillars have a new and better life now, don't they?" She put an arm around each of the boys. "Just like Grandma." Tears spilled onto Mom's cheeks. "She left her old, worn-out body, and now she's with Jesus in heaven. Someday her body will be resurrected and made all new and perfect. Can you imagine what she might do then?"

"I never thought about it before, but she told us she used to like running races," said Wyatt. "So she'll probably run a lot when she has a body that doesn't hurt from arthritis anymore."

"Yeah!" said Garrett. "I never thought of Grandma being able to run. She always moved so slowly. Maybe she'll even do cartwheels!"

Mom laughed. "Maybe. We can be sure she's happy and will never feel pain again." Mom wiped her eyes. "But it's still normal for us to feel sad and miss her. Just remember that since we all know Jesus as our Savior, we'll see Grandma again one day."

–Deborah L. Whitsitt

How About You?
Have you been sad when someone you love died? It's okay to feel sad, but remember that when a Christian dies, their soul goes to heaven to be with Jesus. So if your loved one knew Jesus as their Savior and you do too, one day you'll see them again! And someday all those who know Jesus will receive a glorious, resurrected body. Even though we feel sad and miss those who have died, we have hope knowing we will live with Jesus forever.

Today's Key Verse:
When the last trumpet is blown…those who have died will be raised to live forever. (NLT) (1 Corinthians 15:52)

Today's Key Thought:
Christians will get new bodies

Tea for Two

Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 3:26

"I'm ready for my birthday adventure, Grandma!" Emily said. "Where are we going?"

"You'll see. But you'll need this." Grandma handed Emily a big box.

Emily tore off the paper, opened the box, and gasped. "A dress?"

Grandma nodded. "You'll look so pretty. Go get changed, dear."

Emily put on the dress and eagerly followed Grandma out to the car. After a short drive, Grandma said, "Here we are."

"Is this a mansion?" Emily asked as they climbed the stairs to the front door.

Grandma grinned. "It is a mansion. Long ago different families called it home. Now it's a Victorian tea room."

"Is this why we're all dressed up?" Emily asked. Grandma nodded. Once inside, Emily whispered, "Everything's so fancy. And it's so quiet."

A woman in a long black dress greeted them. "Hello, I'm Rachel. How may I help you?"

"My granddaughter and I have reservations."

"You must be Emily, the birthday girl. May I say you look like a princess in your lovely dress." Rachel smiled. "Please follow me." Rachel led them to their table. "I see you've requested the birthday tea for two with lunch. Excellent choice! I'll bring out your tea first."

"Rachel's so nice," Emily said. "I do feel like a princess in my dress with all the beautiful things here."

"Well, Emily, whether you're here, on a soccer field, or anywhere else, you are a princess," Grandma said. Emily looked puzzled. "You are a child of the King of kings," Grandma told her. "God is your heavenly Father."

"And since He's King over everything, that makes me a princess?"

"That's right. The Bible tells us many times that we are God's children because we trust in Jesus. He died for our sins so we could be forgiven and become part of God's family."

As Emily pondered that, Rachel returned carrying a teapot with yellow rosebuds painted on it. She poured Emily's tea. "Would you like sugar or honey?"

"Honey, please," Emily said.

"Sweets for the sweet princess."

Emily's eyes sparkled as she glanced at Grandma. "Rachel, can I tell you something? It's not this fancy dress that makes me a princess. I'm a princess because I'm a child of God, who's the King of kings!"

"I could tell." Rachel smiled. "I'm a child of God too!"

–Lynda Boucher

How About You?
Are you a child of God and a member of His family? When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we become children of God. As His children, our heavenly Father gives us the Holy Spirit to guide and help us as we walk with Him. If you haven't yet trusted in Jesus, do it today, and you will become a child of the King. (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:
Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God. (NIV) (John 1:12 )

Today's Key Thought:
Christians are God's children

Darkness and Light

Bible Reading: Matthew 5:13-16

"Is your homework finished?" asked Gia's mom after dinner one evening.

"Yeah," said Gia. "But you know what, Mom? I like our new apartment, but I wish I could have stayed at my old school. I don't think there's a single kid in my class here who goes to church except me. They seem nice enough, but I miss having Christian friends at school."

Mom nodded as she opened a cupboard door and took out a flashlight and a light bulb. "The light bulb in the bathroom went out," she said. "It's too dark to see in there, so come hold the flashlight for me, will you?"

"Okay," said Gia. She took the flashlight and turned it on.

"Do the kids at school know you're a Christian?" asked Mom.

"Well, I haven't really said anything," said Gia. "I'm not sure what they'd think." She sighed. "It was so much easier to be a Christian at my old school." She turned the flashlight toward the light fixture and Mom quickly screwed out the old bulb and replaced it with a new one.

"Gia," Mom said as they headed back to the kitchen, "where was that flashlight needed--in the kitchen or in the bathroom?"

"In the bathroom," Gia answered. "That's where it was dark."

"Right," said Mom. "Jesus said to let our light shine for Him, and that's needed most in dark places--places like the school you go to now, and like this apartment complex too. I've talked with a few of our neighbors, and I don't think any of them know the Lord."

Mom put the flashlight back in the cupboard. "Why don't you ask one of the girls from school to come over for dinner sometime?" she suggested. "As she gets to know you better, she'll start to see that you live life differently from what she's used to, and she might want to find out more about it."

"Okay," said Gia. "I'll try Rumi first--she's really nice."

"Good," said Mom. "And let's see how you can get involved at our new church too. That will help you get to know some Christian friends who can support and encourage you as you shine your light for Jesus."

–Mary Rose Pearson

How About You?
Are there kids in your neighborhood or school who don't know Jesus? Does that make it hard for you to speak up and let others know you're a Christian? Remember, if there's a lot of spiritual darkness around you, that's exactly where you need to let your light shine for Jesus. Let it shine through your obedience, honesty, kindness, forgiveness, and by using opportunities to tell others about Him.

Today's Key Verse:
Shine as lights in the world. (NKJV) (Philippians 2:15)

Today's Key Thought:
Let your light shine

Change

Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 31:6; Lamentations 3:21-23

Manuel's sneakers squeaked as he dragged his feet across the kitchen linoleum. Dad looked up from the pot he was stirring on the stove. "Looks like you had a rough day."

Dad brought him his favorite after-school snack--cookies and a glass of milk. Manuel took a bite of his cookie and made a face. "Hey, Dad, these don't taste the same," he said.

Dad looked at the box in surprise. "Maybe they changed the recipe."

Manuel pushed his plate away and slid lower into his seat. "Why can't things just stay the same? Why do they all have to change?"

Dad set the box aside and leaned his elbows on the counter. "Sounds like you're talking about more than just your snack," he said, concerned. "What's going on?"

Manuel swallowed around the lump in his throat that had been there all day. "Josh is moving to another state. He's been my best friend since kindergarten, and now I have to go to middle school without him!"

Dad frowned. "I'm sorry to hear that. You're going to miss him a lot, aren't you?" Manuel nodded. "And you're worried about how different middle school is going to be from elementary school?" Manuel nodded again. "It's normal to miss your friend and be worried about a new school," continued Dad. "But change is a part of life. One thing will never change, though."

Manuel liked how that sounded--one thing that he could always count on to stay the same. "What is it, Dad?" he asked eagerly.

Dad grinned. "God. The Bible tells us that God never changes. Jesus is always with us, and His love for us never wavers. We can always count on Him to be there, no matter what happens."

Manuel felt the lump in his throat shrinking. "That's good."

"So when you feel overwhelmed, you can talk to Jesus about it and know that He'll be there with you."

"Thanks, Dad," Manuel said, feeling a little better. He would still miss Josh, but at least he wouldn't have to go to middle school alone. Jesus would be there with him.

Manuel took a cookie and dunked it in his glass of milk. His eyes lit up. "Hey, these aren't so bad after all!"

–Christa Hogan

How About You?
Do you find change difficult? Are changes that are out of your control happening in your life? Remember that no matter what changes around you, you can always count on God to stay the same. Jesus loves you so much that He gave His own life for you. He will always be there for you and help you through whatever comes your way.

Today's Key Verse:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (NKJV) (Hebrews 13:8)

Today's Key Thought:
God never changes

Lonely on Valentine’s Day?

Bible Reading: John 13:34-35

"Did Daddy give you those roses?" asked Chloe.

Mom smiled. "They smell so good. He never forgets Valentine's Day. He took some daisies and some cookies over to Grandma too. She may feel lonely today."

"Why would she feel lonely on Valentine's Day? It's so much fun--and delicious!"

"Well, Grandpa always gave her flowers on special days. That made her feel loved. Now that Grandpa has passed away, we want Grandma to know she's still loved. Actually, many people feel lonely on Valentine's Day."

Chloe seemed puzzled, so Mom explained. "People like Grandma who have lost a loved one may feel sad and lonely on Valentine's Day, or someone whose spouse is away in the military, or a single person who hoped to get married but didn't."

Chloe was still thinking about that while she waited for her friend Laura to arrive. In Sunday school, she'd learned that the Bible says to "bear one another's burdens." Mom and Dad were helping lift Grandma's burden of loneliness by showing her she was valued. Chloe prayed, Lord, please show me how to help someone feel valued today.

She and Laura had planned to go to the movies. But Chloe had a plan.

"My mom said that some people are sad on Valentine's Day, like Mrs. Holt across the street," she told Laura. "Her husband died last summer. He used to come over here and Dad would help him pick bouquets of wildflowers for his wife from our backyard garden. She probably misses that. What if, instead of going to the movies today, we made her a bouquet?"

Laura loved that idea. "I have some red ribbons we could tie it with to make it fancy. Hey, what about Miss Whitman, the cafeteria lady? I bet she'd love some flowers. Who else?"

"Let's make a list," said Chloe.

By that afternoon, the girls had made and delivered bouquets to six people, who all seemed pleased to be remembered. Then the girls took several bouquets to the senior center to brighten up their dinner tables.

When Chloe's dad heard about it, he beamed. "You two gave up your own plans to bring smiles to a lot of people today. Well done, girls."

–Teresa Ambord

How About You?
Have you ever felt lonely or sad? Of course you have. Some people are deeply lonely or sad much of the time, and you may not even know it. Jesus cares about people who are hurting, and you can remind them of His love by showing that you care about them too. You might be able to lift someone's burden with a smile, a cheerful "hello," or a sincere compliment. Look for ways to help those who may be feeling sad or lonely know they're loved and valued.

Today's Key Verse:
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (NKJV) (Galatians 6:2 )

Today's Key Thought:
Help others feel loved
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