Keys for Kids Devotional Feed


The Legend of Two Wolves

Bible Reading: Romans 7:19-25; 1 John 5:4-5

Jamar loved the smell of the pine forest mingling with the smoke from campfires as he and his dad sat in the outdoor amphitheater at the national park campground. They were listening to the park ranger talk about wolves. Near the end of his talk, the ranger said, "I'm going to close with a legend that has been passed down for hundreds of years."

Jamar relaxed against a log, eager to hear the story.

"Many, many years ago," began the ranger, "a Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson. 'Inside of me are two wolves,' said the grandfather, 'and they are having a terrible fight. One wolf is evil--full of hate, lies, anger, greed, and jealousy. The other wolf is good--full of peace, love, truth, sharing, kindness, friendship, and generosity. That same fight is going on inside of you.'

"The grandson looked concerned. 'But which wolf will win?' he asked.

"The wise grandfather replied, 'The one you feed!'"

As Jamar and his dad walked back to their campsite, they talked about what the ranger said. "That story has a lot of biblical truth!" said Dad. "The Bible says a fight is going on inside us as Christians. Our old sinful nature--the selfish desires all people are born with--fights against the new spiritual nature Jesus gave us when we trusted in Him."

Jamar was silent for a bit, then sighed. "And it's a lot easier to feed the bad wolf, isn't it?"

"Sometimes it seems that way," said Dad. "The world's way of doing things is all around us, and we have to be careful not to feed on its false messages. That's why it's such a good idea to start each day by feeding the good wolf."

"Like reading the Bible and praying?" asked Jamar.

"Exactly!" replied Dad. "As we focus our minds on God's truth, it helps us remember that our sinful nature doesn't have to control us because Jesus has freed us from sin. He's made us new people, and we have the Holy Spirit within us to help us resist temptation. One day Jesus will give us new bodies and our sinful nature will be gone forever, but until then, we don't have to let the bad wolf win."

–Lore Wolif

How About You?
Have you felt the tug of war inside of you--the struggle between the good wolf and the bad wolf? Your old sinful nature wants control of your life again. Don't feed it! Instead, feed your new nature by focusing on Jesus and the truth about who you are in Him. He made you a new person when you trusted Him as your Savior, and the selfish desires you had before don't have any power over you. He will help you fight against them and win.

Today's Key Verse:
Clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don't let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires. (NLT) (Romans 13:14 )

Today's Key Thought:
Feed your new nature

The List

Bible Reading: Revelation 21:22-27

Ella smoothed her dress out and reached into her purse to feel the worn pages of her book. She couldn't believe she was going to meet her favorite author! One of Mom's friends worked with the author and invited Ella and Mom to come to a special book signing event. Ella couldn't wait to get her book signed!

As they entered the lobby, a man with a clipboard approached them. "Your names, please?"

Mom gave their names, and he moved his finger down the length of paper. "I'm sorry," he said, "but your names aren't on the list."

"What?" said Mom. "That can't be. A friend of mine invited us."

"I'm sorry," said the man, "but this is a private event. Your names have to be on the list to go inside."

Ella felt the blood rush to her face. She looked down at her purple dress and shiny shoes and thought she might cry. She wasn't going to meet her favorite author after all.

"Wait!" a voice called from down the hall. Ella's heart soared when she saw Mom's friend Caroline coming toward them. "It's okay, John. I forgot to put their names on the list earlier, but you can add them now," she told the man. "They're with me." He added their names to the list and motioned them inside.

Caroline led them into a large room full of people and seated them, then rushed off to finish some things before the event started.

Ella breathed a sigh of relief and pulled out her book. "That was scary! I thought that man was going to kick us out because our names weren't on the list."

Mom nodded. "It's a good thing Caroline came to our rescue." She looked at Ella. "You know, not having our names on that man's list when we came in reminded me how thankful I am that my name is already on the most important list of all."

"What list is that?" asked Ella.

"The Book of Life," said Mom. "It's the list of all those who know Jesus as their Savior. And the only way you can get into heaven is if your name is on it."

–Courtney Lasater

How About You?
Is your name on the most important list of all--the Book of Life? The only way to get your name on that list is to trust Jesus as your Savior. When we were separated from God because of our sin--the wrong things we do--Jesus came to our rescue. He died and rose again to save us and give us eternal life! When you trust in Jesus, your name is written in the Book of Life, and you can have peace knowing you will live with Him forever. (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:
Rejoice because your names are written in heaven. (NKJV) (Luke 10:20)

Today's Key Thought:
Make sure you're on God's list

False Teeth

Bible Reading: Colossians 2:6-10

"Aaagh!" screamed Olivia when she looked into a cup on her grandmother's bathroom counter. "There are teeth in this cup!" She heard Grandma laugh and walked into her bedroom. "I forgot that you wear false teeth. They don't look false when they're in your mouth."

"Good," said Grandma. "Then maybe only my dentist and I know for sure." She gave Olivia a toothless grin. "And you."

At school the following week, Olivia became friends with Ginny, a new student who often talked about God. "We all have God in us, so we can all figure out what's right and wrong for ourselves," Ginny said one day. "You may think certain things are wrong, but I may think they're okay. And that's fine. We should each make our own decision."

Olivia didn't think that was true, but she was so glad to find a friend who wasn't afraid to talk about God. Maybe she's right, Olivia thought.

One day, Olivia got into trouble for hitting her brother. "He was teasing me, so I don't see anything wrong with hitting him!" Olivia said. "Ginny says we're all a part of God and should decide for ourselves what's right."

"And who is Ginny?" asked Mom.

"She's a new Christian friend at school. She talks about God a lot."

"Are you sure she's a Christian?" asked Mom. "Because what she's saying is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible says God is holy and always does what is right, but we are sinners who have been separated from God because we do wrong things that go against who He is. That's why we need Jesus to save us from sin and give us the Holy Spirit." Mom shook her head. "People may talk about God, but if they don't think they need Jesus, they're like--well, like Grandma's teeth."

"Grandma's teeth!" exclaimed Olivia. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"You told me her teeth look so real you don't think about the fact that they're false," said Mom. "Well, things people say about God may seem true, but if they don't agree with what the Bible says about God and our need for Jesus, they're false. God is perfect and holy, and He certainly does not say you can decide for yourself what is right or wrong." Mom looked at Olivia. "And hitting your brother is definitely wrong."

–Nance E. Keyes

How About You?
Do you assume that anyone who talks about God is a Christian? Repeating words and phrases often used by Christians is not proof that someone belongs to Jesus. Don't be fooled by people who say they know God but teach things contrary to what God says. That's false teaching. Check anything you hear with what the Bible teaches, and ask Christian adults you trust for help too.

Today's Key Verse:
Jesus replied to them, "Watch out that no one deceives you." (CSB) (Matthew 24:4 )

Today's Key Thought:
Watch out for false teaching

The Disobedient Dino

Bible Reading: Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17

It was the day he had been waiting for, his eighth birthday! James couldn't wait to open his gifts. He had been asking for a Robo Dino for months and was certain he would not be disappointed. He couldn't wait to train it to sit, roll over, do his chores, and roar at his sister. With his family watching, he tore into a large wrapped box, and there it was--Robo Dino!

"Yessss!" James cried. "Thank you! Can I start training him now?"

"Sure," said Dad, laughing. "But don't you want to open your other gifts?"

After opening a block set from his sister and new art supplies from his grandparents, James began Robo Dino's training.

"Sit!" he commanded his new toy. The dino roared.

"Roll over!" James called out. The dino leapt into the air and wagged its tail--like he wanted to fetch.

"Roar!" James yelled, becoming frustrated. The robot lay down and began snoozing. "This is not going well," James said. He tried again and again to get the dino to obey his commands, but the robot did not want to cooperate. He seemed to do everything except what James wanted him to do!

"What's wrong with this thing?" said James. "Mom, my dinosaur is broken!"

"James," Mom replied, "did you try reading the instructions? They came with the dino to help you teach it to do the right things. If you read the instructions, I'm sure this training will be much easier."

"Yeah, guess I should have read the manual first," said James.

"You know, this makes me think of what we talked about in church this week," said Mom. "God gives us directions in the Bible for how we should live as Christians and show others His love. But unlike the booklet that came with your dino, the Bible is much more than an instruction manual. It's the living Word of God, and as we read it and learn about what it says, the Holy Spirit helps us understand its truth and reminds us of God's love. As He works in our hearts to make us more like Jesus, He uses God's Word to teach us to listen and obey--not the opposite, like your dino!"

James smiled. "I guess I have a lot of reading to do!" he said, then sat down and began to read Robo Dino's instructions.

–Christy Mazer

How About You?
Do you read your Bible to learn about God and find out how He wants you to live your life? As you read God's Word and learn more about it at church, the Holy Spirit will help you understand what it says and train you to put it into practice. He will use it to help you know how much Jesus loves you and teach you to trust and obey Him. Read your Bible and learn about it with other Christians, and trust God to help you listen to what it says.

Today's Key Verse:
Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. (Psalm 119:11)

Today's Key Thought:
Read and learn from God's Word

Troubled Times

Bible Reading: John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Philippians 4:6-7

Lincoln watched the shadows flicker on his bedroom ceiling. He could hear his younger brothers snoring down the hall. But he lay wide awake, his heart as heavy and cold as a stone.

His parents usually turned off the news when he came into the room, but tonight they let him watch. Now he wished he hadn't. He couldn't forget the faces of the people called refugees who had fled their homes to avoid war. Some were kids his own age or even younger. Some had lost their families. They looked scared, and that made Lincoln scared. And sad. He wanted to help, but what could he do? He was just a kid on the other side of the world.

Lincoln was still awake when Dad came in to check on him. "Trouble sleeping?" he asked, sitting on the edge of the bed.

"I can't stop thinking about the refugees," Lincoln said, swallowing back tears. "Why would God let something like that happen? Why doesn't He do something?"

Dad's warm hand rested on Lincoln's shoulder. "Those are big questions, buddy. Part of the answer is that even though we can't see what God is doing, it doesn't mean He doesn't care or that He isn't at work. We can trust that God, who sent His own Son to die for us so we could be saved, loves us all very much."

"And what's the rest of the answer?" Lincoln asked, eager to hear how God was going to fix everything for the refugees right away.

Dad thought for a moment. "Let's pray together. Let's ask God to show us if there's a way we can help the refugees. And let's ask Him to act on their behalf, to protect them and use the situation to bring about something good in His Kingdom."

"That's it?" Lincoln asked, disappointed. It didn't seem like enough.

Dad nodded. "Prayer is powerful, Lincoln. God works through the prayers of His people to help those in need, heal the hurting, and bring people to Jesus."

As Dad prayed for the refugees, Lincoln listened. The anxiousness in his heart was slowly replaced with something calmer. He didn't want to forget about the refugees, but he knew that feeling afraid and worrying wouldn't help them. Instead, he thanked God for his family and his safe home, and he prayed that God would find the refugees safe homes too.

– Christa Hogan

How About You?
Do you feel overwhelmed by tragic events in the world? Do you wish you could help those who are suffering? You can pray. God loves all people and can use any situation for good in their lives. Ask Him to help those who are suffering and show them His love. Then ask an adult if there's anything else you can do to make a difference in their lives.

Today's Key Verse:
You observe trouble and grief…the helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless. (NKJV) (Psalm 10:14)

Today's Key Thought:
Pray for those in need
124678910Last