Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

Where's God?

Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 31:6-8; Psalm 139:7-10

Ava lay on the sofa, her face pale, her bald head a circle against the pillow. Medical treatments had caused her hair to fall out. Her grandmother looked over just as Ava dabbed a tear from her eye. "What's wrong, honey?" asked Grandma. "Not feeling so good today?"

"I'm scared," replied Ava in a trembling voice. "It seems like God has gone away. Ever since I got sick, it feels as if He isn't here at all."

Grandma squeezed Ava's hand. "It may feel like that, but God promises to always be with us. Sometimes it's hard to keep praying and trusting Him, but we need to do that." She sat down beside Ava. "The way you feel isn't surprising though. It reminds me of something that happened to me when I was little."

"Were you sick too?" asked Ava.

"Yes," Grandma said. "I was once very sick with the flu. My mother had given me medicine at bedtime and stayed with me until I fell asleep. But then, in the middle of the night, I woke up in the dark. My head throbbed, and my throat was so sore that I couldn't call out to my parents down the hall. I was too weak to get out of bed, so I just lay there crying, thinking I was all alone. But then a light switched on, and there was my mother, right beside me. She had been sleeping in a chair next to my bed the whole time!"

"So, God is still here with me even though it feels like I'm all alone?" asked Ava.

Grandma nodded. "My mother slept in that chair all night so she could stay with me, but Jesus did much more than that to be with you, Ava--He left heaven and came to earth as a baby, and when He grew up, He died for your sins so you could live with Him forever. Even though being sick may make it seem like He's far away, He's not. He promises us in the Bible that He won't ever leave us. He's with you every moment, giving you strength and comfort."

Ava was thoughtful. "Can you show me that verse in the Bible?" she asked after a moment. "I want to read it for myself."

–Violet E. Nesdoly

How About You?
Have you ever felt like God has forgotten you? When you're sick, your parent loses their job, your friend moves away, or your family splits up, it's easy to think He doesn't care and has left you on your own. But even if you don't feel God's presence, the Bible says He is near to those who know Jesus. He is always with you, no matter how you feel.

Today's Key Verse:
He [God] himself has said, "I will never leave you or abandon you." (CSB) (Hebrews 13:5 )

Today's Key Thought:
God is always with you

Snack Time with Jesus

Bible Reading: Matthew 25:35-40

Hearing his mom scream, Jeffery dropped his game controller and ran to the kitchen. He found her with a cabinet's contents spread on the counter before her. "Mom, what's wrong?"

"Oh, Jeffery, I didn't mean to scare you. Your mother is simply losing her mind. I know I bought a box of chocolate chip cookies last week. Now, when I want one, I can't find them. They've got to be here somewhere," Mom said as she started emptying another cabinet.

Jeffery bit his lip. "Mom, I took them," he confessed.

"You? Jeffery, you don't like chocolate chip cookies! I seriously doubt you ate a whole box of them. Now your dad, he could eat a whole box. Maybe that's where they went."

"No, Mom," Jeffery repeated, "I took them. You're right, I don't like them, but Russ does."

"Russ from school?" asked Mom as she sat down at the table. "How did Russ get our cookies?"

"Remember when I told you about Russ's family? It's just his little brother and his mom, he doesn't have a dad. Well, Russ told me that his mom works two jobs but there's still not any extra money for snacks. At snack time at school, Russ would act as if he didn't want a snack and just read. But, Mom, looking at him while I ate made my snack taste lousy," said Jeffery with a grimace. "So, I started putting two snacks in my bag and offered one to Russ. I'm sorry I took your cookies without asking."

"Jeffery," Mom said as she stood and gave him a hug, "I don't care about that. What you did for Russ was a wonderful thing. In fact, the Bible says that when we share our food with those who are hungry, it's as if we shared with Jesus."

"For real?" asked Jeffery.

"For real. Jesus loves us all so much that He gave His life to save us. When we care about others the way He does and make sacrifices for them, He counts our loving actions as being done for Him." Mom smiled. "You know, I really do want a chocolate chip cookie. Come with me to the store so you can pick out snacks that both you and Russ would like," she said with a wink.

–Phyllis Johnson

How About You?
Have you done something kind for someone in need? Maybe you helped serve food to the homeless or invited the new kid at school to play with you. Jesus tells us in the Bible that when we do kind and generous things for others, we do them for Him. Think of all the good things the Lord has done for you. Then look for ways to give to Jesus today by showing someone His kindness and generosity.

Today's Key Verse:
Truly I [Jesus] tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. (NIV) (Matthew 25:40)

Today's Key Thought:
Give to Jesus through others

Beautiful Feet

Bible Reading: Isaiah 52:7-10; Romans 10:13-17

"I hate my feet!" said Madison. "They're too big."

"They are not!" replied Emory, her older sister. "You're tall, so you need bigger feet

to move around and hold you up." She grinned. "I think your feet are beautiful."

Madison laughed. "Thanks. I wish everyone felt that way. Sometimes kids make fun of my feet."

"Well, just because some people think smaller feet are more beautiful doesn't mean they're right," said Emory. "But I know their words can still hurt--and people's opinions can also be hurtful in other ways. People in China once thought only small feet were beautiful too, and girls' feet were wrapped up so tight that they couldn't grow."

Madison frowned. "Did they really do that?"

"Yeah, a long time ago," Emory said. "It was very painful, and girls weren't able to use their feet the way they were supposed to. A book I read told a story about a Chinese woman who had her feet bound when she was very young, and they hardly grew at all. When she was older, she had to be carried to lots of places because her feet were too delicate to walk over rough or uneven ground."

Madison's eyes widened. "That's horrible!"

Emory nodded. "But you know what? The woman in that story eventually learned that her feet were beautiful not because of their size but for another reason."

"Really?" asked Madison. "What was it?"

"Well," said Emory, "the woman became a Christian. After she got married, she and her husband became missionaries to their own people--the Chinese."

"And?" prompted Madison when Emory paused.

"Don't you see? This woman was using her feet to spread the good news of Jesus, and the Bible says that people who do that have beautiful feet!" Emory explained.

"Where in the Bible does it say that?" Madison wanted to know.

"Somewhere in Romans," said Emory. "The point is, using your feet to go tell others about Jesus makes them beautiful. God gave us feet so we could use them, and the best way to do that is to go into the world and share the message that Jesus died for our sins so we could have peace with God."

Madison looked at her feet again and smiled. "Then I want to have big, beautiful feet!"

–Jean A. Burns

How About You?
How do you feel about your feet? Do you think they're beautiful? Your feet were created with care by God, and He wants you to use them. When you carry the good news of Jesus to others and share the message of the wonderful gift He offers to anyone who trusts in Him, you are using your feet to help people know they can be saved and have eternal life. And the Bible says that makes your feet beautiful!

Today's Key Verse:
How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace. (NKJV) (Romans 10:15)

Today's Key Thought:
Tell others about Jesus

Safety Net

Bible Reading: Psalm 91

Natia and Lexi sat in the grass waiting for the bus. Lexi was quiet this morning; she had something

on her mind.

"What are you thinking about?" Natia asked.

Lexi looked up. "I was just thinking about a conversation I had with my mom yesterday. She

talked to me about something called a safety network. She seemed pretty serious about it."

Natia looked confused. "What's a safety network?"

"It's a list of five people that I trust, like my mom, my dad, our teacher Mrs. Schenk, my aunt, and my grandma. Those are the people I can talk to about anything. Mom says that if anyone ever says or does anything to me that makes me feel uncomfortable, I can always go talk to the people in my safety network."

"That's a good idea!" said Natia. "It's good to have a plan in case anything scary ever happens."

Lexi nodded her agreement. "Do you remember last summer when our moms took us to the circus? That man walking the tightrope had a safety net underneath him. That way, even if something scary happened, he knew he'd be safe. Mom said a safety network is kind of like that." Lexi picked some grass and rubbed it between her fingers. "Talking to my mom about it also made me thankful for God's safety net."

"What do you mean?" asked Natia.

"Well, when my mom and I were talking, we read a chapter in the Bible about how God is our protector and that we can always trust Him. Jesus died to save us from the scariest thing of all--eternity without God--and He promises to be with us when scary things happen. Mom said one of the ways He helps us is through people we can trust, like those in our safety network." Lexi reached into her backpack and pulled out her little Bible. "Here, I put a bookmark in it--it's in Psalms."

They both stood up when they heard the bus rumbling closer. Lexi turned and waved to her mom, who had been watching them from the porch.

"You're right, Lexi," Natia said after she read the passage in Lexi's Bible on the way to school. "It makes me feel good knowing God has given me a safety net!"

- Emily Tenter

How About You?
Do you have a safety network--a list of people you can talk to about anything? Having a safety network is very important. If you don't have one, talk to your mom, dad, or other adult you trust about who should be in it. And remember that God is first on your list! If you know Jesus, He promises to be with you all the time. Go to Him when things in your life get scary and trust Him to help you.

Today's Key Verse:
He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. (NIV) (Psalm 91:2)

Today's Key Thought:
Have a safety network

Double Trouble (Part 2)

Bible Reading: Psalm 139:13-14; Jeremiah 1:5

"Hey, watch it!" Kole poked his twin brother with the end of his broom. "You're stepping in my dirt pile!"

"Whoops," said Zeke. "Sorry." He took a few steps back and began sweeping the opposite side of the garage. "I can't believe I'm sweeping dust bunnies on a beautiful Saturday afternoon instead of playing baseball," he said with a groan.

"Yeah," said Kole, wiping sweat from his forehead. "And I'm missing Jackson's party." He sighed. "I hate being grounded."

"Me too," said Zeke. "Switching places to take each other's tests was a dumb idea."

As Kole wheeled the garbage can to the end of the driveway, Mrs. Dawson, the mom of one of the boys in Zeke's class, walked by. "Hi, Zeke!" she called out.

"Um, hi--I'm Kole, actually."

"Oh, right--sorry!" said Mrs. Dawson. "Sometimes I forget Zeke has a twin."

Kole sighed as he walked into the kitchen where Zeke and Mom were pouring lemonade. "What's the matter?" asked Mom.

Kole shrugged. "Nothing. Someone outside just thought I was Zeke."

"Hey, congratulations!" said Zeke, raising his glass of lemonade.

"Ha ha," said Kole sarcastically. He looked at Mom. "It just gets irritating sometimes--people thinking I'm someone else."

Mom nodded. "Yes, Dad and I knew that would happen to you boys. That's why we put you in different classes at school--so you could develop your own identities and friendships apart from each other." She took a sip of lemonade. "Of course, we never thought you'd switch places to get out of taking tests in classes you didn't like."

The boys looked at the floor. "Yeah--sorry about that," said Zeke.

"Well," said Mom, "you didn't fool me. Your faces may look the same to everyone else, but I can see the subtle differences in your noses and chins and freckles. More than that, you have completely different personalities!" She smiled. "I see each of you for who you are. And you know what? God does too. He created you so you could know and reflect Jesus in your own special way. He made each of you unique, with your own interests and abilities."

"Yeah," said Kole. "Like me being good at English and Zeke at math."

"Exactly," said Mom. She ruffled Kole's hair. "But that doesn't mean you can have Zeke take your math tests."

- Courtney Lasater

How About You?
Did you know God made you just the way you are? You were created to be you and no one else! He gave you your unique personality and your abilities and gifts. Thank Him for making you who you are, and trust Him to help you reflect the love of Jesus and point people to Him in a way nobody else can.

Today's Key Verse:
will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (NKJV) (Psalm 139:14)

Today's Key Thought:
God made you who you are