Keys for Kids Devotional Feed


Double Trouble (Part 1)

Bible Reading: Psalm 139:1-6, 23-24; Hebrews 4:13-16

"Okay, remember the plan," Zeke told his twin brother Kole as they traded sweatshirts in the bathroom. "Try not to talk to anyone before the test. Once the tests are finished it'll be lunchtime and we can meet back here to trade our sweatshirts back."

Kole nodded as he combed his fingers through his hair to get it to look more like Zeke's. They were in different classes at school, and Kole was going to take the English test in Zeke's class while Zeke took the math test in his. "I sure hope no one notices I'm not you," said Kole. "If I had to take that math test, I'd flunk it!"

"Yeah, and I hate English," said Zeke. "All that writing!"

Kole walked into his brother's classroom just as the bell rang. Mr. Edwards handed out the test, and Kole got to work.

Everything went smoothly until someone knocked on the door. Mr. Edwards cracked it open and, after a few whispers, turned toward the class. "Zeke, your mom is here with your lunch. You can go with her and put it in your locker."

Kole broke out in a cold sweat. He trudged over to the door, and the moment Mom saw him, it was obvious she knew he wasn't Zeke.

Kole stepped into the hall and shut the door behind him. Mom was furious.

"What's going on?" she hissed. "Why are you pretending to be Zeke?"

Kole couldn't look her in the eye. "We switched places so I could take his English test and he could take my math test."

Mom stared at him. "Well, you may have fooled your teachers and classmates, but you didn't fool me--I know you too well. And aren't you forgetting someone who knows you even better than I do?"

"Umm…" stammered Kole. "You mean God, don't you?"

Mom nodded. "The Bible says He knows the number of hairs on your head--and everything that's in your heart. You can't hide anything from Him."

Kole shuffled his feet. "I guess Zeke and I didn't think of that."

"I guess not," said Mom. "But I hope you'll remember it from now on. Jesus knows everything about you, and He loves you and promises to forgive your wrongs. We can always be honest with Him--and trust Him to help us be honest with others too."

- Courtney Lasater

How About You?
Have you ever thought you could get away with something without anyone knowing? Even if you managed to hide it from other people, you can't hide anything from God--He sees everything you do and knows everything in your heart and mind. Don't try to hide anything from Him. Instead, tell Jesus what you've done and ask Him to forgive you. He knows you and loves you, and He promises to forgive.

Today's Key Verse:
People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. (NLT) (Proverbs 28:13 )

Today's Key Thought:
You can't hide anything from God

The Perfect Pizza

Bible Reading: Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

Dad put on his apron. "Well, my little chefs, are you ready to make our delicious pizza?"

Piper and Jerrie smiled. "Yes!"

"Okay, Piper, while Jerrie is rolling the dough, you start preparing the toppings."

"Okay, Dad. Hmm, let's see what we have here. Cheese, no. Sausage, no. Meatballs, no. Um, pepperoni will work."

Jerrie grinned at her sister. "Piper, you can't just pick pepperoni for our pizza. We need other ingredients too, like mushrooms."

Piper made a face. "No way! We're not having gross vegetables on our pizza."

"Mushrooms are not gross vegetables!" said Jerrie.

Dad stopped stirring his secret tomato sauce. "You know, having just one topping on our pizza reminds me of what Paul said in the Bible."

"Where does Paul talk about food in the Bible?" asked Piper.

"Actually, in multiple places, but this one isn't about food. In First Corinthians, Paul asks the believers, 'If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?'"

Jerrie stopped rolling the dough. "That's a silly question. The body needs all its parts for it to smell, hear, and see. If my body was just an ear, all I'd be able to do is hear."

Dad smiled. "Even though it may seem like a silly question, Paul was trying to make a point. He was saying that everyone is important in the body of Christ, no matter what God has called you to do--whether you're a pastor, a postman, or two amazing pizza chefs."

Piper opened the fridge. "I thought just teachers and pastors were important in the body of Christ."

Dad shook his head. "Nope! Jesus has made everyone who knows Him part of His body, the church, and has given each of us a special role in it. As we work together and love one another, others can see Jesus in us."

Piper took some mushrooms out of the fridge. "So, I guess we shouldn't let our pizza turn in to one big eyeball of pepperoni."

A while later Mummy came into the kitchen. "Mmm, something smells good."

Piper smiled "It's our pizza. It has lots of toppings."

Jerrie nodded as she took a slice. "Like the body of Christ."

Piper held out her plate. "Daddy, can I have a slice with mushrooms?"

- Charis-Zoe Ademosu

How About You?
Do you know that you're important in the body of Christ? It's true. It doesn't matter how young you are or what God has called you to do--you are important to Him. He says all of us are valuable and precious to Him--so precious that Jesus gave His life to save us--and we all have a special role in pointing others to His love. If you know Jesus, you are an important part of His body of believers.

Today's Key Verse:
You are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (NIV) (1 Corinthians 12:27)

Today's Key Thought:
You are important in Christ's body

Castle in the Sand

Bible Reading: Luke 6:47-49

"Better hurry up and build a wall around your castle,Tess! The tide is coming in," said Beckham. "One big wave and it'll be washed away."

"Will you help me? Please?" begged Tess, handing her brother a pail and shovel. Water washed around her feet and then went back toward the ocean, just missing the castle.

"I told you to build it farther from the water," said Beckham as he added a pailful of damp sand to the wall. "We won't be able to save it. Those waves are coming up fast!"

Beckham was right. There was no time to protect the castle. Waves washed up on shore, and a big chunk from the front side of the castle washed back into the sea. A shovel Tess had dropped beside the castle was carried along with it. "My shovel!" exclaimed Tess. She chased after it into the water.

Beckham shook his head. "That castle is history." Tess frowned as she stood looking at her destroyed masterpiece. "Your castle looked awesome, but you built it in a place where it couldn't stand up against the rising water," said Beckham. He grinned. "Just like the foolish man!"

"Huh?" said Tess. "What foolish man?"

"You know," said Beckham. "The one in the story Jesus told about the two men who built houses. The wise man built his house on rock, but the foolish man built his on sand and it got washed away. Then Jesus said to be like the wise man and build your life on the rock."

Mom smiled as she listened. "And how do you do that?" she asked.

"By admitting that you're a sinner and trusting Jesus to save you," said Beckham. "When you do that, He becomes the one you build your life on."

Mom nodded. "Right. The Bible refers to Jesus as the Rock. When you build your life on Him, you're building on a firm, stable foundation, just like the wise man in the story. Building your life on anything else--like money or fun or what other people think of you--is like building a castle in the sand. It all gets washed away."

–Nance E. Keyes

How About You?
Are you building your life on the Rock or on sand? Is your life centered on having lots of money or fun or friends? Or are you standing firm in the love of Jesus, no matter what life brings you? The world says having a good life means getting everything you want, but the Bible says the only way to truly have life is through Jesus. Are you building your life on Him? If not, 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:
No one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have--Jesus Christ. (NLT) (1 Corinthians 3:11)

Today's Key Thought:
Build your life on Jesus

A Hidden Gift

Bible Reading: Matthew 25:14-29

"C'mon, Rocket," Gemma called to her dog. "Let's go outside." When she opened the back door, Rocket raced out into the fenced yard. Then he ran back to Gemma. He jumped up playfully before racing through the yard once again. Finally, he stopped near his favorite bush and sniffed the ground. "Here, Rocket," Gemma

said, picking up a ball. Rocket continued to sniff out the area, then dug into the ground with his front paws and nose. Gemma walked over and saw that he had uncovered a bone. He lay down and began chewing on it contentedly. "Silly dog," Gemma said, shaking her head.

A short time later, they went back into the house. "Rocket dug up a bone and chewed it a while, and then he buried it again," Gemma told her mom. "Why do dogs bury bones?"

"I don't really know," replied Mom.

"You're so silly, Rocket," Gemma told her pet. "When I get something good, I don't hide it!"

"Are you sure about that?" asked Mom. "I think there are things we often use for ourselves and then hide away when we're done--kind of like Rocket."

"There are?" Gemma frowned. "Like what? I can't think of anything."

"Well, the Bible says we all have different gifts that come from the Lord," Mom explained. "Some of those gifts are things like money or possessions, and others are talents and abilities. Sometimes we think of those gifts as things that are just for us, but the Bible says they're not just for our benefit--we're meant to share

them with others."

"So, keeping those things to ourselves would be like Rocket burying his bone in the yard?" asked Gemma.

Mom nodded. "God wants us to use what He's given us to help build His kingdom and point people to Him. God's best gift of all is the one He gave the whole world--Jesus, who died for our sins and is coming back one day to reign forever as King. The gifts and blessings we have in our lives all come from Him, and

He wants us to use them to share His love with others."

Gemma smiled as she stroked Rocket's fur. "Then we can enjoy our gifts more too if we share them instead of hiding them away."

--Nance E. Keyes

How About You?
What gifts has God given you that you can share with others? Perhaps you can sing, draw, or think of fun games to play with little kids. Maybe you have a big backyard or a treehouse your friends would love to play in. God gives people all kinds of gifts, and when you share a gift He's given you with others, you're pointing them to Him. So don't keep your gifts all to yourself--use them to show others the love of Jesus.

Today's Key Verse:
As each one has received a gift, use it to serve others. (CSB) (1 Peter 4:10 )

Today's Key Thought:
Share your gifts with others

How to Be Different

Bible Reading: Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Peter 2:9-12

"But I don't want to wear mismatched shoes, Kassi," Brooke informed her best friend. The two girls were sitting together while riding the bus for a class field trip. During the drive, Kassi shared with Brooke how she longed to be unique--to stand out from the crowd and be different. But Brooke thought Kassi's idea about

how to showcase her personal style went too far.

"If you wear one of my shoes, and I wear one of yours, we'll be wearing one of each. We're the same size, you know. Two different shoes--that's totally being different!" Kassi seemed so excited.

"Sorry, Kassi." Brooke shook her head.

That evening at home, Kassi talked with her grandfather on the phone and explained her goal of being different. "Grandpa, I don't want to be just like everybody else; I want to be uniquely me. You know, the individual God created."

"God did a great job of making you, Kassi! And I know He is pleased with you. Simply being different isn't always better though," Grandpa answered.

Kassi thought about this as Grandpa continued. "Last summer, you gave your life to Jesus, remember? You put your trust in Him, who died for us, for the forgiveness of your sins. Now, as His child, you are called to be different--but not so much when it comes to the shoes you wear."

"What do you mean?" Kassi asked.

"God wants His people to be set apart, dedicated to Him. God desires for you to be different in your character, your love for Him and others, and your obedience to Him. That matters much more to Him than how you dress," Grandpa replied.

"I get it, Grandpa. Since I belong to God, I need to make it my goal to be different from others by being more like Jesus instead of by making unusual fashion choices."

"God tells us to be holy as He is holy--and He has given us the Holy Spirit so we can live in a way that shows others we belong to Jesus. You can do that and wear mixed-up shoes at the same time," Grandpa assured her.

Kassi laughed. "But next time, I won't try to convince Brooke to join me!"

– Allison Wilson Lee

How About You?
Do you enjoy being unique? Do you like to stand out from the crowd? God specially created each one of us, and it's good to embrace our own styles and personalities. But God has instructed His people to be unique in a different way. In His power, you can shine for Jesus in a dark world by living a life of obedience and love. This is how God wants His children to stand out from the crowd!

Today's Key Verse:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (NIV) (Romans 12:2)

Today's Key Thought:
Set yourself apart for God
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