Keys for Kids Devotional Feed


A Place of Escape

Bible Reading: Psalm 71:1-5; 1 John 4:4

Nora and her dad sat outside, watching for birds. "Look, Dad! A cardinal," said Nora when a flash of crimson caught her eye. The little red bird landed on a nearby rock, then flew into a huge maple tree. Nora lifted her binoculars and tried to locate the bird. "I can't see him anymore," she told her father.

"I can't either," said Dad. "He's completely hidden by leaves." He pointed to another bird hovering near the maple tree. "That's a hawk circling up there."

"Oh no!" exclaimed Nora. "Do you think he noticed that cardinal because of its bright color?" Nora stared at the hawk's outstretched wings. "I hope he doesn't have the cardinal for lunch!"

"I think he'd rather have a nice, fat field mouse for lunch," said Dad. Nora nodded, but she was glad when the hawk finally glided out of sight. "The world is scary sometimes, and full of enemies," said Dad.

"Yeah," said Nora. "Male cardinals are so pretty, but their bright color makes it easy for predators to see them."

Dad nodded. "Christians are something like bright cardinals. Last Sunday Pastor Burns reminded us that we stand out in a dark and gloomy world, remember? Our brightness--the love and peace of Jesus that we have in our hearts--often catches Satan's attention, and he tries to destroy us by getting us to give in to temptation, doubt, or despair. But we can always escape the enemy's clutches."

"But not by hiding in a tree like the cardinal does," said Nora. "Pastor Burns said we can go to God for protection."

Dad smiled. "Right. When we trusted in Jesus, He freed us from the power of sin and Satan, and He hides us in the strong fortress of His presence. In Him, we always have a place of escape."

"Yeah, but how do we do that? Just pray?" Nora asked.

"Good question," said Dad. "Yes, I'd say we do that by prayer--by calling on Him for help when we're facing trouble or temptation. We also do it by remembering His promises and trusting Him. God is always watching over us and caring for us, and He will help us resist the devil."

– Suzanne Daly

How About You?
Are there things in your life that fill you with fear or doubt? Are there temptations that are hard to resist? Satan is a fierce enemy, but he's no match for Almighty God! If you trust Jesus as your Savior, Satan has no power over you because you've been freed from sin. When you think you're too weak to resist temptation or stand firm against the devil's lies, remind yourself that God is far more powerful than Satan. Run to Jesus when you're tempted or afraid and He'll help you escape.

Today's Key Verse:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (NKJV) (Psalm 46:1)

Today's Key Thought:
God takes care of you

The Brick House (Part 2)

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:9-15

"The bricks have arrived for that house I'll be working on, William," said Dad. "I'm going over there now. Want to come along?"

"Sure," said William, and soon they arrived at the building site. "Wow! That's a huge pile of bricks!" William exclaimed. "I guess that means you've got a whole lot of work to do, huh?"

Dad laughed. "Yes, I do." He smiled at his son. "We talked the other day about building a life-house. Did you know that you have bricks to work with too? Bricks to build your life-house with?"

"I do? I know you don't mean bricks like the ones piled up here, so what do you mean?"

"All your thoughts, words, and actions are the bricks you're building with day by day," Dad explained. "You'll keep building with them as long as you live." He motioned toward the pile of bricks. "There are always some cracked or broken bricks among the good ones. When I come to those, I throw them out. I want this to be a beautiful, sturdy house when I'm finished. And when you find bricks that are poor choices for your life-house--unloving thoughts or words or deeds--you need to throw them out too and just use the ones that are fit for the house you're building. Remember, since you trust in Jesus, He's the foundation of your life-house. He will help you choose good bricks so others can see you're building your life on Him."

"But what do I do with the broken bricks?" asked William. "How do I throw them out?"

"Whenever we think, say, or do things that don't fit who we are as God's children, we need to confess them to Jesus," said Dad. "He will forgive us and help us replace those broken bricks with good ones that reflect His love."

"Good bricks like being kind and helping others?" asked William.

"Right," Dad said as they started back toward the car. "And doing things that help us grow in our relationship with Jesus is also like laying sturdy bricks in our life-house--things like praying and getting to know Him better by reading the Bible."

"I really do want to build a good life-house," William said. "So I'm going to trust Jesus to help me do it wisely."

– Mary Rose Pearson

How About You?
What kind of life-house are you building? If you're building on Jesus as your foundation--if you trust Him as your Savior--you want your life-house to reflect that. Each thing you think, say, or do is like a brick that becomes part of your life-house. If an unkind thought comes to mind, or if you say or do something hurtful, confess it to Jesus and throw it out. Trust God to help you choose bricks that show others you're building your life-house on the Rock--Jesus.

Today's Key Verse:
Everyone should be careful how they build. (ERV) (1 Corinthians 3:10 )

Today's Key Thought:
Build your life-house wisely

The Brick House (Part 1)

Bible Reading: Luke 6:47-49

"Look over there, William. That's where I'll be laying bricks soon," said Dad. "Want to take a look?"

"Sure," said William. Dad pulled up to the curb and they got out and walked over to the site. "What's going to be built here?" asked William.

"A house," answered Dad. "A brick house." He walked all around, viewing the groundwork from every angle. "Do you remember the house that was destroyed in the heavy windstorm the other day?" Dad asked. "It fell because it was built on a poorly constructed foundation. I wanted to check out the foundation of the one that will be built here. I'd hate for a house where I do the bricklaying to topple so easily."

"Me too," said William.

"What about you, William? Are you building on a solid foundation?"

"Me?" William was surprised by Dad's question. "I might decide to be a builder someday, but I'm not building anything right now."

"Oh yes, you are!" said Dad. "You're not building a house of bricks or wood, but you're building your life-house day by day. Jesus talked about building our lives on a solid foundation. Do you know what that is?"

"Sure," replied William. "It's Jesus. Since I've trusted Him to be my Savior, I'm building my life on Him."

"Good," said Dad. "When the Rock--Jesus Christ--is the foundation for your life-house, you can stand firm in the storms of life. Jesus promises to be with you and help you through the times when trouble comes to you here on earth. And because you trust in Him, you'll never have to face the greatest storm of all. The Bible says the punishment for sin is death and eternal separation from God, but Jesus has saved you from sin and has given you eternal life with Him! But what do you think would happen if your life-house was built on sand--on anything or anyone but Jesus?"

William grinned and began singing a song he had learned at church. "The foolish man built his house upon the sand, and the house on the sand fell flat!" Dad joined him on the last verse. "So build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ. Build your life on the Lord."

– Mary Rose Pearson

How About You?
What are you building your life on? Do you think you'll make it to heaven because you go to church or do good things? If so, you're building on sand, not the Rock, and your life-house will fall flat. Jesus is the Rock, the only solid foundation. He's the only one who can save you from sin and give you eternal life. You can only stand firm by putting your trust in Him. (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 what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ. (CSB) (1 Corinthians 3:11 )

Today's Key Thought:
Build your life on the Rock--Jesus

Grounded in Love

Bible Reading: Hebrews 12:5-11

Stella stared out the kitchen window and sighed. "Today's too nice to be stuck in here," she grumbled.

Mom handed her another dish to dry. "You should have thought of that yesterday when you decided to come home an hour late and refused to answer my texts."

Stella continued to look out the window, pouting. Her neighbors were tying up their Great Dane. "Poor Samson," said Stella. "He's being chained up. He's a prisoner today too--just like me."

Mom looked out the window and saw the big dog pulling on his chain, trying to get loose. "He sure doesn't like that chain."

Stella scowled. "He's probably mad about it," she said as she took another dish to wipe. "Why are the Smiths so mean to him?"

"They're not being mean, Stella," said Mom. "They're actually showing him love by tying him up."

Stella raised her eyebrows. "Love! I don't see how you can call that love."

"Yesterday while I was pacing on the porch waiting for you, Samson ran into the street and almost got hit by a truck," Mom said. "The Smiths saw what happened, and they told me they were going to keep him chained until new fencing is installed. They want him safe."

Stella's eyes widened. "Wow! Then I guess I'm glad he's tied up."

"Me too," said Mom. "Samson's freedom has been taken away because his owners care about him." She looked at Stella. "In families, privileges are sometimes taken away because of love too."

"You mean my privileges, don't you?" said Stella.

Mom nodded. "You're grounded today because I love you. I want you to realize how your actions can make other people feel. I was really worried when you were late and I didn't know where you were." She put a hand on Stella's shoulder. "Remember that God loves you too. The Bible says He disciplines His children so that we will grow to be more like Jesus. For kids your age, His discipline often comes through parents who help you realize how your actions affect others."

Stella gave her mom a little smile. "I still don't like being grounded, but I'm glad you love me so much. I'm sorry I disobeyed. I'll have to thank Samson for teaching me a lesson today."

– Suzanne Daly

How About You?
How do you feel when your parents discipline you? Does it make you feel unloved? It shouldn't. Correcting your behavior is a sign that they love you and care about you. In fact, God also disciplines His children so they'll grow to be more like Jesus. The next time you're disciplined, accept it as proof that you are loved and let it teach you how to love others better.

Today's Key Verse:
No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (CSB) (Hebrews 12:11 )

Today's Key Thought:
Accept discipline

Looking Forward, Not Behind

Bible Reading: Philippians 3:12-14

"Watch where you're going!" Blossom quickly reached out and stopped her toddler sister from walking into the wall.

Mom chuckled. "She should look in front of her instead of turning her head to make sure we're watching, huh?"

Blossom moved over to the sofa as her sister plopped down on the floor with a toy. "Mom? Do you think Grandma knew how much I liked it when she baked for me?" Blossom hugged her knees to her chest.

"Yes," Mom said. "I do."

"Do you think she forgave me for that time I yelled at her?"

"I do," Mom said. "I believe she told you she did, didn't she?"

That night, Blossom looked at her mom when she came to tuck her in. "I wish that I had picked flowers for Grandma more often. She liked it when I brought them to her."

"She did like it," Mom said.

"And I wish I had helped her clean instead of watching TV." Blossom's eyes filled with tears.

"Sweetie…" Mom knelt down beside the bed. "You can't live with all these regrets."

Blossom sniffled. "But I should have been better."

Mom brushed a tear from Blossom's cheek. "You know how your sister looks back when she's trying to walk?"

Blossom nodded. "She never looks where she's going, and then she runs into things."

"Well, you seem to be doing the same thing," Mom said. "You're so busy looking behind you, worrying about what you think you should have done differently, that you aren't seeing what's in front of you. You can't let regrets hold you back, sweetie. We all make mistakes sometimes, but Jesus gives us grace. His sacrifice on the cross covers all our sins and failures. Instead of dwelling on the past, we can look to the future and trust Him to help us learn from our mistakes and do better."

Mom smiled and smoothed back Blossom's hair. "Grandma loved you, Blossom, and she knew that you loved her. She forgave you when you messed up. She's with Jesus now, and one day you'll see her again. She wouldn't want you to be sad, wishing you had done things differently. She'd want you to focus on Jesus and trust Him to help you love the people who are still here with you."

– Emily Acker

How About You?
Is there anything you've done in the past that you wish you could change? Maybe you said or did something you regret, or you wish you had spent the time you had with a loved one differently. Each one of us has moments in our past where we could have done something better, but Jesus doesn't want us to focus on past mistakes. Instead, we can look forward to what He's doing in our lives and trust Him to help us love others.

Today's Key Verse:
I do not have that life yet. But I do one thing. I forget everything that is behind me and look forward to that which is ahead of me. (NLV) (Philippians 3:13)

Today's Key Thought:
Give regrets to Jesus
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