Keys for Kids Devotional Feed


Roller Coaster Ride

Bible Reading: Joshua 1:9; Psalm 34:4; Isaiah 41:9-10

Malachi timidly walked up to the roller coaster and crammed into the long line with a bunch of squirmy kids. There was a lot of shouting and chattering. He stood silently staring as the line crept along. "There's no, um, big drop on this ride, is there?" he asked Grandpa nervously.

"Don't worry!" Grandpa said. "It's a smooth ride--just one big drop at the beginning. You'll be fine."

Malachi's eyes shot open and he glanced at the emergency exit up ahead. "Uh, the line looks pretty long, Grandpa. Aren't you getting tired? Let's go on another ride."

"You're not scared, are you?" asked Grandpa.

"Me, scared? I've been on hundreds of roller coasters!" Malachi knew this was a bit of an exaggeration. The only rides he'd been on were a few merry-go-rounds.

Soon he and Grandpa were in a coaster car with bars locked across their laps. There was no turning back now. Malachi took a deep breath and glanced at his grandpa one last time.

"Don't worry, Malachi," Grandpa said as the roller coaster clanked upward. "I know it's a little scary, but I wouldn't take you on this ride if I didn't think you'd like it. Just relax and have some fun!"

Malachi gripped the bar in front of him as the coaster rounded the top of the track. As the roller coaster roared off, he let out a big shriek.

Before he realized it, it was all over.

"How was the ride?" Grandpa asked as they got out.

"Great!" said Malachi. "After you told me to relax and have fun, the scariness kinda went away! I remembered that you've been on lots of roller coasters, so I trusted you."

"I know you've always been afraid of roller coasters," Grandpa said. "You know, that roller coaster ride was a lot like the ups and downs and scary turns that come up in our lives sometimes. But God tells us to trust Him whenever we feel afraid. Jesus gave His life to save us, and He will always be with us through life's ups and downs. He helps us ride through whatever fears we have."

"Yeah," said Malachi. "Kind of like how you helped me on the roller coaster. If you hadn't been there, I would've headed for the emergency exit for sure!"

– Doug Lim

How About You?
Do you ever feel afraid? Everybody does at one point or another. But sometimes the ups and downs of life can be really big and scary. No matter what fears or uncertainties you face, God promises to be there for you. He loves you so much He gave His Son, Jesus, to save you. You can trust Him. Give Him your fears so you can feel His peace, no matter how big of a roller coaster you're riding.

Today's Key Verse:
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. (NKJV) (Psalm 56:3)

Today's Key Thought:
Trust God with your fears

Chosen

Bible Reading: Exodus 2:1-10; Galatians 4:4-7

Tayden slipped in the back door, dropped his books on the kitchen table, and slumped into a chair. "What's wrong?" Mom asked. "Bad day at school?"

Tayden nodded.

"Want to talk about it?"

"Not really." Tayden didn't know if what happened would hurt his mom as much as it did him. He definitely didn't want that. But he just couldn't keep it in. He looked up and saw his mother staring at him. "I guess." He ran his fingers through his hair, trying to find the right words. "In class today, we were talking about our families, and I told them I was adopted. Some of the kids laughed." Tayden paused. "And I heard a couple of them whisper to each other and say my birth mother must have given me up because she didn't want me," he said, fighting back tears.

"You know that isn't true, Tayden," said Mom. "Your birth mother gave you to us because she loved you so much and wanted you to have what she couldn't give you."

"I know, but not everyone thinks like that," said Tayden.

Mom put her hand on Tayden's shoulder. "Have you ever thought about some of the people in the Bible who were adopted?" she asked.

Tayden's eyes got big. "Like who?"

"We read about one in Exodus," Mom replied.

Tayden thought for a moment. "Was it Moses?"

Mom nodded. "Pharaoh's daughter raised him as her own." Mom pulled up a chair to sit next to Tayden. "The next one might be a little harder. She was adopted by her cousin." Mom paused. "She married a king."

"Queen Esther!" Tayden exclaimed.

"Right again. And the most important one in the whole Bible was--?"

"Jesus," Tayden said slowly. He smiled. "It was Jesus, right? God is His Father, but Joseph was like an earthly father."

"Good!" said Mom. "And when we trust in Jesus, we become children of God and are adopted into His family. So you see, God thinks being adopted is very special."

Tayden's smile widened. "So do I." And he gave his mother a big hug.

– Nancy Todd

How About You?
Were you or someone you know adopted? The word adopt means to choose to take someone into one's own family. Whether you were born into a family or adopted into one, being part of a family is special. And the most important family we can join is the family of God. Have you been adopted by Him? Trust in Jesus today and you will become part of His family. (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:
You received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." (NKJV) (Romans 8:15)

Today's Key Thought:
All God's children are adopted

Underground Railroad

Bible Reading: Psalm 51:5; John 8:30-36

"Hi, Rosetta," said Mom as she set a bag of groceries on the counter. "Lots of homework today?"

Rosetta looked up from the books and papers scattered across the table. "Yeah. I have a report due on Tuesday."

"Oh? On what?" asked Mom as she started putting food in the refrigerator.

"Harriet Tubman. She was a slave who escaped to freedom on the Underground Railroad. After she made it to freedom herself, she went back to help others escape slavery. If she had been caught, she would have been enslaved again!"

"Wow," said Mom. "That's pretty brave."

"Yeah." Rosetta leaned back in her chair. "I don't think I could ever be that brave. If I had escaped slavery and was able to make it to freedom, I'd want to stay there! I don't think I'd risk going back for people I didn't even know."

Mom was quiet for a moment. "Well, I sure am glad someone was willing to rescue me from slavery," she said.

"What?" Rosetta straightened up. "What are you talking about?"

"You and I--along with every other person--were born into a different kind of slavery," Mom explained. "We weren't enslaved to a human master like Harriet Tubman, but the Bible tells us that everyone is born into bondage to sin. We can't escape sin on our own, so Jesus came to earth to rescue us. He became human Himself and died for our sins so we could be free."

"Oh," said Rosetta. "Right."

"And now that we've been freed by Jesus, we can help point others to the freedom they can have in Him too," Mom said. "But unlike Harriet Tubman, we don't ever have to worry about being enslaved again. Once Jesus frees us from sin, we're free forever."

"But pointing others to Jesus isn't quite like what Harriet Tubman did, is it?" Rosetta asked. "It's not as scary and dangerous as going to a place where you could be captured and enslaved."

"Well, it's not against the law to tell people about Jesus where we live, so it's probably less dangerous than in other places in the world. But it can still be scary. That's why we need to trust God to give us the strength and courage we need to boldly tell others about Jesus."

– Jean A. Burns

How About You?
Are you doing what you can to help others know about the freedom they can have in Christ? It can be scary when someone might make fun of you. It can even be dangerous if you live in a part of the world where it's illegal to be a Christian or tell others about Jesus. But God promises to help you. Jesus loves us so much that He left heaven and came to rescue us from sin. He will give you courage so you can boldly tell others about Him.

Today's Key Verse:
Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. (NIV) (Acts 4:29)

Today's Key Thought:
Point others to freedom in Christ

One Day You’ll See

Bible Reading: Revelation 21:1-4; 22:1-5

"Mom, I wish I could explain colors to Lindy," said Maranda. Lindy was a friend from church who was blind. "When I was at the park with her this afternoon, we overhead some people talking about how blue the sky was, and she told me she wished she could understand what that meant." Maranda sighed. "I've tried to explain it to her, but she just doesn't understand what I'm talking about."

"I know. Since she's always been blind, it's hard for her to understand what color is like because she's never experienced it," said Mom. "Her other senses seem to be more in tune than ours though. For example, she recognizes a lot of people by their footsteps."

Just then Beckett arrived home from Bible club. "I'm starving! Is there anything to eat?"

"There's some carrots and dip in the fridge," said Mom. "What did you learn at Bible club, Beckett?"

"We learned about heaven and what it will be like when Jesus returns and makes everything perfect," Beckett said as he got out a plate. "It sounds cool, but it's hard to imagine what it will be like. The Bible talks about it, but I don't understand it very well."

"Neither do I," said Maranda. "My teacher tried to explain what it would be like, but…" She shrugged. "I can't quite picture what we'll be doing there all the time. I guess it will be a lot different."

Mom thought for a moment. "Maranda, remember how difficult--even impossible--it is for Lindy to understand what colors are? In the same way, it's hard--impossible--for us to understand exactly what it will be like when Jesus gives us perfect bodies and makes all things new. We won't totally know that until it happens."

"What if we don't like it there?" asked Beckett.

"Do you think Lindy wishes she could see--even though she doesn't really understand what it's like?" Mom asked.

"Of course," said Maranda. "From what people tell her, she knows that it's wonderful to be able to see." Maranda smiled. "And one day she will! One day Lindy will see Jesus face-to-face."

"And so will we," said Mom. "Everyone who knows Him as their Savior will spend eternity with Him, and it will be better than anything we can imagine."

– Tanya Ferdinandusz

How About You?
Do you have questions about heaven? Do you wonder what life will be like when Jesus returns and makes everything new? Heaven will certainly be different from your life on earth now, but you can be sure that it will be wonderful--and far better than anything we enjoy here. Best of all, Jesus will be there! We will finally see Him face-to-face, and we'll live with Him forever.

Today's Key Verse:
Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. (NKJV) (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Today's Key Thought:
Heaven will be wonderful

Ranger

Bible Reading: Matthew 18:11-13; John 10:11-14

Amir closed his eyes and sighed in frustration. For the first time, Wyatt had accepted an invitation to go to church. The teacher had explained that people are lost in sin, and Jesus came to find them and save them. But Wyatt didn't understand. "I don't get it," he said as he and Amir walked home. "It doesn't make sense! A perfect God wouldn't search for people, because He wouldn't need them for anything--especially not people who keep messing up all the time." Amir didn't know how to explain it any better than their teacher had.

"I've had enough God talk," Wyatt said as they rounded the corner. "Wanna stop at my house for a while?" Amir nodded.

When the boys arrived at Wyatt's house, his little sister Rosalie ran up to them. "Wyatt!" she called. "Ranger's missing!"

"What?" Wyatt suddenly looked like he was about to panic. He loved his family's dog.

"I looked all around the neighborhood for him, but I can't find him," said Rosalie. "Can you go look for him, Wyatt?"

"I'll help," said Amir, and the boys took off in different directions, calling the dog's name and whistling for him.

Amir circled the block, and when he got back to Wyatt's house, he found Wyatt throwing sticks for the dog. "Ranger heard me call and came to me," Wyatt said with a grin. "I think he wanted to be found!"

That gave Amir an idea. "Why did you have to go look for Ranger?" he asked.

"Because he was lost," said Wyatt, looking puzzled. "Besides, I didn't have to look for him--I wanted to! He's my dog--he belongs with me."

Amir grinned. "Right, and you know what? Jesus didn't have to look for us either. He wanted to because He made us and we belong with Him. Jesus loves you, Wyatt, even more than you love Ranger. He wants to find you, and He can--but you have to want to be found." Wyatt looked a bit startled. "Come over sometime and we can talk about it some more," said Amir. "Okay?"

Wyatt watched Ranger chew the end of a stick. "Maybe," he said thoughtfully. "I'll think about it."

– Paulette Cross

How About You?
Have you ever lost something really important to you and wanted to find it? That's how God feels about people--about you. If you haven't trusted Jesus as your Savior, you are lost in sin. The good news is that Jesus is looking for you. Trust Him to find you and bring you home. (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:
The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. (NIV) (Luke 19:10 )

Today's Key Thought:
God wants to find you
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