Keys for Kids Devotional Feed


True Treasure

Bible Reading: Matthew 13:44; Philippians 3:7-8

Roman tapped his fingers on the console of his family's minivan. He was about to honk the horn when he saw Mom lock the front door and swoop his baby sister onto her hip.

"Hurry," Roman mumbled. He wanted to get to the game store early.

Mom opened the back door and secured his sister in her car seat, then slipped into the driver's seat and started the engine.

"Finally," said Roman. When Mom turned and arched a brow, Roman knew he needed to reign in his impatience. "Sorry, Mom."

She smiled. "I know you're excited, but you need to calm down. We'll get there." They pulled out of the driveway and headed toward town.

Roman opened his wallet and counted the bills neatly lined up inside. He'd helped with yard work and done extra chores around the house to save up for the new PlayBox video game console. It had taken him five months, but today he would be one of the first kids to own the only gaming system that would give him access to the latest and greatest downloadable video games. He could hardly wait.

When Mom pulled into the parking lot, Roman's heart plummeted. Swarms of people stood outside the door, and the store didn't open for another thirty minutes. How could there be a line already? He unbuckled his seatbelt. "I'm going to get in line."

"All right," said Mom. "I'll be at the grocery store next door. Come find me when you're done."

An hour later, Roman held the large box in his hands as they pulled out of the parking lot. "Do you have any money left?" asked Mom.

"No." Roman ran his finger along the edges of the box. "But that's okay."

"It was worth it?" asked Mom.

Roman looked at his mom and smiled. "Totally."

"You know," said Mom, "there's a story in the Bible about a man who sells everything he has to buy a field with hidden treasure. He wanted that treasure so much, he was willing to let go of everything else. Jesus says God's kingdom is like that."

"Really?" asked Roman. "How?"

Mom looked at him. "What do you think?"

Roman squinted into the morning sun. "Because being in God's family is the best treasure ever, and knowing Jesus is worth more than anything else?"

Mom smiled and nodded. "Totally."

–Vickie Price Taylor

How About You?
Have you ever wanted something so badly you'd give up anything to get it? Jesus says that's how exciting being part of God's kingdom is. Having our sins forgiven through Jesus so we can be one of God's children is a treasure unlike any other, and it will never get old or wear out--it lasts forever! You can have that treasure today by trusting 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:
Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. (NLT) (Philippians 3:8)

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus is worth everything

Flip It!

Bible Reading: Philippians 4:4-9; Colossians 3:15-16

CRASH! Mae threw one of her toys across the room. Why does everything have to be so difficult? Flopping on her bed, Mae grabbed her stuffed octopus and flipped it inside out. Now it was frowning back at her. "That's how I feel too, Oki."

"What happened? I heard a crash." Mom slipped into Mae's room and sat down next to her daughter. "Uh-oh, I see that Oki's face matches yours right now."

"I can't get that bracelet right! I even read the instructions and watched that video on it, but it's still not turning out."

"Yes, I can see how that would be frustrating. Why didn't you ask for help?"

Mae shrugged. "Sometimes I just want to figure it out on my own."

Mom nodded and sighed. "I do that sometimes too."

"You do?" Mae looked at Mom suspiciously.

"How about last week when I got that new mixer and tried to put it together?"

"You were really frustrated!" Mae recalled. "Good thing Ben can figure stuff like that out."

"Your big brother was very patient and got it working, but I had to ask him first. I also had to ask God for help."

Mae's eyes widened. "God helped you put the mixer together?"

Mom laughed. "Not physically, no, but He did help me with my attitude. You remember how I was pretty upset with myself when I couldn't figure it out? I could have allowed that frustration to determine my attitude for the rest of my day, but instead I prayed and asked God to help me remember that I have the Holy Spirit in me and can let my attitude reflect His love. I was grumbling and irritable, but with God's help, I chose to focus on what was true, right, and lovely, just like it says in Philippians chapter four."

"God helped you flip your attitude," said Mae.

Mom nodded. "It's okay to get frustrated, Mae, everyone does. What we do when we're frustrated is what matters. Do we stick with this face and attitude--" Mom grabbed Oki and turned her inside out "--or do we trust God to help us not lose sight of His goodness, love, and promises, even when we feel frustrated?"

Mae winked at Mom. "Oki does look better with a smile."

–Savannah Coleman

How About You?
Do you often get frustrated? When you do, do you let your frustration affect how you think about yourself or the way you treat others? If you are a child of God, you have 24/7 access to His power in you. That means you can fix your mind on things that are good, right, and true, even when you feel frustrated or angry. Trust Him to help you clothe yourself with attitudes and actions that reflect His love.

Today's Key Verse:
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (NIV) (Proverbs 17:22)

Today's Key Thought:
God can help you flip your attitude

Good Listener

Bible Reading: Proverbs 2:1-9

"Anna makes me so mad!" declared Kenzo. "She never listens to anyone else's ideas. And she always whispers in class. I wish she'd just sit still for one minute and listen to what someone else is saying!"

"Well, just be sure you don't let her keep you from listening when your teacher is speaking," said Mom. "Listening is your responsibility."

After dinner, it was Kenzo's turn to read a selection for family devotions. He quickly read through the verses, then shut the Bible. "Okay, so can we pray now?" he asked, sitting on the edge of his chair. "I have homework to do."

"In a minute," said Dad. "I have a praise to share. This morning, I read Ephesians 4:32 and realized that the Lord was telling me to forgive a man at work for something he had said about me. I prayed about it, and I trusted God to help me let go of my bitter attitude and forgive him. It was hard to do, but I feel so much better now."

"How does God speak to you?" asked Kenzo. "He never speaks to me like that."

"Could it be that you don't take the time to listen?" asked Dad.

"I listen," said Kenzo. "My teacher says I'm one of her best listeners."

"Listening to God is a bit different though," Mom said. "God speaks to us through His Word, the Bible. When we read it and listen to what it says, the Holy Spirit speaks its truth to our hearts."

"Just like this morning when I read that verse about forgiveness and God spoke to me through it and made me realize that I had to do what it says," Dad added. "As we listen to God's voice in the Bible and carefully think about the verses we read, the Holy Spirit helps us understand the truth He wants us to know and live it out in our lives. But we won't know what He's saying unless we listen."

"Remember how you wished your friend Anna could sit still for one minute?" asked Mom. "I think God would like you to sit still and listen to Him speak."

–Nance E. Keyes

How About You?
Are you a good listener when other people are talking? How about when God is talking? He speaks to us through His Word, the Bible. Read it and then meditate on it by thinking about what it says. God also often speaks through pastors and teachers or through parents and friends who help us understand the truth of God's Word. Trust Him to help you be still and listen to what He has to say.

Today's Key Verse:
Be still, and know that I am God. (NKJV) (Psalm 46:10)

Today's Key Thought:
Listen to God

No Camouflage

Bible Reading: Matthew 5:13-16

Zebb leaned forward as he and his family traveled through the African game reserve. His excitement at seeing animals in their natural habitats was rapidly being replaced by frustration.

"There's a springbok!" said their guide, pointing out the window.

"Where?" Zebb strained to look in the direction the guide had indicated. "I don't see it." He plopped back in his seat. "Why am I the only one who can't spot any animals even after someone tells me where to look?"

"It's because they blend in so well with the trees and grass," said Mom. "But I'm sure you'll learn to spot the animals soon."

"I don't know," said Zebb. "If I had to depend on hunting them for food, I think I'd starve to death." He managed a weak smile.

Dad grinned at him. "God gave wild animals effective camouflage, didn't He? That's just the opposite of the way He wants us to be."

Zebb rolled his eyes. "Dad! No riddles right now. I'm having enough trouble trying to see the animals!"

"I think Dad is talking about Christians," said Mom. "He's saying that God doesn't want us to lead camouflaged lives."

"You got it!" Dad said. "God wants to shine His light, His love, and His good news to the world through us. He wants others to see Jesus by the way we live."

Zebb stared into the distance. "You're thinking about us going to Uncle Ron's house next week, aren't you?" Zebb knew his uncle didn't believe in Jesus.

Dad nodded. "I'm praying that Uncle Ron will see Jesus in us and decide he wants to get to know Him himself. Sometimes it can feel daunting to share the love of Jesus with others, but God has given us the Holy Spirit to help us. I'm praying He'll work through us to show Uncle Ron what Jesus is like and give us an opportunity to share the truth with him."

"Me too," said Zebb. Just then, he saw a flicker of movement near a tree. He focused all his attention on the spot and finally made out a shape. "I see a giraffe--no, a whole bunch of giraffes--in those trees over there!" Zebb beamed triumphantly. "Finally!" Looking at his dad, he said, "I hope people--especially Uncle Ron--won't have as much trouble seeing Jesus when they look at us."

–Linda Avallone

How About You?
Is it easy for others to see Jesus in you? Do the things you do and say reflect what Jesus would do and say if He were living on earth today? Trust Him to use your life to show those around you what He's like. Don't camouflage the fact that you know Jesus. Let others see that you have His Spirit in you and want to follow Him in all you do.

Today's Key Verse:
I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes. (NLT) (Romans 1:16 )

Today's Key Thought:
Let others see Jesus in you

Wiped Clean

Bible Reading: Psalm 51:1-10

Brighton sprayed cleaning solution on the whiteboard in the room where she did her homeschool lessons. Then she took a cloth and wiped away all the colorful splotches left behind from the markers used on it. "There," she said. "That's better. Just erasing it doesn't get rid of all the marker spots, but cleaning it does!"

Mom smiled. "It looks brand new!"

That evening during family devotions--as she had been doing for the past few days--Brighton prayed for forgiveness for lying to her parents the week before. "I'm sorry I did that, Lord," she prayed. "Please forgive me and help me not to do it again."

Once again, Mom and Dad assured Brighton they forgave her, and that God did too. But Brighton wasn't sure. "When someone asks me to forgive them for something, I say I will, but sometimes I have trouble forgetting it," she told her parents. "I just want to be sure God knows I'm really sorry."

Later that evening, Brighton was surprised when Mom suggested she go clean her whiteboard before getting into bed.

"I wiped it down after school today," said Brighton. "It's clean."

"Well, why not do it again, just to make sure," said Mom.

"But I haven't even used it since I cleaned it! If I had just erased it, you'd probably still see some marker smears--sometimes you can even figure out what words were erased. But I washed it with cleaning stuff. You said yourself that it looked brand new."

Mom nodded. "When we confess a sin to another person, it's a bit like erasing your board. They generally forgive us, but sometimes they have trouble forgetting it--and we do too. But God isn't like that. When we confess a sin to Him, it's like wiping your board down with the cleaning solution. Our sin is totally removed--every bit is washed away! And God promises that He not only forgives that sin, but He sees us as totally clean and new again."

Brighton liked that. And when she prayed during devotions the following night, she omitted her usual confession about lying. God had already forgiven and forgotten that sin. All she needed to do was remember His promises.

–Nance E. Keyes

How About You?
Have you ever felt like you needed to keep asking God to forgive something you did wrong? You don't need to. The Bible uses several illustrations to show He forgives your sins--casting them into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19), washing them away (Psalm 51:7), and removing and forgetting them (Hebrews 8:12). Believe what He says. Confess your sin and then trust Him to forgive you.

Today's Key Verse:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NKJV) (1 John 1:9)

Today's Key Thought:
God forgives sin
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