Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

The Cranky Neighbor

Bible Reading: Mark 12:28-31

Macy glanced at her brother and made a face as Mrs. Jackson from next door stepped into their yard. Here we go again, she thought. Their neighbor was always mad about something.

Mom got up from the porch swing. "Hello," she said in a cheerful voice.

Mrs. Jackson harrumphed. "I thought I heard your kids screaming."

Mom glanced at Macy and Jace. "Not today."

"Well, keep them quiet when it starts to get late like this. I haven't been feeling well and need my sleep," Mrs. Jackson said.

Mom's brows knit together. "I'm sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well. Is there anything we can do for you?"

Mrs. Jackson shook her head. "Just keep your kids quiet." She turned and marched back to her yard.

"I hope you feel better," Mom called after her.

"Why are you so nice to her, Mom?" Macy asked.

"Yeah," Jace said. "She's only ever grumpy and mean to us."

Mom turned toward them. "Sometimes it's when people are acting grumpy and mean that they need love and grace the most."

"Love?" Jace wrinkled his nose.

"She doesn't seem like she's deserving of it all the time, I know. But then again, neither are we." Mom sat on the porch swing between them. "God chose to love us even though we're not perfect. We all make mistakes, right?"

Macy thought about how often she fought with her brother, especially when they were playing board games. "Yeah."

Mom nodded. "God loves us in spite of our mistakes, and we should show love to others despite how they might treat us too. When we show them love and grace, we're showing them Jesus."

"I want to be like Jesus," Macy said.

Jace glanced at her. "Even if it means being nice to Mrs. Jackson?"

"Yeah." Macy sighed. "That's going to be hard."

Mom squeezed her hand. "But not impossible. You can trust Jesus to help you love others the way He loves you."

"I will," Macy said. She wanted to be loving like Jesus, even if it meant putting up with her cranky neighbor.

–Bethany Acker

How About You?
Do you know someone who only ever seems to be in a bad mood? Sometimes people who are grumpy or mean act that way because they're hurting. That doesn't excuse their actions, but it can help you remember that they need love too. God shows us love and grace when we don't deserve it, and He will help us do the same for others. Trust Him to help you love your neighbors the way Jesus loves you.

Today's Key Verse:
Love your neighbor as yourself. (NIV) (Mark 12:31)

Today's Key Thought:
Everyone needs love

Like a Kitten

Bible Reading: Matthew 6:28-33

"Mom, what if Dad can't find another job?" Selah was sitting with Mom on the porch, helping shuck corn for supper. Dad had been out of work for months, and even though her parents were still in good spirits, Selah could tell that money was starting to get tight.

Mom smiled at her question. "The Lord will provide for us," she said confidently

as she tore off another cornhusk.

Selah smiled as her kitten, Max, came bounding around the corner and started batting at the pieces they were dropping on the ground. She still couldn't help but think about the things they would have to give up if Dad didn't find a job soon.

Mom looked at the kitten, then looked at Selah. "Selah, did you feed Max today?"

Selah looked surprised. "Yes, of course. I feed him every day!"

Mom smiled. "Why do you feed him?"

Selah picked up Max and put him on her lap. "I love him, and he needs food every day," she explained. "Why do you ask?"

"Your kitten reminds me of a verse in the Bible," said Mom. "It's about how we don't need to worry about what we eat or what we wear, because the Lord will provide for us. We just need to trust that He will keep His promises."

Selah looked down at Max. He was so small--he would never be able to find food on his own. "So, Max trusts me to provide for him like we need to trust God to provide for us."

"Exactly," said Mom. "And this corn we're shucking is just one way the Lord has provided for us today."

Selah looked puzzled. "What do you mean?"

"The Thomas family from church grew this corn in the field behind their house," Mom explained. "They had so much that they gave us a whole basketful!"

"Wow." Selah rubbed Max's fur as he stretched out in her lap. "I guess God really

is taking care of us!"

Mom nodded. "God provided for our greatest need of all by sending Jesus to be our Savior. He gave us His own Son, and we can trust Him to give us what we need each day too. This corn we eat with dinner can remind us of all the incredible ways God provides for us."

–Emily Tenter

How About You?
Do you trust God to take care of all your needs? Or do you spend a lot of time worrying about them? God promises to look after His children and care for them. When we needed a Savior, He sent His Son to die for our sins so we could be saved. You can trust Him to provide everything you need. Give your worries and burdens to Him and let Him take care of you.

Today's Key Verse:
My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (NIV) (Philippians 4:19)

Today's Key Thought:
God provides

Always Watching

Bible Reading: Psalm 56:3-4; Isaiah 26:3-4; Romans 8:35-39

Editor's note: This story addresses violence and may not be suitable for some children.

Kendall sat on her bed and looked at her mother. "Can't we just stay home?" she asked. "I don't want to go downtown. I'm still scared." There had been a shooting in the city a few weeks before, and Kendall wasn't sure she ever wanted to go out in public again.

"Kendall," said Mom, "I understand you're scared, but we can't just hide at home for the rest of our lives."

Kendall slowly got up and went to the window. Looking out, she noticed a little dove all alone on the balcony. It rested peacefully until two large pigeons landed nearby. The young dove began cooing loudly in alarm. Kendall frowned. "If only that little dove had stayed in its nest, it would be safe." Before Mom could answer, the mother dove appeared and the curious pigeons flew away.

Mom gently stroked Kendall's hair. "Honey, that little dove was never really left alone. Its mother was always watching."

Kendall sighed and pressed her forehead against the window. "I wish we had someone to watch and protect us wherever we go so I wouldn't be scared," said Kendall. "Like a bodyguard."

"Oh, there's someone much better than a bodyguard looking out for you, Kendall," said Mom. "You're God's child, and He is constantly caring for you. He loves you, and He'll always be with you no matter where you go."

"But we can't be sure He'll keep us safe, can we?" asked Kendall. "I mean, sometimes Christians get hurt too."

"That's true," said Mom. "We can't understand why He allows some things to happen, but nothing can happen that He doesn't allow. And no matter what happens, He promises to be with us. Jesus died and rose again so we could be God's children and live with Him forever. So even though terrible things happen sometimes, we don't need to be afraid, because God has promised us eternal life with Him, and nothing can take that away from us."

Kendall thought about what her mother said. "So since God is my Father and He's with me, I don't need to be afraid anymore, even though the world is such a scary place."

Mom nodded. "God watches over you every moment. Trust Him. He'll never leave your side."

–Suzanne Daly

How About You?
Do you live in fear because of the terrible things that happen in the world? Are you afraid to leave your house? If you're a child of God, you don't need to live in fear and dread. You're never out of God's sight, and nothing can ever separate you from Him. Nothing that happens ever takes Him by surprise. Trust Him and know He's watching over you.

Today's Key Verse:
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. (NKJV) (Psalm 34:15)

Today's Key Thought:
God sees and cares for you

Off the Richter

Bible Reading: Psalms 97:1-6; 104:31-35; Revelation 1:4-7

Enzo was watching TV when he saw small ripples appear in his glass of juice. A moment later, he felt slight vibrations throughout his body, as though someone had just started a car he was sitting in. "Mom!" Enzo yelled as he ran into the kitchen. "The floor is shaking!"

"Quick," said Mom, "under the table!" They scooted underneath the large kitchen table and stayed there several minutes until the rumblings deep in the earth below them stopped.

Once it was safe, they climbed back out, and Mom flipped on the news. "The earthquake we felt was 4.8 on the Richter scale," she said. "There were some buildings in the area with minor damage, but it wasn't very strong, and no one was hurt."

"We learned about the Richter scale in school," said Enzo. "It has numbers between one and ten that measure how strong an earthquake is."

"That's right," said Mom. "A 4.8 is considered a light earthquake."

"It didn't feel light," said Enzo. "It was scary!"

"Yes, earthquakes scare me too," said Mom. "When I feel one, I'm afraid it might damage our house or our town--or worse, hurt you or someone else. But earthquakes also remind me how powerful and holy God is and that He is in control of everything."

"How do earthquakes remind you of that?" asked Enzo.

"The Bible says that the earth trembles before the Lord," Mom replied. "Even though the huge tectonic plates that make up the earth below us seem incredibly powerful and unpredictable to us, God has complete control over them. There's no scale to measure how powerful He is. He's off the Richter."

"So the earth trembles before the Lord, just like I tremble in an earthquake?" asked Enzo.

Mom laughed. "Do you mean you tremble because you're scared or because you're shaking along with the ground?"

Enzo thought a moment. "Both!"

"Earthquakes are powerful forces of nature, but they're nowhere near as powerful as God," said Mom. "He has control over the entire universe, and yet He loves us and sent His Son to die for our sins. One day, the whole world will see His power when Jesus comes again to judge sin, but those who trust in Him have nothing to fear."

Enzo smiled. "What a great God."

–Courtney Lasater

How About You?
Have you ever seen something so powerful it made you afraid? Whatever it was, God had complete control over it--He's more powerful than anything you can imagine. One day, all people on earth will see His power like never before when Jesus comes again, but those whose sins have been forgiven will have nothing to fear. Are you one of those people? If not, trust in Jesus today. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page or go to

Today's Key Verse:
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. (NIV) (Psalm 96:9)

Today's Key Thought:
God is great

Sweeter than Honey

Bible Reading: Psalm 119:97-104

"What is this?" Lindsey asked her grandma, looking at the metal trays and racks on the kitchen counter.

"That's honeycomb," Grandma said. "Grandpa took it out of one of our hives earlier."

"It doesn't look like honey," Lindsey said doubtfully.

Grandma laughed. "Right now, the comb is draining, so if you look under the metal rack, it should look like honey. Now I need to package it up so Grandpa can take it to customers tomorrow."

"Can I help?" Lindsey asked.

"Sure!" Grandma handed her a pair of gloves. "Why don't you put these on, then I'll show you how to do it."

When her mom picked her up later that day, Lindsey told her about the honey. "It was so cool, Mom! There was honey left on the trays, and Grandma let me taste some. It was so good--it tasted just like sugar. I got to bring some of it home so you can taste it."

"That does sound really cool," Mom agreed. "I can't wait to taste it. Did you know that there's a Bible verse about honey?"

"There is?" Lindsey asked. "About honey?"

"Yep. It's in the book of Psalms, and it tells us that God's Word is sweeter than honey."

"But the honey was so sweet!" said Lindsey.

Mom laughed. "Yes, honey is really sweet, and the Bible is even sweeter than that! God's Word teaches us about Him, and He uses the Bible to talk to us. Through it, He tells us who He is and how much He loves us, and He helps us understand what Jesus did to save us and how we should live as His children. Talking to Him and learning from Him are two reasons it's important to read the Bible."

"I like looking at my Bible." Lindsey bit her lip. "But I can't read it yet."

Mom smiled. "You'll be able to read it before too long! And listening to the Bible works the same way--that's why Daddy or I read your Bible to you every night before bed."

"Can we read the verse about honey tonight?" Lindsey asked.

Mom pulled into the driveway. "That sounds perfect."

–Kimberly Brokish

How About You?
Have you tasted honey? It's very sweet, isn't it? Our Key Verse today tells us there's something even sweeter than honey--God's Word! God's words to us in the Bible are sweeter than anything else. How great is it that God wants to talk to us? Listen to what He has to say by reading the Bible yourself and listening when others read and explain it to you. What is God telling you?

Today's Key Verse:
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (NIV) (Psalm 119:103)

Today's Key Thought:
Reading the Bible is sweet!