Keys for Kids Devotional Feed


How to Make Friends

Bible Reading: Matthew 7:12; Romans 13:8-10

Elodie's heart ached as she got ready for school. "No one ever talks to me at school," she told her parents at breakfast. "I hate it here! We've lived here six weeks, and I still don't have one friend--not one!"

"Elodie, when I was a kid I learned a little poem that I think you need to apply to your life," Mom said. "It says, 'I went looking for a friend, but not one could be found. I went out to be a friend, and friends were all around.'"

Elodie wiped her hands on a napkin. "What does that mean?"

"It means you shouldn't think so much about finding a friend and instead focus on being a friend," Mom explained. "Start looking for someone who needs a friend instead of waiting for them to come to you."

Dad nodded. "In the Bible, Jesus says to do to others what we would want them to do to us. I know it can be scary to reach out to people you don't know when you're the new one at school, but you can start by being a friend like Jesus to the kids in your class. He reached out to us in love before we were His friends, and we can do the same to others. Trust Him to help you do that, and we'll pray that He will bring the right friends into your life."

As Elodie got out of the car at school, Dad gave her an encouraging smile. "Be friendly today," he said. "I'll be praying for you on my way to work."

As Dad drove away, Elodie noticed a girl going up the walk. That looks like the girl who sits across from me in math, she thought. What's her name? Oh yeah--Nadia. She doesn't seem to do much with the other kids. Maybe she doesn't have any friends either. Maybe…

"Nadia!" called Elodie. "Wait up. Can I walk with you?"

Nadia looked up. "Sure," she said, surprised. "You're new here, aren't you? I am too. I've been here seven weeks, and you're the first person who's really talked to me."

A warm feeling filled Elodie, and it drove out the cold, lonely ache. Mom and Dad were right, she thought. God, please help me be a friend like Jesus to Nadia.

–Barbara J. Westberg

How About You?
Do you feel lonely or left out? Instead of waiting for someone to be a friend to you, be a friend to them first. Before we knew Him, Jesus reached out to us in love and friendship, and He will help you show the same love to others. Ask Him to bring new friends into your life, and the next time you see someone who needs a friend, think of ways you can reach out to them.

Today's Key Verse:
Do to others as you would like them to do to you. (NLT) (Luke 6:31)

Today's Key Thought:
To make friends, be a friend

Jingo and Jayla

Bible Reading: John 10:7-10

Jayla's black and white kitten dug his claws into the leg of her jeans. She shook him off and started loading the dishwasher. Meow! protested the kitten.

"What do you want, Jingo?" asked Jayla. Jingo bounced to the sliding door. "I guess you're ready to go outside," said Jayla. The kitten meowed and--according to Jayla--smiled. "You said, 'Uh-huh,' didn't you? I'll open the door for you as soon as I finish putting the dishes in the dishwasher." But Jingo didn't want to wait. He attached himself to the leg of Jayla's jeans again. "Ouch!" she exclaimed. "Quit that!"

Jingo dropped to the floor and trotted back and forth between Jayla and the door. Finally, he stationed himself there and looked at Jayla with enormous green eyes.

Jayla laughed. "Okay, Jingo. You win. I'll open the door for you." She dried her hands, and with Jingo at her heels, she walked to the door. When she opened it, he bounded outside and made a beeline for his favorite spot in the sunshine.

When she was finished with her chores, Jayla went to her room. Soon she returned to the kitchen. "Mom, guess what? I was just working on learning my verse for church, and Jingo gave me an example of what it means."

"Really?" asked Mom. "And what is that?"

"Well, Jingo knows he can't open the door himself, so he comes to me and gets me to open it for him," Jayla explained. "So the way outside is through me--it's like I'm the door for him. That's like my verse. It says Jesus is the door to salvation. We can't get into heaven by ourselves, but when we trust in Jesus, He opens the door so we can get in--He saves us from sin and gives us eternal life."

"That's a good way to look at it!" said Mom, and she and Jayla laughed as they looked out the window and saw Jingo jump around on the grass, having the time of his life. "But unlike you and Jingo, Jesus doesn't just open the door and then leave us. The Bible says He's always with us, from now into eternity."

"Jingo is a lot of fun," said Jayla. "And now he's taught me something too."

–Glenna B. Roberts

How About You?
How do you expect to get into heaven? Do you think you can get there by being good? By obeying your parents? By going to church? It won't work. There's no way you can get into heaven except through the door--Jesus Christ. The only way for you to be saved and have eternal life is through Him. Trust Jesus to open the door for you 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:
I [Jesus] am the Door. Anyone who goes in through Me will be saved. (NLV) (John 10:9 )

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus is the door to salvation

Like Jesus

Bible Reading: Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:1-3

Armel sighed as he looked out the window. He had planned to spend the day fishing with Grandpa, but it was raining. "This is going to be the most boring day ever," he grumbled.

"Oh, you're always complaining," said his sister. "Read a book or something."

The sound of a man's voice came from the kitchen where Mom was listening to a podcast of one of her favorite speakers. "When Jesus appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He is," the man was saying.

Armel's thoughts lingered on that last phrase--"see Him as He is." I wonder what Jesus looks like, he thought. How tall was He when He was on earth? Did He really have long hair like in the pictures in books? I wish somebody who knew Him had written a description. He probably smiled a lot, and maybe His eyes twinkled like Grandpa's.

"Armel," Mom called from the kitchen. "Grandpa wants to talk to you."

When he heard Grandpa's voice on the phone, Armel knew he was smiling. Grandpa was calling from ten miles away, but it was easy to imagine how he looked--and Armel liked how everybody said he reminded them of his grandfather. "Hi there," said Grandpa. "What do you think of the weather?"

"It's raining," Armel replied with a pout.

"Yes, but I've got an idea. I need some help in my workshop. Are you available?"

"I'm ready right now!" Armel exclaimed.

As Armel returned the phone to his mom, the voice in the kitchen caught his attention again. "Our hope lies in the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ. We will not only see Him, but we will be like Him. Until then, the Holy Spirit is working so that others can see Jesus in us now. As He shapes our hearts, we can reflect Jesus's love in our thoughts and actions, looking forward to the day when we will finally be like Him."

Armel smiled to himself. I like it when people say I remind them of Grandpa because he's such a warm, loving person. I want to remind people of Jesus that way too. And it will be even better when I'm with Jesus, because then I'll be perfect like He is. Armel grinned, imagining what his sister would say about the idea of him being perfect.

–Phyllis I. Klomparens

How About You?
Do you wish you could see Jesus or know what He looks like? If you know Him as your Savior, someday you will see Him. Not only that, but you'll be like Him too! You'll have a new body that will never hurt or die. And you'll never sin again--you'll be perfect. That's definitely something to look forward to! Until then, trust God to help you show others what Jesus is like through your words and actions.

Today's Key Verse:
We know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (NIV) (1 John 3:2)

Today's Key Thought:
Look forward to being like Jesus

Adjustments

Bible Reading: Philippians 4:11-13; 1 Timothy 6:6-8

"Hey, Mr. Watson," said Thiago as he walked across the courtyard of his apartment complex. His neighbor was watering pink and white impatiens in a flower box.

"Hi, Thiago," replied the elderly man. "Have you gotten used to being in the city yet?"

Thiago put his backpack down before he answered. "No, not really. I wish we didn't have to leave Oceanview. I miss swimming in the ocean."

"You can swim here too, you know," said Mr. Watson as he began watering the plants in a large urn.

"I know. That's what Sam said--he's in my class at school. But the only place there is to swim around here is the city pool. I went with him one day, and it was so crowded, it was no fun at all! Nothing like swimming next to a sandy beach in the hot sun."

"Sounds like you need to make an adjustment," said Mr. Watson.

Thiago sighed. "What if I don't want to?"

"I didn't either. Before I moved to this apartment, I used to have a big garden at a house outside the city. When I first moved here, I tried to grow the same flowers on the north side of this complex as I had grown in my big, sunny garden. Most of them either died or grew spindly and didn't bloom."

"Your flowers look okay to me," said Thiago, looking at the boxes and urns popping with color.

"That's because I adjusted to my new situation and planted flowers that bloom in the shade," Mr. Watson explained. "I learned that God created more than one kind of beautiful flower. And you might discover that God has good things He wants you to experience here that you wouldn't have had in Oceanview."

"You sound like my Sunday school teacher," said Thiago. "She's always telling us that if we know Jesus, we can be content no matter where we are or what we have."

"Well, she's right," said Mr. Watson. "Jesus has given us eternal life and promises to be with us in every situation, and because of that, we can be content. Trust Him to help you adjust to your new situation. Give it some time, and you might learn to like city life--just like I've learned to like impatiens and begonias."

–Ruth McQuilkin

How About You?
Do you have to adjust to something new--like a new home, school, or family member? If you only see the bad things about your new situation, you'll miss out on the good things God has for you. The Bible tells us that, with Jesus, we can be content in any situation. Trust Him to show you something good about your new situation and to help you through any adjustments.

Today's Key Verse:
I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. (CSB) (Philippians 4:11)

Today's Key Thought:
Learn to adjust

Run!

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:12-14

As Charlotte carefully counted out the money she had taken from her drawer, her sister Rachel watched from the bed. The girls had decided to pool their money and get their mom a special gift for Mother's Day. "We should go around the neighborhood and ask if there are any odd jobs we can do," said Charlotte. "Then we might have enough money to get Mom that necklace we saw."

"Well, Mrs. Stowe is always looking for someone to do yard work for her. Let's try her," suggested Rachel.

Soon the girls were mowing and raking Mrs. Stowe's yard. It was a very humid day, and they were hot and sweaty by the time they finished. Wiping her forehead, Rachel gratefully took the money Mrs. Stowe gave them and put it in her pocket.

"I'm thirsty," said Charlotte as they started down the street. "I'd give anything for an ice-cold soda right now!"

"Or a huge cone of chocolate ice cream," said Rachel. "But we can't spend any of our money or we might not have enough for the necklace."

Just then, the girls heard the music of an ice cream truck as it came around the corner. "Ice cream!" called out the driver. "Ice-cold drinks!"

Charlotte and Rachel looked at each other. "This is so tempting, Rachel," said Charlotte. "What should we do?"

"Run!" shouted Rachel. And they did! They ran straight home and immediately poured themselves giant glasses of ice water.

Later that day, they counted their earnings. Charlotte turned and grinned at Rachel. "We have just enough to get that necklace. Good thing we didn't spend any on anything that ice cream truck was selling."

"Yeah," Rachel said. "It's like what we learned at church last week--when we face the temptation to sin, the best thing to do is run away. Because Jesus freed us from sin, we don't have to give in. He will help us escape temptation and do what's right instead."

"But spending our money on ice cream wouldn't have been a sin, would it?" asked Charlotte.

"Of course not," said Rachel. "But we agreed to use it all on Mom's gift, and I'm glad we stuck to that decision. And when we are tempted to do something that's wrong, we can run away from that temptation too."

–Linda E. Knight

How About You?
What do you do when you're tempted to do something that's wrong? When you're enticed by sin, remember that, through Jesus, you have the power to resist it and act out of love and obedience instead. God promises to always provide a way for you to escape temptation, and when you see it, run! Trust Him to help you resist temptation and do what's right.

Today's Key Verse:
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace. (NIV) (2 Timothy 2:22)

Today's Key Thought:
Run from temptation
First45679111213Last