Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

Get Up

Bible Reading: Psalm 37:23-24; 1 John 1:8-9

Alannah pulled on her ice skates and grinned at her aunt. "I'm ready to learn to skate, Aunt Rachel." Her aunt smiled, took Alannah's hands, and pulled her to her feet. As they started across the ice, Alannah wobbled back and forth, trying to keep her balance. "Whoa!" she exclaimed. She gripped Aunt Rachel's arm.

After a few laps, Alannah loosened her grip and let go. "Nothing to this skating thing," she declared with a laugh. As she spoke, she lost her balance and crashed to the ice. "Ouch! I guess I can't skate after all," she moaned.

Aunt Rachel pulled Alannah to her feet again. "Sure you can. When you fall, you just have to get up and keep skating."

"Do you ever fall?" asked Alannah.

"Oh yes--even though I've skated for many years," Aunt Rachel said as she helped Alannah to a bench. After resting a few minutes, Alannah was ready to try again.

A few days later, Alannah walked to her aunt's house after school to wait for her mom to pick her up. "How's it going?" asked Aunt Rachel. "Did you fall down today?"

Alannah grinned. "Nope, but I haven't been skating today."

"No, but there are more serious ways we can fall," said Aunt Rachel.

"Like?" asked Alannah.

"Well, I was just working on the lesson I'm teaching on Sunday, and it points out that when we sin, it's like falling down," said Aunt Rachel. "I've been a Christian for many years, but I still fall down when I do wrong things like tell a lie, lose my temper, or gossip. Tell me, Alannah--what do we have to do when we fall down?"

"Get up again," Alannah replied. "You taught me that when we were skating."

Aunt Rachel nodded. "I was there to help you get up when you fell on the ice. Who helps us get up when we sin?"

"Um…Jesus does," said Alannah.

"You got it," said Aunt Rachel. "He saved us from sin, and He is always there to help us up when we fall. He wants us to confess our wrongs to Him and accept forgiveness. Then He teaches us lessons from the tumbles."

-Lovella Daoust

How About You?
Can you think of times--perhaps even today--when you've fallen down? We all fall down by doing wrong things, even Christians. But when we fall, Jesus promises to help us back up. You should feel sorry for the wrong things you've done, but when you've confessed your failures to Jesus, accept His forgiveness. Then look to Him for strength to move on in your life.

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:
Accept God's forgiveness and move on

Fishing with Gramps

Bible Reading: Luke 5:4-11

Josiah knew two things for sure about Gramps--he loved God and he loved to fish! Josiah couldn't wait to spend the weekend fishing with his grandpa. They were going to fish all day and then spend the night at the cabin on the lake.

"Hi, Gramps!" Josiah shouted as he jumped out of the car. Gramps gave Josiah a big hug, and then they headed over to the shed to get their fishing gear ready. "Ouch!" Josiah cried out.

"Be careful around those fishing hooks. They'll stick you," Gramps reminded him.

After they had packed the car with their fishing gear and the rest of their supplies, Gramps said, "I think we have everything. Let's hit the road!"

Grandma waved goodbye as they drove down the driveway. Gramps took full advantage of the thirty-minute drive to the cabin to remind Josiah of the fishing safety, fire safety, and cabin safety rules. Gramps had retired from the military, so structure and proper procedure were very important to him.

When they got to the cabin, they unpacked the car and loaded the boat with their gear. "All right," said Gramps. "Let's go fishing!"

"Yes!" Josiah climbed into the little john boat, and Gramps pushed them out onto the water. The little motor hummed loudly as they roared across the lake.

After baiting their hooks and casting their lines out, they both sat quietly for a few minutes, and before long, the fish started biting. By the end of the day, they had caught a whole cooler full of fish.

"Fish fry for dinner tonight!" Gramps announced.

After dinner, Gramps and Josiah sat beside the campfire. "You know, Josiah, catching all those fish today reminded me of a story in the Bible." Gramps pulled a small Bible from his back pocket and read about how Jesus's disciples caught a huge amount of fish and then Jesus told them He would make them fishers of people.

"What does fishing for people mean, Gramps?"

"Jesus wants us to tell others about Him. He wants us to share the good news that He loves us and died and rose again to save us so they can know Him too."

Josiah smiled. "Thank you for taking me fishing, Gramps--and for always reminding me how much Jesus loves me."

-Lisa Fuller

How About You?
Do you know Jesus as your Savior? If you do, He will help you tell others about His love so they can know Him too. John 3:16 reminds us that God loves the whole world and doesn't want anyone to perish, or be lost without Him. Trust the Lord to help you share His love with others, and He will do it.

Today's Key Verse:
[Jesus] told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone." (NLT) (Mark 16:15)

Today's Key Thought:
Share God's love with others

No More Junk

Bible Reading: Psalm 19:14; Proverbs 18:21; Galatians 5:22-26

"Ouch! My tummy hurts," Micah said on the way home from his friend's birthday sleepover.

"What did you eat at the party?" Mom asked.

"Well, last night we had tacos for dinner--I ate four. Then I had some birthday cake, ice cream, and chips. I finished off the night with a bunch of candy. This morning I had some hot chocolate and two donuts."

"I'm not surprised you don't feel good," Mom said. "Eating that much junk food would give anyone a tummy ache."

Micah groaned and held his stomach. "I don't think I'll do that again."

At school on Monday, Micah and some of his friends were talking about Jonathan. They were laughing about him and calling him the class nerd. Micah didn't really feel that way about him, but he wanted to fit in with his friends. Afterwards, he felt terrible, just like he'd felt when he'd eaten too much junk food.

"What's bothering you, Micah?" Mom asked when he got home from school.

Micah sighed. "I was saying junk about Jonathan with a group of my friends just so I could fit in, and now I feel awful about it."

"What do you think you should do about it?"

"I think I need to ask Jesus to forgive me for saying such unkind things. And I should probably apologize to Jonathan too--I think he overheard us making fun of him."

"That sounds like the right thing to do," Mom said. "You know, the Bible says the tongue can bring death or life. The words we say can either build others up and encourage them or hurt them and make them feel bad--and saying unkind things can make you feel bad too. I think you feel the way you do because you know saying junk like that doesn't fit who you are as a Christian. Since you know Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit inside you, and He's urging you to speak with kindness and be an encouragement to others. Let Him guide you in using your words in a way that shows others His love."

Micah nodded. "Okay, I'll do that. No more talking junk!" He picked up his backpack. "I'm going to my room to pray, and then I need to call Jonathan."

-Lisa Fuller

How About You?
Have you ever said something and then wished you could take it back? The Bible has a lot to say about the tongue. Our words can encourage people and show them the love of Jesus, but they can also be very hurtful. That's why it's important to stop and think before you speak and to listen to the Holy Spirit. Trust Him to help you speak in a way that builds others up and points them to Jesus.

Today's Key Verse:
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (NKJV) (Proverbs 18:21)

Today's Key Thought:
Watch what you say

Unfailing Love

Bible Reading: Psalm 103:8-14; Romans 3:23-24; 5:6-8

"Please don't tell Dad," Ethan begged his sister, stuffing his science test into his backpack. "I didn't expect to get a high grade, but I sure didn't think it would be this bad. I did my best. Promise you won't tell."

"I won't," said Mira. "But Mom and Dad will find out anyway."

When they got home, Ethan retreated to his room and stayed there until his mom called him to dinner. "I got an email from your science teacher," Mom said when Ethan came to the table. "He realized he put the wrong grade on your test--you actually improved quite a bit from last time."

Ethan jumped out of his chair and pulled out his test. "I knew it! I knew I must have done better than this!"

Dad reached for the test and looked it over. "Well, I'm glad this isn't the correct grade, but why didn't you show this to us earlier?"

"I was trying to do better, but this test said I did worse, so I thought you'd be mad at me for getting such a low grade."

"Oh, Ethan, we would have been concerned, but not angry," said Mom. "We know how hard you've been working, and we're proud of you."

"Grades are a measure of the progress you're making," said Dad, "but they're not a measure of our love. You're our son, and we'll always love you."

Mira grinned at her brother. "My Sunday school teacher says God is like that too. He loves us even when we fail."

"That's right," said Mom. "If God sent out report cards, how high do you think our grades would be?"

"Um, I don't know. Probably not very high," said Ethan.

"Not high at all," Dad agreed. "Everyone would fall short. That's why Jesus died for our sins--so He could give us His perfect grade in place of our failing one! That's how much He loves us. Our love for you isn't based on how well you do in school, Ethan, and God's love for us isn't based on how well we do in life."

"Right," said Mom. "Actually, the times we fail are often the times that help us recognize our need for Jesus--the times we feel His love the most."

-Gail L. Jenner

How About You?
Are you afraid God won't love you as much if you fail at something? He loves you so much Jesus died for you when you were still trapped in sin, and He'll never love you any less, no matter what. If you've trusted Jesus as your Savior, He will help you live the way He wants you to live, but that doesn't mean you'll be perfect. When you need forgiveness, ask Him for it, remembering that you're His child and He loves you very much!

Today's Key Verse:
He [God] knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. (NKJV) (Psalm 103:14)

Today's Key Thought:
God's love never stops

Shining Stars

Bible Reading: Philippians 2:1-18

"I'm tired of this history book!" Akera slammed the book shut and flopped back on the couch.

"Yeah! It's boring!" Ky looked up from the laptop and shared a look of misery with his sister.

Mom sighed and rubbed her forehead. "Kids, I've already changed your history curriculum twice this year. Now it's time to cut the complaining and do the work."

"But, Mom," Akera whined. "Can't we switch it one more time?"

Mom shook her head. "We are finishing this book, and that's final. Has it occurred to you that it's probably not the curriculum but your attitudes that need to change?" She got up to pour herself some coffee. "Remember when we went to the planetarium last month?"

"Yeah," said Ky. "It was one of the coolest field trips ever!"

Akera smiled thoughtfully. "My favorite part was that show about the stars--it was beautiful."

"One of the nice things about homeschooling is we get to take field trips whenever we want," Mom said. "But that doesn't mean you get to change the curriculum whenever you want. And speaking of stars, do either of you happen to remember what Paul said about God's children being like stars?"

Akera slid on a pair of sunglasses and took a selfie. "Not really, but I do look like a star!"

Ky cackled as Mom stifled a giggle. "Ha-ha. Not that kind of star. In Philippians 2, Paul wrote that when we do things without grumbling, our lives shine like stars, showing the world that we are God's children."

"Oh, I remember that now," Ky said. "Doesn't chapter two start with Paul talking about Jesus coming to earth and dying on the cross for us?"

"Yes," said Mom. "That was the most selfless thing, wasn't it? And He did it willingly--without complaining."

Ky tossed a pillow at Akera. "Guess we haven't been like stars today, have we?"

Akera threw the pillow back. "I guess not. Even though we don't like history right now, we don't have to complain about it. We are God's children, and I want to show it by the way I live my life."

Mom smiled. "You kids are pretty smart."

"Yep," said Ky. "We have a good teacher."

-Savannah Coleman

How About You?
Do you often complain about things? When you feel like whining about something you don't want to do, it can help to remember what Jesus did for you. Out of love for us, He humbly came to earth as a baby in a smelly manger to grow up and die on the cross for our sins. Trust Him to help you shine His light by showing others love and appreciation instead of grumbling.

Today's Key Verse:
Do everything without grumbling or arguing…Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky. (NIV) (Philippians 2:14-15)

Today's Key Thought:
Shine bright for Jesus