Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

An Unfair Reward

Bible Reading: Matthew 20:1-15; Ephesians 2:8-9

Jonathan and Maeve ran next door to show their report cards to their grandma. "Good job!" she exclaimed and gave them each a candy bar.

"Grandma gave Maeve the same thing she gave me," Jonathan complained to his mom when he and his sister returned home. "That's not fair! I got better grades than she did, so I should have gotten more."

"That decision was up to Grandma," replied Mom. "Maybe the reward is the same because she loves you both and knows you did your best."

After dinner, Mom baked some cookies. As she took the last pan out of the oven, Jonathan came to the kitchen to see what was baking. "Anyone who wants to try my cookies has to help clean up first," said Mom, so Jonathan started washing bowls and utensils. When Maeve followed her nose into the kitchen a little later, Mom repeated the message. "Anyone who wants cookies has to help clean the kitchen." There wasn't a lot left to do, but Maeve got busy.

"Are the cookies ready?" asked Dad a little later, and Mom repeated the message one more time. Dad looked around, but everything had been washed--even the cookie sheets. Taking a sponge, he wiped the counters.

"Thanks for helping," said Mom, and she handed two cookies to each of them.

"Two for everybody?" objected Jonathan. "Maeve and Dad didn't do as much work as I did. Why do they get the same number of cookies?"

"They responded when I told them I'd give them cookies if they helped, just like you did," said Mom. But Jonathan continued to scowl.

"Time for devotions," called Dad a little later. "Would you read this parable in Matthew for us, Jonathan?" Dad handed Jonathan the Bible.

When Jonathan had finished reading, Dad said, "Grandma and Mom gave equal rewards today--not for equal work, but for equal kindness and generosity on their part. God is like that too. Even though none of us deserve His kindness because of our sin, He offers us forgiveness through Jesus. When we put our faith in Him, He gives us eternal life and helps us serve Him according to the abilities and opportunities He's given us." Dad smiled at Jonathan. "Aren't you glad God's grace isn't fair?"

–Nance E. Keyes

How About You?
Do you get upset when you think you deserve more than others but they get just as much as you? It might help to remember that God offers us a gift none of us deserve. There's nothing we could do to earn eternal life--Jesus earned it for us by dying for our sins so He could share His reward with us. God's grace isn't fair--it's generous and undeserved, and it's better than any reward you could earn yourself.

Today's Key Verse:
For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift. (CSB) (Ephesians 2:8)

Today's Key Thought:
God's grace is generous
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