Keys for Kids Devotional Feed

Drop the Oars

Bible Reading: Luke 18:9-14

"Colton can't come over this afternoon," said Travis. "He has to go with his mom door-to-door to pass out church fliers and stuff."

"Really?" Dad was interested. "Are Colton and his family Christians?"

"I don't think so. They talk about faith in Jesus, but they don't believe He's God. That doesn't make sense to me. They seem to think they have to do a lot of good things to be saved--like handing out church fliers. I don't understand it. I don't think Colton does either, but he does whatever he's told. Says it can't hurt."

"It sounds to me like he needs to drop the oars and grab the rope," Dad said.

"What do you mean?" asked Travis.

"There's a river with a big waterfall near the town where I grew up," said Dad. "Just above the falls, the water is very wild and dangerous. It's unsafe for boating, and I remember one time when a teenager in a rowboat got caught in the swift current." Dad paused, remembering.

"So what happened?" asked Travis.

"The strong current pulled him closer and closer to the falls. A crowd gathered on the bank, and people called to him to row harder. He tried his best, but it was obvious he wasn't going to make it. Then someone threw a rope to him. What do you think the crowd called out to him then?"

"Uh, they probably told him to grab the rope," said Travis.

Dad nodded. "They yelled, 'Drop the oars! Grab the rope!' He did, and they pulled him to shore." Dad paused, still seeing the scene in his mind.

"Why does Colton remind you of that?" asked Travis.

"Well, because he reminds me of myself," Dad replied. "I was the teenager in the boat."

"Wait…what?" Travis gaped at his dad. "You almost went over those falls? Like, for real?"

Dad laughed. "Yes, for real. And when those people pulled me to shore, God used that experience to help me realize I'd been trying to save myself spiritually too. But trying to save ourselves from sin is useless. The only way any of us can be saved is to trust Jesus to save us. Let's pray God would do what He did for me and help Colton and his family understand that."

-Hazel W. Marett

How About You?
Are you struggling to save yourself? Do you think that living a good life will save you from your sins and earn a place for you in heaven? It won't. Don't be like the Pharisee in today's Bible reading. You can only be saved when you stop trying to save yourself and simply trust Jesus--as the tax collector did. Pray today as he did, putting your trust in Jesus to be your Savior. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page.)

Today's Key Verse:
God, have mercy on me, a sinner! (CSB) (Luke 18:13)

Today's Key Thought:
Trust Jesus to save you
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