Keys for Kids Ministries

Keys For Kids Ministries is a children's ministry organization, offering Keys for Kids, Down Gilead Lane, and much more.


Broken Shells

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Daily Devotional For June 06, 2018

Bible Reading: Exodus 4:10-11  ; Psalm 139:14-16  

Nolan and his sister Destiny were having a wonderful vacation at the seashore. They spent hours on the beach--swimming, building sand castles, hunting for shells, and making new friends. "Want to come and find shells with me and Ford?" Nolan asked his sister one day. "He knows where to find some big ones."

"Ford!" Destiny said. "You're not going to play with him, are you? He talks funny, and he can't walk well, either!"

"So? That doesn't mean we can't play with him," said Nolan. "He's really nice--I like him."

"Well, if you're not careful, nobody else will want to play with you," Destiny replied. "I'll find my own shells, thanks."

When Destiny met up with Nolan later, she saw he had several very nice shells. "Wow, Nolan! Those are so big! All I found are small ones." She sighed. "I wish I had gone with you."

"Even though Ford went with me?" Nolan asked. Destiny blushed and glanced at Mom.

"That's a fair question," said Mom. "I heard how you feel about Ford." She picked up one of Nolan's shells and held it out. "Look at this closely."

Destiny took the shell and examined it. "It has a broken edge!" she said in surprise. She picked up another one. "And this one has a small crack. I thought they had to be perfect to be worth keeping, but these are still much nicer than mine."

"You seem to be treating people the same way you've been treating shells," said Mom. "Ford doesn't look perfect to you, so you threw him away--you refused to play with him. I'm glad that's not how Jesus treats us, aren't you?"

Destiny looked at the floor and nodded.

"None of us is perfect, but Jesus loves us anyway," said Mom. "We may not have the problems Ford does, but we all have a problem with sin. But instead of throwing us away, Jesus died to save us. That's how much He loves us--all of us. We may not understand why God allows Ford to have the difficulties he does, but we know He loves him and has a purpose for His life."

Destiny turned to her brother. "Do you think Ford would help us find more shells tomorrow?" she asked.

Nolan smiled. "I'm sure he would!" Roberta Rossi

How About You?
Do you know someone who has a physical challenge or special needs? Do you treat them with kindness and include them in activities? Or do you stay away from them? No one is perfect--we're all sinful. But Jesus didn't stay away from us--He came to earth and died because He loves each one of us. Treat everyone with the same love He has shown you.

Today's Key Verse:
Who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? (NKJV) (Exodus 4:11  )

Today's Key Thought:
Every person is loved by God

Braving the Storm

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Daily Devotional For June 06, 2018

Bible Reading: Psalm 46:1-7  

"I.miss our old house," said Toms. He sighed as he thought about the reason they had moved into a trailer on Grandpa's farm. First his little brother, Felix, was seriously injured in a car accident. Then the company Dad worked for went bankrupt, and it took quite a while for Dad to find a new job. Toms knew living in the trailer on the farm saved a lot of money. "But it's kinda nice to be living near Grandpa," he said.

"I like that too," replied Mom. "It's one of the blessings that has come along with our troubles." She glanced out the window. "It's terribly windy today, and I think we're in for quite a storm. Let's get over to Grandpa's house. We'll be safer there."

Mom picked up Felix, and they hurried over to the farmhouse. "I think we'd better get downstairs," Grandpa said soon after they got there. "I don't like this wind." So they went down and huddled together in the basement. Even there, they could hear the storm raging outside. "Let's pray," Grandpa said. He prayed out loud, thanking God for the rain. I can't believe Grandpa didn't even ask God to stop the storm! Toms thought.

When the storm finally did stop, they hurried out to look things over. "It's still raining a little," said Mom, "but look at the beautiful rainbow the storm brought us!"

"Grandpa, when you prayed, why didn't you ask God to stop the storm?" Toms asked.

"Well, the storm was really a blessing. It brought the rain we need so badly," replied Grandpa. He smiled at Toms. "You know, sometimes it takes storms in our lives to bring special blessings too. When everything goes the way we'd like, we often forget how much we need Jesus. But when we go through difficult times, we learn more about Him and about how much He loves and cares for us."

Mom nodded. "I learned that I need to stop questioning why God sends storms into my life," she said. "I just need to trust Him to be with me and see me through them."

Grandpa nodded. "Right! Having faith in Jesus and trusting Him will give us strength to brave any storm that comes our way." Barbara Westberg

How About You?
Are there storms in your life right now? Is someone you love sick? Are you having trouble with friends or siblings? Is money tight at your house? You may never know the reason for the storms in your life, but you can trust Jesus to be with you and see you through them. Remember how much He loves you and be thankful for the blessings He brings through the storms.

Today's Key Verse:
Count it all joy...knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (NKJV) (James 1:2-3  )

Today's Key Thought:
Trust Jesus in storms of life

More than Words

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Daily Devotional For June 06, 2018

Bible Reading: James 1:22-25  

After a delicious lunch on Father's Day, Ophelia joined the rest of her family to watch Dad open his presents.

"Open mine first, Daddy," little Molly said eagerly. "I made you a picture."

"Don't tell," said Ophelia, but everyone laughed as Molly insisted on helping her father open the package containing the picture she had drawn for him. Then they watched while he opened the rest of his gifts. Every family member had bought or made something for Dad--everyone, that is, except for Ophelia.

"These gifts are wonderful!" said Dad. "I can hardly wait to use them. Thank you all very much!"

"You didn't open Ophelia's present," Molly said. "Where is it, Ophelia?"

Ophelia was embarrassed. Everyone was waiting to see what she had for Dad. "I--I love you, Dad, and I was going to buy or make you something, but I've been so busy," she said, blushing.

Dad was very gracious. "I know," he assured her, "and I have enough presents. Come on, let's have some of that great-looking cake!"

That night Mom found Ophelia crying in her room. "I didn't have a present for Dad," she said, tears spilling onto her pillow.

"It's okay, Ophelia. You couldn't help it if you didn't have time or money to get something for Dad," Mom told her.

"I know, but...I could have taken time to make something for him," Ophelia admitted. "You even offered to help me make him some cookies, but I just didn't get around to it."

"It would have been nice to do something to show your love," Mom said. "It's so easy to say we love someone, but love is more than words. It's action--like God showing how much He loved us by sending Jesus to save us."

Ophelia nodded. "I'm going to make tomorrow another Father's Day for Dad!" she said. "I'll, uh--oh, I know! I'll show him I love him by cleaning out his car."

"I'm sure He'll love that," Mom said. "Let's use this as a reminder to let our actions show our love for our heavenly Father too." Jan Hansen

How About You?
Do your actions show your love for your parents and others who are important to you? It's important to tell people you love them. It's important to tell God too. But those words need to be backed up with actions. God showed us His love by sending His Son, Jesus, to die to save us from sin. We can show our love in return by obeying and serving Him.

Today's Key Verse:
Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. (NKJV) (1 John 3:18  )

Today's Key Thought:
Put love into action

Beyond What You See

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Daily Devotional For June 06, 2018

Bible Reading: 1 Peter 3:3-4  

Luca's grandfather patted the tire of the four-wheeler he had purchased. "I saw the ad for this quad online, and I got a good deal on it," he said with a smile.

Luca wasn't so sure. The fenders were dented, and the seat had a tear in it. The rack behind the seat was bent, and a headlight was cracked. "It doesn't look very good," he said. "Why didn't you buy a new quad, Grandpa?"

"Well, this was much less expensive than a new one, and the engine is in excellent running condition. It also gives us something to work on together. It just needs a little body work, that's all. We'll get it all fixed up. You'll see."

Luca wasn't convinced. "It looks awfully banged up to me," he said as he began to polish a black helmet that had come with the four-wheeler.

"You've got to learn to see beyond outward appearances," said Grandpa. "Put on that helmet and hop on. I'll give you a ride."

Luca slid on behind his grandfather. After a drive through the field across the road, Luca was impressed with the quiet, steady hum of the dented-up quad. "This runs really well!" he said.

"Just goes to show that you should never judge things by appearance alone--and that includes people," said Grandpa. "I didn't like the looks of this quad myself when I first saw it. But when I heard it run, it was music to my ears!" He grinned. "Know any people like that?"

"Well, Lee, I guess," Luca replied. "He's new in my class, and when I first saw him I thought he'd be mean. But we started talking, and now we're friends."

"We need to see people like God does," said Grandpa. "He doesn't judge us just on the way we look. He sees way beyond that. He sees what's in our hearts and what we can become--just like we see what this beat-up quad can become. Jesus can make anyone a new person, and He wants us to treat everyone in a way that shows them His love, no matter how rough around the edges they may seem."

"You're right, Grandpa," Luca said. "You're always right!"

Grandpa laughed. "You go on inside now and tell that to your grandma!" Vicki Reinhardt

How About You?
Do you judge people by the way they look? That may be how the world sees people, but not God. He looks at our hearts. You can't see inside hearts like He does, but you can look past a person's outward appearance and see how much they're loved by Jesus. Treat everyone in a way that shows them His love. And who knows--you might even end up with a new friend!

Today's Key Verse:
People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (NLT) (1 Samuel 16:7  )

Today's Key Thought:
Look beyond looks

The Broken Lightbulb

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Daily Devotional For June 06, 2018

Bible Reading: Philippians 2:12-18  

"James, can you hold the door open for me?" Dad called. But James and Abby were too busy fighting over which video game to play to hear him. "James!" Dad called again. "Please hold the door open so I can bring the ladder in."

"Why do I always have to help you? Why can't Abby? She never has to help."

"I didn't ask your sister. I asked you," Dad said firmly.

James sighed but got up and held the door. As Dad set up the ladder and climbed the metal rungs, Abby and James started fighting again.

"Abby! James!" Dad called down. "What is this?" He held up the burned-out lightbulb he'd unscrewed from the light fixture.

James shrugged, and Abby rolled her eyes. "It's a dead lightbulb," she answered, glaring at her brother. "Duh!"

James pulled back his arm like he was going to hit his sister.

"Abby! That's enough. James, don't touch your sister. Yes, a broken bulb. What do you hear?" Dad descended the ladder and shook the bulb.

"Broken pieces rattling around," James said, still scowling.

Dad looked at James and Abby. "When we complain and argue, we have broken pieces clanging around inside us too. Our purpose is to live lives that shine for Jesus and show others who He is. But complaining and arguing get in the way of us trusting Him in every situation and sharing His love with others."

Abby and James were silent and looked down.

"Abby, hand me that new bulb, please," Dad said. Abby handed him the new bulb without saying a word. Dad started back up the ladder.

"Dad?" James asked. "If we're like broken bulbs, does that mean we can never shine again?"

Dad started twisting in the new bulb. "The good news, James, is that Jesus always makes us shine, even though we sin. And when we do something wrong that makes us rattle and clang, we can ask Him to forgive us and start doing things His way by being thankful and loving. He fixes our broken pieces, and we become like new."

Dad came back down the ladder and flipped the switch on the wall. The new bulb shone brightly and lit the whole room. Pearl Allard

How About You?
Do you argue with your brothers and sisters? Do you complain when a parent or teacher asks you to do something? Complaining and arguing expose sin in our hearts and keep us from showing Jesus' love to others. If those things have been clanging around your life lately, ask Jesus to forgive you and replace them with thankfulness and love. Then shine for Him!

Today's Key Verse:
Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you will be blameless and pure...[as] you shine like lights in a dark world. (ERV) (Philippians 2:14-15  )

Today's Key Thought:
Don't complain or argue

It’s Not My Job!

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Daily Devotional For June 06, 2018

Bible Reading: Isaiah 61:10  ; Matthew 20:28  

"Jordan, could you please put Amy's toys away while I give her a bath?" called Mom. Jordan groaned. He was right in the middle of a computer game. He slammed his controller down and stomped into his baby sister's room.

"This is so unfair!" he said as he threw Amy's toys into the toy box. "I didn't make this mess. It's not my job!"

The next day, after soccer practice, Coach handed Jordan a big bag of dirty laundry. It was Jordan's turn to take the soccer uniforms home to be washed. Jordan dumped the bag of filthy clothes in the kitchen.

"Hang on a minute," said Mom. "What's all this?"

Jordan was confused. Mom had washed the soccer uniforms countless times before. "It's our turn to wash the uniforms," he replied.

Mom tossed the bag back at Jordan. "Well, I don't play soccer, so why should I wash them? It's not my job!"

All of a sudden, Jordan's own words came back to him. "But I can't wash these!" he cried. "I don't know how!"

Dad got up from his chair, a wry smile on his face. "Well then, son, I'll show you!"

Dad patiently showed Jordan how to operate the washing machine. "You know, families should help one another, Jordan, and sometimes that means cleaning up someone else's mess."

Jordan sighed. "But cleaning up after Amy is hard!"

"Well, so is going to work every single day," said Dad.

Jordan had never thought about that before.

"And how about Mom?" Dad continued. "She changes dirty diapers. She washes our clothes and cleans up after people all the time. Imagine if she stopped doing all those things because they weren't her job?"

Jordan laughed. "We'd all stink!"

Dad grinned. "It reminds me of salvation. Jesus came to earth and cleaned up the great big mess of sin we had made. Jesus never sinned. Not once. But He was willing to die on the cross so we could be clean. I'm so thankful He washed my filthy garments for me!"

"Me too!" Jordan said as he dumped the dirty uniforms into the washing machine. Angela Jelf

How About You?
Do you moan and complain when you're asked to clean up a mess someone else made? Jesus loves us so much He was willing to save us from the biggest mess of all that none of us were able to clean up--sin. When we trust in Him, He removes our filthy rags and clothes us in garments as white as snow. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page.)

Today's Key Verse:
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. (NIV) (Titus 3:5  )

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus makes us clean

Slug Bug

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Daily Devotional For June 06, 2018

Bible Reading: Numbers 13:25-33  ; 14:6-9

"Slug bug blue!" Brandon exclaimed when he spied a blue Volkswagen. As he spoke, he slugged his brother, Teague, who was sitting beside him. The boys were playing their favorite game on the way home from school--seeing who could spot a Volkswagen first and slug the other guy. They kept count to see who got the most.

Maria sighed. She pulled down the mirror on the sun visor and looked at herself. "My freckles look awful," she said. "I look like a monster."

"Slug bug yellow!" Teague yelled and slugged Brandon as a yellow Volkswagen sped past them.

Maria frowned. "If I can't do something about these freckles, I think I'll go into hiding."

"Maria, you're being silly. Lots of people have freckles. Besides, I think they make you look cute," Mom said as she turned onto their street.

"Slug bug red!" Both boys laughed as they spotted the same Volkswagen at the same time and socked each other.

"You hit too hard," Teague said, "so I get the point. That's the rule."

"Is not!" Brandon appealed to his mother. "Mom?"

"Boys," Mom said, looking at them in the rearview mirror, "that's enough slugging. It's time to end the game."

Maria turned around and glared at her little brothers. "I think you're making those up. I've never seen that many Volkswagens in one short ride."

"You aren't looking for them," Teague said. "You only see what you look for."

"That's true, you know," Mom said, looking at Maria. "It's easy to overlook the good things in life--or in others or even ourselves--when we're constantly looking for things to criticize and complain about. That's why the Bible says to look for the blessings God has given us. When we remember He loves us and is in control of everything, even things we don't like won't seem as bad anymore."

Maria looked at herself in the mirror again. This time she looked at her shiny brown hair and healthy green eyes, and suddenly the freckles didn't seem so bad.

Mom pulled the car into their driveway. "Let's try to remember to look for the good things Jesus has given us and thank Him for all He's done for us." Barbara Westberg

How About You?
What do you see--good things or bad things? When Moses sent twelve spies to check out the land of Canaan, most of them only saw problems because they didn't trust God. Only two were able to see the blessings God had for them there. Instead of finding things to criticize, trust Jesus to take care of you and look for all the good things He puts in your life each day.

Today's Key Verse:
Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits. (NKJV) (Psalm 68:19  )

Today's Key Thought:
Look for good things