Keys for Kids Ministries

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

 


Honor and Kindness

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Daily Devotional For April 04, 2018
  

Bible Reading: Colossians 3:12-14  ; 1 John 4:21  

"I'm open!" Will called to his teammate who was slowly dribbling the basketball down the court with a slight limp. "Come on, Andy! We don't have all day!"

Tweet! The high pitch of Coach's whistle echoed in the gym. "Time-out!" he called. "Everyone take a seat."

After everyone was settled on the bleachers, Coach crossed his arms and looked each student in the eye. "I want to tell you a story about a boy named Nathanael," he began. "Nathanael was overweight, and the kids at school made fun of him. But he loved to play basketball. Sometimes he would shoot hoops at the park until it was dark because no one noticed when he came home. Nathanael's dad had left when he was young, and his mom was depressed and slept a lot.

"Nathanael's PE coach noticed he was struggling with the exercises in class and started spending extra time with him. The more Nathanael exercised, the more weight he lost. When his coach encouraged him to try out for the basketball team, Nathanael not only made the team, he became one of their lead players!

"But the most important thing Nathanael's coach taught him was that Jesus loved him. And because he knew that, Nathanael was able to treat his teammates with honor and kindness--even the ones who used to make fun of him."

Will shifted uncomfortably on the bleachers.

Coach looked around the gym. "That boy was me," he said.

The students looked at each other in amazement.

"We all have things we struggle with," Coach continued, "even if you can't see it on the outside. I want you to be so confident Jesus loves you that you treat each other with the same honor and kindness."

Will felt ashamed of how he'd treated Andy. Closing his eyes, he asked Jesus to forgive him and help him learn to show honor and kindness to all his teammates.

"Okay," Coach said, "time to choose new teams. Will, I believe it's your turn."

Will stood up. "I choose Andy," he said, loud and clear.

Andy looked at Will in surprise, then grinned. As they slowly walked down the bleacher stairs side by side, Will said a quiet prayer under his breath. "Thank you, Jesus." Kelly Hope

How About You?
Do you know someone who's different? Someone people make fun of or who doesn't seem to fit in? Jesus has a heart for those who are different or feel left out, and He wants you to have a heart for them too. Trust Him to help you show honor and kindness to others so they can see His love.

Today's Key Verse:
Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor. (CSB)
(Romans 12:10  )

Today's Key Thought:
Show honor and kindness to others
 

Becoming Fossils

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Daily Devotional For April 04, 2018
  

Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:7-16  

Amir rushed into the house and dropped his books. "Look at this!" he said, holding out a fossilized bone. "My teacher said I could borrow it to show Grandpa. Can I show it to him today?"

Mom smiled. "We'll go over to the nursing home after supper."

"Mrs. Patterson says only one out of millions of bones becomes a fossil," Amir told his mother. "It has to be buried in just the right minerals. As the bone decays, the minerals seep into the pores, and bit by bit they replace the bone until there's no bone left--just hard, strong rock mineral."

"Really? Grandpa will love to hear about that," Mom said. "I bet his neighbor, Mr. Wyatt, would like to see that fossil and hear about it too."

"I doubt it," said Amir. "He doesn't like anything--or anybody. He's too grumpy!" Amir set the fossil on the table. "I know he's old, but Grandpa isn't grumpy like that, and he's even older than Mr. Wyatt."

Mom thought for a moment. "Grandpa is a lot like that fossil," she said.

Amir's eyes grew wide. "He's not that old!"

Mom laughed. "What I mean is, because Grandpa knows Jesus, God's goodness and love has seeped into his heart over the course of his life. Just like minerals filled and replaced the materials originally found in the fossil, the Holy Spirit filled Grandpa with love, joy, and peace--all the right things. Now he's pretty old. He's growing weak and tired and is starting to forget things, but God's Spirit is evident in him."

"And it's not in Mr. Wyatt?" Amir asked.

"It doesn't seem to be," said Mom. "As far as we know, Mr. Wyatt never trusted Jesus as his Savior. He never admitted his sin and let God's goodness replace his old self."

Amir picked up the fossil. "Maybe I should show this to Mr. Wyatt like you said." He looked at Mom. "We should tell him how Jesus changes us like minerals change bones, and that it's not too late for him."

"Yes," Mom replied. "God can still work a miracle in his life." Heather Tekavec

How About You?
Have you been fossilized by Jesus? Have His goodness and love seeped into your heart and replaced your old, sinful self? When you trust in Jesus, He changes you from a rotting old bone to a strong fossil. Even though our physical bodies may grow old and weak, we have eternal life with Jesus, and His Spirit works in our lives to make us more like Him. Trust in Him today! (To learn more, click the blue "Good News" button in the column to the right.)

Today's Key Verse:
Our human body is wearing out. But our spirits are getting stronger every day. (NLV)
(2 Corinthians 4:16  )

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus changes us
 

Still Shining

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Daily Devotional For April 04, 2018
  

Bible Reading: 1 Peter 1:23-25  

"I.can't believe my grandma gave me a Bible for my birthday!" Ethan said as he and his friend Kai walked home from school. "What am I gonna do with that?"

"Well, you could read it," Kai said.

Ethan laughed. "How could an old book written thousands of years ago have anything to say to us today? My dad says the Bible is old-fashioned and outdated. Maybe he'll let me return it and get something else." He pointed down the street. "Hey, let's stop and see the house my uncle is building. It's only a couple blocks away."

Kai agreed, so the boys stopped at the new house. "Cool!" Kai said when he saw it. "Is that a solar panel on the roof?"

Ethan nodded. "Most of the power for heating and cooling will come from the sun. My uncle says more and more people are using solar energy now. It's cheaper and better for the environment."

Kai glanced up at the sky and shrugged. "I don't see what the big deal is. The sun is just an old star. How could it be useful?"

"What are you talking about?" asked Ethan. "The sun gives us the light and energy we need to survive. There wouldn't be any life on earth without it!"

Kai smirked. "Yeah, but it's older than the Bible, so it can't be any good to us today, right?"

"Oh, I see what you're doing," Ethan said, rolling his eyes. "You know it's not the same thing."

"Actually, it kind of is," said Kai. "The sun gives us the light we need to live on earth, but the Bible shows us the light of a different Son--Jesus, the Son of God. It tells us how we can have eternal life by trusting in Him. And just like sunlight, the light the Bible shines on our lives is just as powerful today as it was thousands of years ago. It's the light of God's truth, and He never changes."

Ethan was quiet as they started heading home. "I guess I'll give my new Bible a try," he finally said.

"I'll give you some verses to start with if you want," Kai said. "Then maybe we can talk about them."

Ethan smiled. "That would be great!" Barbara Westberg

How About You?
Do you think the Bible is old-fashioned or outdated because it's been around for a long time? It may be old, but it shines the light of God's truth on our lives, and His truth never changes. It tells us how God's Son, Jesus, died for us so we could have eternal life. Even though it was written thousands of years ago, its light is still shining today. Read it and ask God to help you see His truth.

Today's Key Verse:
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my [Jesus'] words will never pass away. (NIV) (Mark 13:31  )

Today's Key Thought:
The Bible is for today
 

Working Hard or Hardly Working

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Daily Devotional For April 04, 2018
  

Bible Reading: Colossians 3:22-24  

Mom peeked her head into the living room. "I thought I told you two to do the dishes."

Lauren and Robbie glanced up from the computer screen. "We did them, Mom," Lauren said.

"I guess I should have been clearer. When I said to do the dishes, I didn't mean stack them in the sink. I wanted you to fill the dishwasher and run it."

Robbie's fingers danced over the game controller. "We'll tackle the dishes after we finish this level. It took us all day to get this far."

Mom sighed. "I wish you two would put as much effort into your schoolwork and helping around the house as you put into video games." She pointed to the kitchen. "You have five minutes to finish that game, and then you need to get to work."

Robbie and Lauren finished their game and marched into the kitchen. "Doing dishes isn't as fun as playing video games," Lauren said.

"Do you think cleaning the bathroom is fun?" Mom asked. "I don't love scrubbing the toilet, but I try to make it shine every time so it's clean for all of you. We should put our best effort into everything we do."

"Well, at least we put effort into playing video games," Robbie said as he rinsed a plate in the sink and handed it to his sister.

"That's true," said Mom. "You certainly work hard when it comes to video games, but you hardly work when it comes to anything else. But as Christians, all the work we do is for Jesus--even things that aren't so fun, like washing dishes or scrubbing toilets. The Bible says God put Adam and Eve in the garden to work it and take care of it. After they sinned, work got a lot harder and less fun, but Jesus gives us the strength to do it. We need to do our work for Him."

Lauren closed the dishwasher. "I guess Robbie and I can do a better job helping out around here."

Robbie nodded. "We need to work hard instead of hardly working." He smiled. "Maybe an increase in our allowance will help us get started!"

"Maybe," Mom said. "But then you'd be the one cleaning the bathroom!" Jared Hottenstein

How About You?
Do you work hard--or hardly work? Some things just aren't fun to do, but we can't go through life doing only the things we love. We need to work hard in order to learn, grow, and help others. The Bible tells us that we need to do our work for Jesus--even the things that don't seem important or fun. He'll give us the strength we need to do whatever work He gives us.

Today's Key Verse:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. (NIV)
(Colossians 3:23  )

Today's Key Thought:
Do your work for Jesus
 

Friendship Bracelets

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Daily Devotional For April 04, 2018
  

Bible Reading: John 15:12-15  

"I can't believe Mia would do this to me!" Addy pulled the friendship bracelet off her wrist and dropped it in the trash.

"Addy?" her mother asked. "Are you okay? Why are you throwing away your bracelet from Mia?"

"I thought she was my friend," Addison said. She hung her backpack up on its hook and sat down at the table. "But she told my secret to the entire class. Even the boys!"

"I see." Mom thought for a moment. "Addy, do you have any more of the thread you use to make bracelets?"

Addy nodded. She got up and brought the box of brightly colored threads to the table. Mom started looking through the threads and picking some out.

"What are you doing?" Addy asked.

"I'm making you a friendship bracelet. It will remind you that you always have a friend, one who will never betray you." Mom began twisting the strands together. She pointed to a dark thread. "This friend loved you even though you had done many bad things and will always love you no matter what you do."

"Is it you?" Addy asked.

"No. Even though I love you very much, this person loves you even more." Mom picked up a red thread. "He died to save you from your sins." She held up a white one and a green one. "He washed you clean of sin and gave you new life."

"I know who my friend is! It's Jesus!" Addy exclaimed. "And the bracelet has the same colors as the wordless book I made at church. The gold stands for the streets of gold in heaven."

"Yes, Jesus loved you enough to give you a home in heaven someday. He loves you so much, Addy. He'll always be there for you, even when no one else is." She reached over and slipped the bracelet onto Addy's wrist. "You can wear this as a reminder that you always have a friend in Jesus."

Addy looked thoughtful. "Since Jesus is such a good friend to me, maybe I should give Mia another chance."

Mom smiled and gave Addy a hug. "That's a great idea. Your heavenly Friend will be with you as you show His forgiveness to Mia." Jessica Kleeberger

How About You?
Have you ever been disappointed by someone? Maybe it was a friend, a parent, a brother, or a sister. The good news is that God's children have a Friend who will never let them down. That Friend is Jesus Christ! He loved you enough to die for you so you could have eternal life with Him. You can trust Him as your very best Friend. (To learn more, click the blue "Good News" button in the column to the right.)

Today's Key Verse:
There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. (NLT) (John 15:13  )

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus is the ultimate best friend
 

Take It to God

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Daily Devotional For April 04, 2018
  

Bible Reading: Hebrews 4:14-16  

Bryson wrote something on a piece of paper, then crumpled it up and threw it in the trash can. He did this several times, and before long he was out of paper. He laid his head on his desk in frustration.

Just then Mom walked by. "What's wrong, Bryson?"

"I'm all out of paper," Bryson replied. "Can we go to the store so I can get some more?"

Mom glanced at the crumpled balls of paper in and around the trash can. "What are you trying to write?"

"Our Sunday school teacher challenged us to write an encouraging letter to someone. I immediately thought of Dylan. He's been really upset lately about his parents getting a divorce. I've been trying to write him a letter, but everything I write sounds stupid." Bryson picked up a ball of paper and handed it to his mother. "You can read one of my attempts if you want."

Mom uncrumpled the piece of paper. "Hey, Dylan. Sorry your parents are getting a divorce. Hope you have a good day anyway." Mom put the paper down and looked at Bryson.

"See, Mom? Everything sounds so dumb, and I just don't know what I can say to make Dylan feel better. I have no idea what he's going through, but I know it must be hard." Bryson sighed. "And now I'm all out of paper."

"I'm sorry, Bryson," Mom said. "I have no idea how to make paper, so I can't help you."

Bryson gave his mom a strange look. "Mom, I don't need you to make me paper. I just need you to take me to a place where I can get some."

Mom nodded. "You're exactly right--and it's the same with Dylan. He doesn't need you to solve his problems. He just needs you to take them to someone who can--God. As Christians, we're called to pray for one another. The biggest encouragement you can give to Dylan is to tell him you're praying for him and then do it." She smiled. "I have to go grocery shopping tomorrow and will pick you up another pad of paper then. In the meantime, you can take Dylan's problems to Jesus in prayer. He knows exactly what Dylan needs."

Bryson nodded, and after Mom had left, he bowed his head and said a quick prayer for Dylan. Melissa Yeagle

How About You?
Do you know someone who's going through a hard time right now? Even though you may want to, you can't solve everyone's problems. The best thing you can do for a friend in need is take their problems to God in prayer. He may direct you to help them in other ways too, but ultimately He's the only one able to give them what they need. Encourage your friend by letting them know you're praying for them.

Today's Key Verse:
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (NLT) (Psalm 46:1  )

Today's Key Thought:
Pray for those who are hurting
 

Child of the King (Part 2)

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Daily Devotional For April 04, 2018
  

Bible Reading: 1 John 3:1-3  

Elsa was eager to find Maggie at school. "Remember how much fun it was to pretend we were princesses?" she asked her friend. "Well, guess what? My dad says I really am one! I'm a child of God, so I'm a child of the King because God is King of everything!"

"I never heard that before," Maggie said doubtfully.

"It's what the Bible says," Elsa replied. "Anyone who trusts in Jesus is a child of God. You can be His child too! Don't you want to be?" Maggie just shrugged.

After school, the girls went over to Maggie's house, but Elsa didn't stay very long. "I'm not playing with Maggie anymore!" she said as she burst into the kitchen. "We pretended to be princesses again, and she kept all the prettiest dresses for herself. She wouldn't let me wear any of them. Then when I got off my throne for just a second, she took it!"

Mom frowned. "Are you sure you weren't trying to get all the best things for yourself?"

"But I was her guest--and I really am a child of the King and she's not," Elsa replied. "I told Maggie that, but she wouldn't even give me back my throne." Elsa scowled. "But I showed her!"

"What did you do?" asked Mom.

"I threw her stuff at her and told her she looked ugly in them anyway, and then I ran home."

Dad came in from the other room. "Elsa," he said quietly, "do you think you acted like a princess today? The Bible says that when we realize Jesus died to save us from our sin and that we're God's children, it causes us to purify ourselves. That means we live pure lives, looking to Jesus as our example. Do you think your actions today were pure? Do you think your attitude showed Maggie what Jesus was like and made her want to become His child?"

"I guess not," Elsa admitted. "Can I go back and apologize?"

"Sure," said Mom. "That will help Maggie see what it's like to be a real princess--a daughter of the King of kings!" Victoria Johnson

How About You?
Do you act the way a prince or princess--a child of God--should? Do you show others who Jesus is in how you treat them? If you belong to the King of kings, your life should show it. Jesus is making you more and more like Him each day. Show His love to others so they can see who He is and want to become one of His children too.

Today's Key Verse:
All who have this hope in [Jesus] purify themselves, just as he is pure. (NIV) (1 John 3:3  )

Today's Key Thought:
Live a pure life