Keys for Kids Ministries

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

 


Supporting Stakes

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Daily Devotional For April 04, 2019
  

Bible Reading: Proverbs 6:20  –23

Sophie watched her father pull out the stake that had been wired to a small tree ever since it had been planted. "What was that stake for?" she asked.

"Very small trees often don't have the strength or ability to stand straight by themselves; they grow crooked," Dad said. "The stake helped support this tree and keep it growing straight."

"Then why are you pulling it out?" asked Sophie.

"The tree is big enough now to take any winds that come along," said Dad. "It's growing tall and straight because it was held in that position by the supporting stake." He stood back and looked at the tree. "God often does the same thing with us."

"He does?" asked Sophie. "What do you mean?"

"He puts people in our lives who support us and help us grow. Take you, for instance. When you were very small, your mom or I often held your hand when you tried to walk. Then as you grew and got better at keeping your balance, we let you go by yourself."

Sophie nodded as she thought about it. "I still need help with other things though. Like my homework, sometimes. Or how to decide what I should do about some things."

"And we're always glad to help you," Dad assured her. "But as time passes, you won't need our help so much. When you're all grown up, you'll be ready to go on without your mom and me."

"So that's how I'm like the tree," said Sophie. "When it was small, it needed the stake, but now that it's bigger, it can stand by itself."

"You've got it," said Dad. "There's a verse in the Bible that has encouraged your mom and me as we've raised you. It's Proverbs 22:6  , and it says, 'Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.' We're teaching you about Jesus and what He's done for you, and we're trusting Him to help you know and follow Him in the future. No matter how big and strong you grow to be, you'll always need Him. Never forget that."

"Don't worry," said Sophie. "I won't!"

How About You?
Do you appreciate your parents' teaching and support? Or do you constantly fight against them? Like young trees, kids need help to grow strong--not only physically but also spiritually. If you have parents who are teaching you about Jesus, thank God for putting them in your life as supporting stakes that help you know His love and grow in the right direction.


Today's Key Verse:
Obey your father's commands, and don't neglect your mother's instruction. (NLT)
(Proverbs 6:20  )

Today's Key Thought:
Welcome your parents' support
 

The Living God

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Daily Devotional For April 04, 2019
  

Bible Reading: Luke 24:1  –9

Piper looked out the window of the city train as it sped past a tall building. Inside she could see people kneeling in front of a large statue. Wow! Piper thought. I knew people in other countries worshiped and prayed to idols, but these people are in the same city where I live!

She turned to her dad. "How do you know if you've got the right God?" she asked bluntly. "I mean, don't all those people in the building we just passed think they've got the right god too?"

"I'm sure they do," Dad replied, "but the Bible tells us there is only one God and He created everything, including people."

"So ... that's why we believe in Him? Because He's so powerful?" Piper asked. "But don't other people think their gods are powerful too?"

"I guess they do," said Dad. "Let's think about it. What other reasons do we have for believing our God is the only true God?"

"Well," Piper said, "He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us. That shows He really loves us."

"Good, and there's still more," Dad replied. "Jesus died for us, and then what did He do?"

"He ... He rose from the dead," said Piper.

"That's right," said Dad. "Many people saw Him after He had risen. There's the difference. No other religion in the world has a living Savior."

Piper thought about that for a minute. "So even though people make their own gods and worship them, our God is different. He's the only one who is alive."

"Right," said Dad. "And He's the only one who can hear and answer prayer. Idols made out of wood, stone, or gold are just that--pieces of wood, stone, or gold. They can't hear us or help us with our problems. But Jesus died and rose again to save us from our biggest problem of all--sin--and He's always with us and listens to us when we pray."

"And that's why we need to trust in Him--and tell other people about Him," said Piper. "So they can know Him as their Savior too."

"Yes," Dad said. "We need to tell others about the living God and all He's done for us."

How About You?
Did you know that many people around the world worship idols made of wood or stone? Perhaps people in your own family or culture pray to statues they say are gods. No matter how hard you pray, pieces of wood or stone can't do anything to help you. But Jesus is the Son of the living God, and He died and rose again to save you! Trust Him as your Savior. Then tell others about Him.


Today's Key Verse:
He [Jesus] is not here, but is risen! (NKJV) (Luke 24:6  )

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus is alive!
 

Will the Ringing Ever Stop?

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Daily Devotional For April 04, 2019
  

Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18

Note: This story may not be suitable for young or sensitive children.

Jason sat in his chair, his body turning this way and that as he hummed along to the music in his headphones. The door to his room opened without him hearing. Then it closed again, and someone knocked on it.

"Ahh!" he exclaimed, taking of the headphones. "Come in."

His uncle stepped into the room. "Hey, there. You okay?"

"It's just this ringing in my ear," said Jason, holding his head. "I'll be fine."

His uncle sat down, easing his bulky frame onto the bed, which squeaked in protest. "You weren't at the service."

"I didn't want to see them," said Jason. "Or talk to people."

"Well, maybe people want to talk to you," his uncle said. "You can't hide in here for the rest of your life."

Jason fiddled with his ear.

"Look, I know it's hard," his uncle said. "Being caught in the middle of a shooting in your own church isn't something anyone should have to go through. It wasn't easy on me either. But you survived, by the grace of God, and the rest of us need you now."

"Do they know why he did it?" Jason asked.

His uncle shook his head. "There's no reason except sin, Jason. Sin is like that ringing in your ear. It messes everything up. God made us to love Him, and when that doesn't happen we do all sorts of horrible things. People even did horrible things to Jesus. They crucified Him and sent Him to die on a cross."His uncle sighed. "You should have been at the service. The pastor talked about the resurrection. All of them--Mr. and Mrs. Hendrick, your friend George, everyone--they all trusted in Jesus, and they're all going to be raised from the dead when He returns, just as surely as Jesus Himself rose. You believe that?" Jason nodded, and his uncle shifted, causing the bed to squeak again. "Jesus is going to make everything right when He comes back. He's going to stop that ringing in your ear, and He's going to destroy sin and death forever. Until then, remember that He's with us and will help us through this."

Jason started to cry. His uncle stood up and wrapped his huge arms around him.

How About You?
Have you heard about a shooting or other violent event on the news? Do you wonder why these things happen? People's sinful rebellion against God has caused all kinds of terrible things to happen in the world. But Jesus died and rose again to save us from sin, and one day He will come back to raise all Christians from the dead and destroy sin and death forever!


Today's Key Verse:
We want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. (NKJV) (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

Today's Key Thought:
Christians will be resurrected
 

The Good—and Bad—of Good Friday

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Daily Devotional For April 04, 2019
  

Bible Reading: Isaiah 59:1  –2; 1 Corinthians 15:3–4

"The calendar is wrong," Madelyn said as she stomped into the kitchen. "It says the Friday before Easter is called Good Friday. That's the day Jesus was crucified. What's good about that?"

Dad set down his coffee. "I'll explain--but we have to go back thirty-three years earlier."

Madelyn sat at the table. "Okay, I'm listening."

"All of humanity was separated from God because of our sin, and God had a plan to change that," Dad said. "But that meant Jesus, God's Son, had to leave all the wonderful things in heaven and come to earth."

"That sounds bad," Madelyn said.

"No, it was good!" Dad said. "It shows how much He loved us. Jesus came as a baby and was born in a stable."

"A baby born in a stinky stable?" Madelyn made a face. "That's bad!"

"No, it was good," Dad said. "Jesus became one of us. Years later, He began His ministry and chose twelve disciples to work alongside Him. He performed miracles, healed the sick, and taught people about God."

Madelyn grinned. "Everyone must have loved Him."

"Not everyone," Dad said. "Some leaders were terribly jealous. And one of His own disciples, Judas, betrayed Him."

"Oh, that's bad!" Madelyn said.

"But it was also good," said Dad. "It led to Jesus dying on the cross."

"Oh, that's really bad!" Madelyn said.

"Yes, death is always bad, but God used Jesus' suffering and death for the greatest good. Jesus took our place and paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. Then they buried Him."

"Buried Jesus?" Madelyn shook her head. "That's bad."

"No, that was good!" said Dad. "Three days later, Jesus conquered sin and death by coming back to life on Easter Sunday."

Madelyn stared at the calendar. "That means we wouldn't have Easter if we didn't have Good Friday."

"So," Dad said, "you're saying it was good?"

Madelyn drew a smiley face on Good Friday. "Yes, it was really, really good!"

How About You?
Do you wonder why Good Friday is called good? As terrible as it was for Jesus to suffer and die, it had to happen for us to have the joy of Easter. Jesus paid the penalty for our sins with His death on the cross. Because of Good Friday, we can share in His victory over sin and death on Easter by trusting in Him.

Today's Key Verse:
If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord,"
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved. (CSB)
(Romans 10:9  )

Today's Key Thought:
Without Good Friday, there's no Easter
 

Selfie Problem

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Daily Devotional For April 04, 2019
  

Bible Reading: Philippians 2:1  –11

"Bailey, you're crazy," Taylor said as the sisters wandered through the amusement park. "You take a selfie every two steps."

"I send them to my camp friends." Bailey stopped and posed in front of the carousel.

"They need fifty pictures of you?" Taylor snapped. "I thought you said the camp theme this year was "Point others to Jesus," not "Point others to yourself."

"I'm just taking a few pictures. There's no verse in the Bible about taking too many selfies."

The two girls walked to the place where their parents were waiting (with Bailey stopping to pose four more times).

"Did you go on the water ride?" Mom asked.

"No time," Taylor replied. "Bailey kept stopping to take selfies."

"Bailey, we talked about this," Dad said. "Taking a few selfies is fine, but when it becomes obsessive, it crosses over to pride. And pride keeps us from showing others Jesus' love--love that caused Him to humbly sacrifice His life so we could be saved."

Bailey wasn't really listening to her dad. "Just one more selfie," she said as she jumped up on the fountain wall. "After this, I'll quit for today. I promise."

Her family watched as she stretched her leg out behind her and acted as if she was planning on jumping in ... but she lost her balance, and Bailey and her phone went flying into the shallow water. Her family laughed as she stood up and climbed out, dripping from head to toe.

"Reminds me of Proverbs 16:18  ," Dad said. "'Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.'"

"Oh," Bailey said quietly. "I guess there is a verse about taking too many selfies." She shook the water off her phone. "I admit it. I've been focusing too much on myself and not enough on Jesus or others." She handed her phone to her dad. "Here. Keep this for me."

"Okay," Dad said. "But first, let's take a picture to remind you of how Jesus sees you--as a member of His family who shows His love to others." Dad held up the phone, and they all squeezed in around him and said, "Cheese!"

How About You?
Do you constantly take selfies to send to your friends? Taking selfies every now and then is fine, but if they're causing all your attention to zoom in on you, it's time to put down the phone. Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you (let you know) when you have the wrong attitude, and trust Him to change your focus to those around you and how you can show them Jesus' love.

Today's Key Verse:
Everyone should look out not only for his own interests,but also for the interests of others. Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus. (CSB)
(Philippians 2:4  –5)

Today's Key Thought:
Put others first
 

Little Owls’ Big Day

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Daily Devotional For April 04, 2019
  

Bible Reading: Matthew 10:29  –31

"Mom, look!" Ava pointed to a tree in the backyard. "The two owls we've seen have owlets. There are two on that limb and one in the tree hollow. They're so cute!"

"It looks like they're fledging, or learning to fly. We should go inside."

They went into the house and watched from the window. "Oh no!" Ava said. "One of the owlets is hanging upside down and flapping its wings."

"It's trying to get back on the branch," Mom said.

"Oh, now it's only hanging by one foot. Hang on, baby owl!" Ava grabbed binoculars but couldn't find the owlet on the branch. "Where are you?" she whispered. Finally, she spotted the owlet. "Now it's on the ground looking around. Maybe it's scared. Can I go out and make sure it's okay?"

"No, we need to leave it alone." As Mom said that, an adult owl flew to a nearby branch. "See, the parents are staying close to their babies."

Ava watched the owlet move on the ground. It came onto the deck and leaped off out of sight. She looked outside every few minutes, hoping to see it again.

"Mom, it's been a while. Can I go look outside?"

"Let's go together."

They went outside and looked around, but there were no owlets in sight.

"I see one of the parents in that tree." Ava pointed.

"It knows where the babies are, so let's leave them alone," said Mom.

"The way the mama and daddy owls are watching the owlets reminds me of how God watches over us," Ava said as they went back inside.

"That's right," said Mom. "God's Word tells us that He watches over sparrows, and not one of them falls to the ground without Him knowing. And He also watches over us. Because Jesus died to save us, we're always safe and secure in Him, even when bad things happen. He's always with us and watching out for us."

When Dad came home, Ava brought him outside to show him where the owlets had been during the day.

"Look," Dad said, pointing up at the tree. "Two owlets."

Mom joined them. "I just saw an owlet sitting on a branch high above the tree hollow."

"That's all three," Ava said. "It's been a big day for little owls!"

How About You?
Have you ever watched a baby learn to walk? Or a baby bird learn to fly? They need someone to watch every move they make to help them learn and to keep them from getting hurt. Jesus watches over us in the same way. He's always with us and helps us through difficult times. Trust Him to watch over you and keep you safe.

Today's Key Verse:
The Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore. (NIV)
(Psalm 121:8  )

Today's Key Thought:
God watches over you
 

Salt and Such

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Daily Devotional For April 04, 2019
  

Bible Reading: Matthew 5:13  –16

"Good morning!" Mom said as Alexa came into the kitchen. "Breakfast is ready, and it's already on the table."

"It's oatmeal, and I made it!" added Alexa's sister, Violet, as she got milk from the refrigerator.

Alexa sat down, scooped brown sugar onto her oatmeal, and tasted it. She added a little more sugar.

Violet also sprinkled some sugar on her oatmeal. She tried it, frowned, and she too added more sugar.

Alexa took another bite, then reached for the sugar again.

"You girls are using an awful lot of that sugar," said Mom. "Is something wrong with the oatmeal?"

"It doesn't taste right," said Violet. "What did I do wrong?"

Mom got a spoon and dipped it in the oatmeal for a taste. "It's just a little bland. Did you put salt in it?" Violet shook her head, so Mom took a salt shaker and sprinkled a little salt on everyone's oatmeal. "A lot of food, including oatmeal, is better seasoned with salt," she said.

Alexa mixed hers up and tried it again. "It's much better now."

"It's good to be reminded how salt enhances the flavor of things," said Mom. "After all, we're salt too!"

Alexa and Violet looked at each other. "What are you talking about, Mom?" asked Violet.

"Jesus told His disciples they were the salt of the earth," Mom replied. "That applies to all Christians. The way we treat others should help point them to Jesus. We need to season people's lives with the flavor of His love."

Alexa looked doubtful. "But how would kids do that?"

"I know," said Mom. "After breakfast, why don't you girls go visit Maria Santos? Her mom says she's been pretty lonely since she broke her leg. She's rather new here, you know, and doesn't know a lot of kids. I'm sure she'd like some company."

Violet looked at her sister. "I guess we could take some games over there."

"Okay," said Alexa, and she giggled. "We'll go and season Maria today!"

How About You?
Do you season people's lives with the love of Jesus? Do you know someone who is sick? New at school? Needing help with homework? Be a friend to them. Show them the joy Jesus has brought into your life and how they can experience His joy too. Without Him, life can be pretty bland. Shake some salt into someone's life today!


Today's Key Verse:
You are the salt of the earth. (NKJV)
(Matthew 5:13  )

Today's Key Thought:
Salt other people's lives