Keys for Kids Ministries

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Undeserved Forgiveness

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Daily Devotional For November 11, 2017

Bible Reading: Genesis 4:2-8  

Editor's note: This story's subject matter may not be appropriate for young children.

"Joey, it's Dad. Mind if I come in?" Dad came in and sat down on the

edge of the bed. "Hey, buddy. I've noticed you're still having a hard time after what happened to Blake a couple months ago. You want to talk about it?"

"I hate him." Joey turned to face his dad with tears in his eyes. "Blake's dad killed him, and I hate him!"

Dad reached over and gathered Joey in his arms. "I know, Joey. Blake's dad has a lot of problems, but that doesn't change the fact that what he did was very, very wrong." Dad turned Joey's face up to his. "Do you remember the story about Cain and Abel in the Bible? Cain killed his own brother because he was angry. It's hard for us to understand how someone who's supposed to love and protect you could kill you, but it's been happening for a long time. We live in a wonderful world filled with good things, but there's evil in it too. Blake's dad is stuck in that evil because he doesn't know Jesus, and that's why we need to pray for him. I can't imagine what he's going through, knowing he has to live with what he's done for the rest of his life."

Joey wiped his eyes "But Dad, Blake was my best friend, and now he's dead. I don't want to pray for his dad."

"Joey, do you remember what Jesus said when He was dying on the cross about the people who put Him there?" Joey shook his head. "He said, 'Father, forgive them.' Because Jesus died on that cross, there's nothing you or I or Blake's dad could ever do that God won't forgive us for. What he did was wrong, but if he trusts in Jesus, God will forgive him--and we need to forgive him too."

Joey sniffed. "I don't know if I can."

"You can't," said Dad. "Not on your own. But because you trust in Jesus, He'll give you the ability to forgive Blake's dad, just like He forgave us and the people who nailed him to that cross. It won't be easy and may take time, but if you depend on Jesus to fill your heart with love for Blake's dad instead of hate, you'll be able to forgive him." Sharon Mowery

*If someone has done something to hurt you or someone else that an adult needs to know about, or if you're having a hard time dealing with feelings of anger or sadness, tell a trusted adult so they can help.

How About You?
Are you angry and hurt because someone did something that was very, very wrong? Are you having a hard time forgiving them? It's okay to feel that way, and Jesus wants you to tell Him the truth about how you're feeling. Depend on Him to help you forgive others the way He's forgiven you--even when it's hard.*

Today's Key Verse:
Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." (NKJV) (Luke 23:34  )

Today's Key Thought:
Forgive even when it's hard

Forgive Us Our Diets

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Daily Devotional For November 11, 2017

Bible Reading: Matthew 6:9-15  

"Molly, could you please pass the corn?" Andrew asked. As Molly picked

up the bowl of corn with one hand, she accidentally spilled it all over

the table. "Aw, man," said Andrew, "I was really looking forward to some corn!"

"I'm sorry, Andrew!" Molly said. "I didn't mean to spill it--it was an accident!"

"I know, Molly," Andrew replied as he helped her clean up the spilled corn. "I've spilled food before too. Next time use both hands. Can you pass the mashed potatoes instead?"

This time Molly grabbed the bowl of mashed potatoes with both of her hands and passed it to her brother without spilling it.

"Thank you," Andrew said as he put a spoonful of potatoes on his plate.

"So, Andrew, Mom tells me you're working on memorizing the Lord's prayer for Sunday school," Dad said. "How's that going?"

"Well, memorizing it is the easy part. My Sunday school teacher wants me to be able to tell her what it means, and that's where I'm struggling," Andrew said as he took a bite of his potatoes.

"Well, maybe I can help," said Dad. "Which part do you not understand?"

"The part that goes something like, 'Forgive us our diets as we forgive our dieters.'"

Dad chuckled. "I think you mean debts and debtors, not diets and dieters. Our debts are our sins, and our debtors are those who sin against us. God wants us to forgive others just like He forgives us."

"You mean like how Andrew forgave me for spilling the corn?" asked Molly.

"Well, spilling the corn wasn't a sin, Molly, so it's not quite the same thing. But it was a mistake, and instead of getting upset about it, Andrew remembered that he's made mistakes like that before too. So yes, in a way, that's what we need to do when others sin against us intentionally. We forgive them because we've sinned too, and Jesus has forgiven us."

"That makes a lot more sense now," Andrew said as he pushed his plate aside. "I wondered why God wanted us to forgive dieters!" The entire table began to laugh.

Melissa Yeagle

How About You?
Has anyone ever told you they were sorry for something they did to you that was wrong? Did you forgive them? We all sin and need to ask Jesus to forgive us, and He always does--and He wants us to do the same when others ask us to forgive them for the wrong things they do. The next time someone asks you for forgiveness, remember that Jesus has forgiven you.

Today's Key Verse:
Bear with each other and forgive one another
if any of you has a grievance against someone.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (NIV)
(Colossians 3:13   )

Today's Key Thought:
Forgive others

Forget Your Shoes!

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Daily Devotional For November 11, 2017

Bible Reading: Isaiah 9:6-7  ; 53:5-6

Lexie dangled her feet off the bunk bed as her sister got ready for their

Christmas program rehearsal. "I'm going to mark my script so I don't miss any of my lines," Lexie said. She stuck her pen in her princess purse.

"Girls! We need to be at church soon!" Mama stuck her head in the door. "What! You're not even dressed? We should have left already!"

Anna poked her head out of the closet. "But I can't find my shoes."

"Forget your shoes! Just come on!"

Mama rushed away to check on the twins. By the time everyone was loaded in the van, Mama was downright angry.

"This happens every time we need to go somewhere!" Mama said. "I'm so sick of being late!" As Mama was about to shut the van door, she looked at Anna's feet and gasped. "Anna, where are your shoes?"

Anna looked like she was about to cry. "You said to forget them."

Mama let out an exasperated groan. "Get your shoes now! And if you're not back in one minute, I'm leaving!"

Five minutes later, Anna climbed into the van, shoes in hand. Mama fussed as they pulled onto the street.

"Anna, how could you possibly think I meant for you to go out without shoes on a day this cold? And Lexie, that is the last time I want to see you lollygagging when you should be getting ready!"

Just then the radio began to play a song that the twins had been singing all week. Their three-year-old voices quickly chimed in with the music. "For unto us a child is bo-own...unto us a Son is gibben..."

Mama stopped yelling. Then she let out a big sigh. "I'm sorry, girls," she said. "I've been so concerned with blaming you for making us late that I forgot why we're going to rehearse for the Christmas program in the first place--to tell others about Jesus. The truth is, I wasn't ready on time either, but I didn't want to admit that, so I made you feel bad about it instead. Will you forgive me?"

Anna and Lexie looked at each other. "Forgive you?" Lexie asked.

Mama nodded. "Sometimes parents make mistakes too. Jesus is still working to make me more like Him, just like He is with you."

Anna smiled. "Yes, Mama," she said. "We forgive you!" Rebekah Love Dorris

How About You?
Have you ever heard your parents say things they later regret? Just like you, parents make mistakes. The good news is that Jesus is still working on all of us, so remember that when your parents fall short. Remember that Jesus has forgiven you, and He wants you to show His love to others by forgiving them--including parents!

Today's Key Verse:
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (NKJV) ( Ephesians 4:32  )

Today's Key Thought:
Forgive your parents

The Amazing Cleanser

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Daily Devotional For November 11, 2017

Bible Reading: 1 John 1:5-9  

Holding his dirty, greasy hands high in front of him, Dad pushed the kitchen door open with his elbow. "Please turn on the faucet for me, James," he said. "I don't want to touch anything."

"Wow!" said James, quickly turning on the water. "How did you get your hands so dirty?"

"I've been working on the car," replied Dad.

James shook his head. "You'll never get those hands clean."

"Sure I will," said Dad, "but not with regular soap. There's some special hand cleaner under the sink. It's made for removing grease and oil."

James reached under the sink and pulled out the container of hand cleaner. Dad sank his fingers into the goo and rubbed it over his hands. He worked it in well, scrubbing between his fingers and around the nails with a soft brush. When he was finished, he rinsed his hands under the warm water. "What do you think?" he asked, holding up his hands for James' inspection.

"That's amazing!" said James. "You had the dirtiest hands I've ever seen. I can't believe you got them so clean!" Dad grinned as he dried his hands.

That evening Dad and James watched a news report about a prisoner who said he had turned his life over to Christ and was now totally changed. James turned to Dad. "Did you hear all the awful things that guy did?" he asked. "He can't just say he's sorry and be forgiven after doing all those horrible things, can he?"

"If he has put his trust in Jesus, God has forgiven him," Dad replied. "Jesus shed His blood on the cross for our sins, and that blood is powerful enough to cleanse even the most sinful of souls."

"So if a person trusts Jesus, God will forgive them no matter what they've done?" asked James.

Dad nodded and held up his hands. "The blood of Jesus is far more powerful than the cleanser I used on my dirty, greasy hands," he said. "Jesus' blood truly is an amazing cleanser!" Judith A. Philip

How About You?
Has your sin been washed away by Jesus' blood? Maybe you've done some really terrible things and don't think you could ever be forgiven. It doesn't matter how big or small your sins seem to you or other people. All sin is terrible in God's sight, but Jesus' blood is powerful enough to wash it all away! Confess your sin and trust in Him, and He will forgive you. (See the "ABCs of Salvation" on the right column of this page.)

Today's Key Verse:
The blood of Jesus Christ His Son
cleanses us from all sin. (NKJV) ( 1 John 1:7  )

Today's Key Thought:
The blood of Jesus washes sin away

Giving Up Water

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Daily Devotional For November 11, 2017

Bible Reading: Romans 12:17-21  

Katie ran into the kitchen out of breath. She poured a glass of cold

water and gulped it down. A few minutes later, her sister walked in.

"Why didn't you wait for me?" Kennedy asked.

Katie shrugged. "I saw you were walking home with Seth, so I decided to go for a run."

Kennedy sighed. "Are you still mad at him for what he did last month?"

"He tripped me on purpose and made me get a big scratch on my face on picture day!" Katie exclaimed.

"But he apologized," Kennedy reminded her. "He's having a birthday party at his house this weekend and told me to invite you."

"I'm not going!" Katie said firmly. "Not after what he did."

Dad walked into the kitchen and poured himself a glass of water. "Not going where?" he asked.

"To Seth's birthday party," said Kennedy. "Katie's still mad at him for tripping her over a month ago."

Just then a fly landed on the rim of Dad's glass. "Ew!" said Dad. He poured the rest of the water in the sink. "I'll teach that fly to try swimming in my water. I'm never drinking water again!"

Katie stared at her dad, puzzled. "Dad," she said, "it's just a little fly! And besides, you have to drink water--your body can't survive without it."

"So giving up water would hurt me more than the fly?" Dad asked. Katie nodded. "Well, it sounds to me like you're trying to hurt Seth for what he did to you, but you're just going to end up hurting yourself a lot more. I know that what he did was wrong, but he said he was sorry. And Jesus tells us to forgive others because He forgave us. He tells us to do that so we can show His love to others, but also because He knows that when we hold on to bitterness and anger, we hurt ourselves more than anyone else. You're trying to get back at Seth, but you're going to be the one sitting home by yourself while your sister and friends are having fun at his party."

Katie sighed. "Okay, Dad," she said. "Maybe it's time I finally forgive him." Melissa Yeagle

How About You?
Are you trying to get back at someone by refusing to forgive them? It's normal to feel angry when someone hurts you, and sometimes forgiveness takes time. But don't hold on to feelings that hurt both you and others. If you trust in Jesus, He's forgiven you for all the wrong things you've done, and He wants you to forgive others. Ask Him to help you let go of your bitter, angry feelings and forgive.

Today's Key Verse:
Don't judge others, and God will not judge you...Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. (ERV) (Luke 6:37  )

Today's Key Thought:
Let go of bitterness and forgive

Good Medicine

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Daily Devotional For November 11, 2017

Bible Reading: Proverbs 15:13-17  

"Guess what happened at Grandma and Grandpa's," Karmyn said, giggling. She and her brother, Felix, had just gotten home after spending the weekend with their grandparents. "Grandma had orange juice in a plastic pitcher, and when she picked it up--"

Karmyn could no longer talk because she was laughing too hard, so Felix finished the story. "The handle of the pitcher broke off!"

"Oh, no!" said Mom. "It must have made a huge mess."

"It did," Karmyn said. "Juice splashed all over the cupboards and onto the floor. And there was juice all over Grandma!"

"You should have seen the look on her face," said Felix. "She kept holding the handle and staring at it. But then she started to laugh, and we laughed too. We all laughed so hard that Grandpa came from the living room to see what was going on."

"I thought they'd be upset about the big mess, but they weren't," Karmyn said. "Grandpa got a big grin on his face and said, 'Well, Arlene, I know you didn't like that pitcher, but you didn't have to go this far to get rid of it, did you?' We all laughed until our stomachs hurt."

Dad chuckled. "That's how your grandparents are," he said. "They can usually take an unfortunate situation and find some humor in it. Grandpa loves to quote the verse from Proverbs that says, 'A merry heart does good, like medicine.'"

Karmyn nodded thoughtfully. "Cleaning up all that sticky juice didn't seem so bad while we were laughing."

Mom nodded. "Sometimes it's easy to get upset when something like that happens. But you know what? Instead of getting frustrated when things don't go our way, we can laugh. It helps us remember that God is good and that He's saved us and always takes care of us, even when things don't go as planned."

"I'm going to try to laugh more like Grandma and Grandpa," said Felix.

"Good," said Mom. "You can start right now because I--well, I have something to tell you. Your favorite T-shirt somehow got in with the wrong batch of laundry today. It turned pink!"

Felix looked startled. Then he joined in as the rest of his family burst into laughter.

Linda J. Opp

How About You?
Do you get upset when unexpected things happen to you? Try to find some humor in the situation. You'll enjoy life more, and it's good for your health too! Of course, there are times when more serious things happen that you shouldn't laugh about, but even then remember that God cares for you and is always with you. So laugh whenever you can and enjoy the life He's given you!

Today's Key Verse:
A merry heart does good, like medicine. (NKJV) (Proverbs 17:22  )

Today's Key Thought:
Learn to laugh

The Magnifying Glass

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Daily Devotional For November 11, 2017

Bible Reading: Psalm 34:1-8  ; Revelation 4:11  

"Psalm 34:3  . Oh, magify...magify..." Darcy struggled with her memory verse as she and her older sister walked up the driveway to their grandfather's house.

"Hi, Grandpa," said Bryn as they went into the house.

"Hi, kids." Grandpa folded his newspaper. "I was just reading."

"What's that, Grandpa?" Darcy pointed to an object on the coffee table.

"That's his magnifying glass," Bryn answered.

"That's right," said Grandpa. "These old eyes aren't as good as they used to be, and that magnifying glass makes the letters look bigger so I can see them. Here." He motioned for them to come close. "Try it."

"You know what, Grandpa?" Darcy said after looking through the glass. "I'm learning a Bible verse about a magifying glass."

Bryn laughed. "The word is 'mag-ni-fy,' not 'mag-i-fy,'" she informed her little sister. "And the verse isn't about a magnifying glass. It says, 'Oh, magnify the Lord with me...'" Bryn paused. "Wait, magnifying something means to make it bigger, but we can't make God bigger!"

Grandpa smiled. "True," he said, "But when I use this glass to read, the letters seem bigger to my eyes, but they're not really any bigger than they were before, are they?"

"No," said Bryn. "But I still don't see what it means to magnify the Lord."

"I think one way we magnify God is by focusing on Him and blocking out the things that distract us," said Grandpa. "Then, in a way, He becomes 'bigger'--or more important to us. We think more about Him and how we can serve Him. We get to know Him better and understand more about how great He really is and how much He's done to save us from sin and make us His children."

"Look!" Darcy held the magnifying glass over a cartoon in the paper. "Look how big this cat's whiskers are!"

"I think Darcy just pointed out another way we magnify the Lord," said Grandpa. "She's the one looking at that cartoon, but even from here we can see some of what she sees. When we magnify the Lord, it helps other people get a glimpse of how great He is too." Hazel W. Marett

How About You?
When you think about the greatness of God, what comes to your mind? Do you think about all the wonderful things He's created? Do you remember all He's done to save you and recognize Him working in your life? Even in the midst of your busy days, pause to think about how amazing God is. Then tell others so they can understand how great and good He is too.

Today's Key Verse:
Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt His name together. (NKJV) ( Psalm 34:3  )

Today's Key Thought:
Magnify the Lord