Keys for Kids Ministries

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


Cold Hot Chocolate

Listen to Today's Devotional  
Daily Devotional For September 09, 2017

Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 4:11-16  

Aimee stirred her cup of hot chocolate as her little sister, Jill, came in.

"Hi," said Jill. "Know what we did on the way home from school?"

"No. What?" asked Aimee.

Jill grinned. "We cut across Mr. Wilson's lawn!"

"What?" Aimee set her cup down. "You know that makes him mad. Why did you do that?"

"Well, the other kids said there isn't anything wrong with taking a short cut," replied Jill. "They said Mr. Wilson has to learn not to get so mad." She grabbed a banana from a bowl on the table and sat down. "So it must be okay. Those kids are older than me, so they would know."

"They're older and know more than you, so that means they're always right?" asked Aimee. Jill shrugged and took a bite of her banana. Aimee looked down at her mug. "This hot chocolate is really good," she said after a moment. "Want me to make some for you?"

"Yeah!" said Jill. She followed Aimee into the kitchen and watched her spoon some chocolate mix into a cup and then take a pitcher of water from the fridge.

"Why are you getting out the ice water, Aimee?" asked Jill. "I thought you were making hot chocolate. You have to use hot water!"

"Says who?" asked Aimee. "I'm older, so if I say pouring ice water over the chocolate mix will make hot chocolate, it will."

Jill stared at her sister. "No, it won't!" she said.

Aimee set the pitcher of water down. "So you see that being older doesn't make anybody always right?" Jill sighed and nodded. "Do you remember what Pastor Williams said last Sunday?" asked Aimee.

"Pastor Williams?" asked Jill. "He said no matter how old or young we are, we can live the way Jesus wants us to and do what's right."

"Yes, and that includes you!" said Aimee. "Now, how about some hot chocolate--with hot water?"

Jill smiled and nodded. "Yes, please!" Melissa J. Montgomery

How About You?
Do you think kids who are older than you know what's right or wrong? Have they told you it's okay to do something your parents or teachers say you shouldn't do? What God says in the Bible is how to know what's right or wrong--not what anyone else says. You may be young, but by following Jesus' example you can do what's right.

Today's Key Verse:
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example . . . in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (NKJV) ( 1 Timothy 4:12  )

Today's Key Thought:
Do the right thing

First Steps

Listen to Today's Devotional  
Daily Devotional For September 09, 2017

Bible Reading: Galatians 6:1-5  

Mom was bouncing baby Izzy on her knee when Soren got home. "Hey, buddy," she said. "How was school today?" Soren shrugged. "Is something wrong?" asked Mom.

Soren sighed. "It's Alec. He became a Christian a few months ago, and it seemed like he really did change. Well, today I saw him peek at a piece of paper he was hiding in his pocket during our spelling test. He cheated!"

Mom set Izzy on the floor. "Did you talk to him about it?"

Soren nodded. "He admitted he looked at the words," he replied as he watched Izzy crawl to a chair and pull herself up. She held onto the chair and took a few steps around it, then looked at Mom and smiled. Soren laughed, forgetting about Alec for a moment. "I think you're showing off, Izzy," he said.

Mom held out her hands, and Izzy left the chair and took two shaky steps before falling into Mom's arms. Soren clapped his hands. "All right, Izzy! You took your first steps! Can you walk to me?" He held out his arms.

Mom stood Izzy in front of her and let go. Izzy reached out, took one small step, and fell to the floor. She looked startled for a moment, and then her whole face puckered up. "Don't cry, Izzy," said Soren as he picked her up. "You just took your first steps." He stood her on her feet again. "It'll be a while before you can run a marathon."

"You know, learning to walk is a lot like becoming a Christian," said Mom. "We all stumble and fall by sinning sometimes--and in the beginning, it's especially easy to do. Remember that your friend Alec is taking his first steps as a Christian. As he continues walking with Jesus, he'll become more and more like Him." She held out her arms to Izzy. "Maybe you could give him a helping hand," Mom said as Soren helped Izzy take a step toward her. "Let Alec know you're praying for him, and if he needs help with spelling, perhaps the two of you could study together."

Soren smiled as Izzy took another step and fell into her mother's arms. "Okay," he said. "I'll do that." Judith A. Philip

How About You?
Do you know kids who are new Christians? Do you sometimes see them do things they shouldn't be doing? Instead of being critical, remember that you stumble and sin too. Then pray for them and encourage them in their walk with Jesus. Invite them to spend time with you and other Christians, and be a good example in the way you live your life.

Today's Key Verse:
If another believer is overcome by some sin...gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. (NLT) (Galatians 6:1   )

Today's Key Thought:
Help new Christians

Little Tugboats

Listen to Today's Devotional  
Daily Devotional For September 09, 2017

Bible Reading: 2 Kings 5:1-4  , 9-14

The breeze felt cool against Ivan's cheeks as he and Uncle Martn stood quietly on the pier. They were watching ships enter and leave the great harbor. "Look at those little tugboats moving the big ships through the water, Uncle Martn!" said Ivan. "It doesn't seem like boats that small could even move those big ships!"

Uncle Martn shook his head. "They're interesting, aren't they?" After watching a while longer, he said, "Those little tugboats remind me of you."

Ivan turned away from the ships to look at his uncle. "Of me?" he asked in surprise. "Why do they remind you of me?"

"Well," said Uncle Martn, "there's a Bible verse that says, 'Even a child is known by his deeds, whether what he does is pure and right.'" Uncle Martn smiled. "Those great big ships are helped into the harbor by the little tugboats. And grownups can be influenced--and helped--by the actions of kids."

"Kids like me?" asked Ivan.

"Kids like you," said Uncle Martn. "Children, as well as adults, can be an example of Jesus to those who don't know Him. They can show others they follow Him by the way they live and lead people to Him." Uncle Martn gestured to another small tugboat passing in front of them as it pulled a ship into the harbor. "You may think other kids are the only ones who would listen to you, but that's not true," continued Uncle Martn. "You certainly can influence kids, but adults may also take notice."

Ivan watched the tugboats in the harbor as he thought about what Uncle Martn had said. "There may be quite a few teachers at my school who don't know Jesus," he said. "And next week is our family reunion. Maybe some people coming to that don't know Jesus either." He smiled. "I'm going to ask God to help me be a good influence so He can use me to point others--both kids and adults--to Jesus." Richard S. Maffeo

How About You?
Do you think you're too young to lead someone to Christ? Don't underestimate what God can do through you. Today's Scripture reading gives one example of a young person who influenced an adult as she served God--and He can use you to influence adults too. Ask Him to help you share the love of Jesus with others, no matter how old they are.

Today's Key Verse:
Even a child is known by his deeds, whether what he does is pure and right. (NKJV) (Proverbs 20:11  )

Today's Key Thought:
God can use you

An Important Position

Listen to Today's Devotional  
Daily Devotional For September 09, 2017

Bible Reading: Romans 12:3-5  

"I want to play first base this year, and Coach Nichols won't let me!" said

Quincy. "He says I'll help the team more if I play right field." He frowned. "The guys have a saying about right field. They say, 'right field equals left out,' because the ball never gets hit to that side of the outfield."

"Now, hold on! That's just not true!" said Dad. "A good right fielder often makes important plays--and I know you'll be a good one." But nothing Dad said could convince Quincy that right field was a good position for him.

The next day, Quincy helped his father plant geraniums in the front yard. "Maybe we could get some of those bushes with white flowers we saw when we hiked up Mount Major," said Quincy. "They'd look nice here with the geraniums."

Dad shook his head. "Those plants grow well in higher elevations, but I don't think they'd do well down here. God didn't intend for all plants to thrive in the same location. Each species has its own spot in the plant kingdom. That principle applies to people too. God has blessed every one of us with the talents we need to do the best job in the special spot He's put us in."

Quincy gave his dad a confused look, wondering what he was getting at, and Dad smiled. "For example, God gave you one of the strongest throwing arms on your baseball team. That's important for a right fielder, so give it a chance. Perhaps God has a special lesson He wants you to learn by playing right field on your ball team."

"What lesson could there be in that?" asked Quincy with a frown.

"Maybe God wants you to see that every part of a team is important," said Dad, "whether it's a baseball team or Christ's team on earth--those who believe in Jesus. God gave every Christian an important part to play in caring for other members of Christ's team and sharing His love with those who don't know Him. Without each person's important role, the whole team suffers--just like your baseball team won't do as well if you refuse to play right field."

Quincy sighed. "Okay," he said after a moment. "Right field, here I come!"

Linda M. Magoon

How About You?
Do you get upset when you don't get the position you want--whether it's on a sports team or within Christ's team of believers? Jesus gave you the gifts and abilities He did so you could fill an important role and serve Him with other Christians. So no matter where He places you, be a team player and use your gifts to help the body of Christ share His love with the world.

Today's Key Verse:
Those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. (NKJV) (1 Corinthians 12:22  )

Today's Key Thought:
Each team member is important

Fruit Roll

Listen to Today's Devotional  
Daily Devotional For September 09, 2017

Bible Reading: Galatians 5:22-25  

The pocket of Cora's red sweater bulged. She didn't want Miss Allen to notice, so she quickly slipped into her seat. She removed a big orange from her pocket and hid it behind the box of crayons in her desk.

The morning dragged by. Usually Cora liked reading class, but not today. She couldn't keep her mind on the story. A classmate--Ford--had agreed to give the signal for the special activity the kids had planned. He said they should wait until math time and be ready when Miss Allen turned to the whiteboard.

Excitement built up when Miss Allen told the class to take out their math books. Everyone kept looking at Ford. When he put his hand in his desk, Cora covered her mouth. She didn't want Miss Allen to see that she was giggling. She reached inside her desk and took hold of the orange.

At last Miss Allen turned her back to the class. Cora drew a deep breath as Ford yelled, "Fruit roll!" In a flash, Cora's orange rolled down the aisle with lots of other fruit. The room became noisy, and Miss Allen looked puzzled. "It's for you," Ford said, pointing to the fruit.

"For me?" Miss Allen asked in surprise. "How thoughtful of you! Thanks, kids."

That afternoon Cora told her mother all about it. "Miss Allen said she had never heard of a fruit roll, but she liked it!" said Cora. "She got oranges, grapefruit, some tangerines, a few lemons, and even a lime."

"Good," said Mom. "I knew she'd enjoy it." She smiled at Cora. "What about you? Have you gotten any fruit rolled to you lately?

Cora gave her mom a confused look. "What do you mean?"

"I mean the fruit of the Spirit," Mom said. "Once you trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit produces fruit in your life--the qualities of the new person He wants you to be. It's quite a list. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control--all these make you more like Jesus."

Cora thought about it. "I guess I am learning to be more patient--and how to be kind to kids at school I don't know well." She smiled. "It's like I'm getting a fruit roll from Jesus every day!" Margaret M. Primrose

How About You?
Did you know that, if you're a Christian, you're getting a fruit roll from Jesus every day? He helps you develop the qualities that make you more like Him. As you grow as a Christian, others will start to see more and more of these qualities in your life. Ask Jesus to help you grow and fill you with the fruit of the Spirit so you can become more like Him.

Today's Key Verse:
May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation--the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ. (NLT) (Philippians 1:11   )

Today's Key Thought:
God fills your life with fruit

Hope Springs Up

Listen to Today's Devotional  
Daily Devotional For September 09, 2017

Bible Reading: Revelation 21:1-5  

Doug peered out the van's back window as his dad drove down the cemetery's narrow path past rows and rows of small gray tombstones. Snow and ice covered the ground from the last winter storm. When they reached the second to last row of tombstones, Dad pulled to the side of the road and turned off the engine. They all got out of the van, and Mom opened the back door and pulled out a colorful cross made of purple flowers. Purple had been Doug's grandma's favorite color.

Doug pulled his hood tightly around his head as he and his parents walked slowly down the row of graves. He counted the tombstones as they passed each one. He knew his grandma's grave was the seventh in the row. When they reached it, the family stopped and read the inscription once again: "Beloved wife, mother, and grandmother."

They stood silently for a moment as a bitter wind pierced the air. Then Doug spoke up. "It's so sad and depressing coming out here." He looked around the cemetery and shivered. "Just thinking about how many dead people are buried in these graves gives me chills."

Dad put his arm around Doug. "I know, buddy. But we know the grave's not the end. We have hope for eternal life. Jesus said that He is the resurrection and the life, and anyone who believes in Him will live forever. Grandma trusted Jesus as her Savior. Even though our physical bodies die, Jesus has promised us eternal life if we trust in Him. After we die we'll go to be with Him, and one day He will give us new bodies that will never die. Nothing beats that hope." Dad gave Doug a pat on the shoulder.

"Do you want to put the flowers on Grandma's grave?" Mom asked, holding out the flowered cross.

Doug took the cross from his mother and stooped down beside his grandmother's tombstone. He pushed the stake down firmly into the ground. As he started to stand up, Doug noticed something green behind the grave. A few blades of grass were poking up out of the snow. There in the cemetery, out of the deadness of winter, the new life of spring was on its way. Vanessa Small

How About You?
Do you know someone who has died? Are you afraid of dying yourself? Death can be a difficult reality to face, but those who trust in Jesus have hope beyond the grave. If you don't know Jesus as your Savior, you can trust in Him today. (See "The ABCs of Salvation on the right column of this page..) If you do know Him, share His truth with others so they can have the hope that comes with knowing Him too.

Today's Key Verse:
Jesus told her, "I am the resurrection and the life.
Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying." (NLT)
(John 11:25   )

Today's Key Thought:
Christians have hope for eternal life

Supper Mints

Listen to Today's Devotional  
Daily Devotional For September 09, 2017

Bible Reading: 2 Peter 1:5-9  

"Benji, here's your vitamin." Mom handed Benji a chewable multivitamin as he got up from the dinner table.

Benji looked at the vitamin in his hand. "Is this a supper mint?"

"A supper mint?" asked Mom. "No, it's a vitamin. Why would you think it's a mint?"

"Because we're supposed to take supper mints to help us grow."

Mom smiled. "I think you mean supplement, and yes, your vitamin is a supplement." Mom showed Benji the label on the bottle. "It has vitamins C, B, E, and lots of other things in it that help you grow strong. We can get these vitamins from food, but we might not get enough that way, so we take supplements like this to keep our bodies strong."

"Pastor Wilson talked about supper mints--I mean, supplements--at church on Sunday," said Benji. "Do all Christians need to take multivitamins?"

Mom laughed. "Pastor Wilson wasn't talking about supplements for our bodies. He was talking about how Jesus supplements--or grows--our faith. Here, I think I still have the Bible passage from Sunday on my phone."

Mom grabbed her phone and pulled up the verses so Benji could see them. "The Bible tells us Jesus supplements our faith with goodness, knowledge, self-control, patience, devotion, kindness, and love," continued Mom. "Those are the things that help us grow to become more like Him."

"So how does Jesus give us these supplements?" asked Benji. He held up the vitamin Mom had given him. "I'm guessing you can't chew them!"

Mom laughed. "Not like that vitamin, but He does give us His Word, the Bible, so we can chew on what He says. He also develops these qualities in us as we pray, spend time with other Christians, and learn to depend on Him in all the circumstances of our lives. As we grow in our relationship with Him, we become more like Him and are able to live out our faith more effectively."

Benji popped the vitamin he had been holding into his mouth and chewed. "This supplement will help my body grow strong," he said, "and now I think I'll go read my Bible to help my relationship with Jesus grow strong too!" Judith Vander Wege

How About You?
Do you take supplements so your body will grow healthy and strong? How about your faith--do you take supplements for that? Jesus supplements your faith as you grow in your relationship with Him. As you focus on all He's done for you and learn to depend on Him, He will help you live the way He wants you to and show His love to others.

Today's Key Verse:
The more you grow like this, the more productive
and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NLT) ( 2 Peter 1:8   )

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus supplements your faith