Keys for Kids Ministries

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

 


Good for You (Part 1)

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Daily Devotional For January 01, 2019
  

Bible Reading: Psalm 107:1  ; Romans 8:18-25  , 28

Caden was tired when he got home from the orthopedic center where he got treatments for cerebral palsy. The disease affected his muscles and made it difficult for him to walk and speak. He sighed as he sat down in his favorite chair. "I don't see why I have to have this disease."

Mom set her purse down. "I don't know why either, but I do know that God uses everything in our lives for good. Now come on--let's help Dad get supper on the table."

As they were eating, Dad turned to Caden. "You're not eating your vegetables. You know they're good for you."

Caden made a face. "I don't like them."

"Just finish the ones that are on your plate," said Mom.

"How did physical therapy go today?" asked Dad.

"Okay, I guess," said Caden, "but those treatments hurt! When they stretch my legs and arms, they pull really hard. I don't see why I have to go so often. I'm not sure it's helping anyway."

"We don't see the results right away, but those exercises do help you," said Dad. "If you want those muscles of yours to grow stronger and healthier, you'll have to cooperate with the therapist each time you go."

Caden sighed. "I wish God would just heal me. Then I wouldn't have to worry about all those exercises."

Mom nodded sympathetically. "It's hard to understand why God doesn't always do the things we ask Him to. We need to remember that we live in a broken world where even good things can cause us difficulties, like exercise and healthy food. But vegetables won't always taste bad and exercises won't always hurt, because one day, when Jesus comes again, He will make everything new--including our bodies. In the meantime, we need to remember that He is in control and can bring good things from the worst circumstances."

"The Bible says God's ways and thoughts are much higher than ours," Dad added. "For some reason we can't understand, He is using cerebral palsy to bring about good in your life. Can you trust Him?"

Caden nodded. "I'll ask Him to help me remember that He has a good reason for allowing me to go through this." Gordon Muscott

How About You?
Are you facing pain and difficulty in your life? Perhaps it's an injury or disease, or maybe something bad that happened in your family. If you're a Christian, God will use everything in your life for good, even if you can't understand how. Trust Him to be with you when you face difficulties, and use them for good.

Today's Key Verse:
No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. (NKJV) (Psalm 84:11  )

Today's Key Thought:
God brings good from bad
 

A Noisy Witness

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Daily Devotional For January 01, 2019
  

Bible Reading: Luke 9:23-26  

"Oh no! I forgot to get milk." Joanna's mother brought the shopping cart to a halt in the middle of the aisle. "Here, Joanna. Push Emmeline to the front of the store while I run back to get some. I'll meet you by the registers."

They started down an aisle and saw an elderly woman rummaging through her purse, looking for something. Suddenly, the woman's purse slipped out of her hand and coins, coupons, and other items went flying everywhere. Joanna hurried over to help pick up the things.

"Oh, thank you so much!" the woman said when all the items were gathered. "Most young people wouldn't stop to help an old lady like me. Why did you do it?"

Joanna knew this was a good opportunity to tell the woman she was a Christian, but she was embarrassed. "Uh...I guess I just like to help people," she managed to say. Then she walked away quickly, pushing her cart in front of her.

Soon little Emmeline got restless. She began singing her favorite song, "Jesus Loves Me." Louder and louder she sang, "Jesus loves me, dis I know, for da By-bo tell me so!"

Joanna saw that people were looking at them and smiling, and she felt her face turn red. "Hush, Emmeline--don't be so noisy!" she whispered. But the little girl kept right on singing.

The elderly woman Joanna had helped walked up to her. "I heard what the little one was singing. You must be a Christian!"

"Well, uh...yes, I am," Joanna mumbled.

The woman smiled. "I thought there was something different about you. My neighbor is a Christian too, and she's always trying to talk to me about Jesus. I think maybe I'll listen better next time."

As the woman walked away, Joanna smiled at her little sister. "Emmeline, you're a sweetheart! I've been wrong to keep quiet about being a Christian. You reminded me how important it is to be a noisy witness for Jesus!" Sherry L. Kuyt

How About You?
Does it embarrass you to have someone notice that you're a Christian? Perhaps you're a silent witness--you try to show others the love of Jesus in the way you treat them. That's great, but don't forget that talking is important too. Don't be ashamed to let others know you belong to Jesus. Your words and your actions might make them want to know Him too.

Today's Key Verse:
Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words... of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed. (NKJV)
(Mark 8:38  )

Today's Key Thought:
Don't be ashamed of Jesus
 

Straighten Your Crown

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Daily Devotional For January 01, 2019
  

Bible Reading: Romans 8:14-18  ; 1 Peter 2:9  

Sarah sat on a bench by the fence with her head down and her arms folded across her chest. Natalie ran past, chasing a soccer ball. She stopped when she saw her friend. "What's the matter, Sarah?"

"Amy and Kirsten were teasing me again. No matter what I do with my hair, or what I wear, they always laugh and tell me I have no sense of style." Sarah slumped farther down onto the bench.

Natalie put her hands on her hips. "Girl, you need to straighten your crown."

Sarah reached up and patted her curly auburn hair. "What are you talking about? There's nothing on my head but lots of frizz. I don't have a crown."

"Do too!" Natalie put her shoulders back and held her head high. "We're princesses. Whenever I have a bad attitude or get down on myself, my momma always tells me to straighten my crown."

"But my dad's a mechanic and your dad's a banker. We're not royalty."

"Yes, we are! We have the same heavenly Father because we trust in Jesus. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, so you have no reason to feel ashamed. Besides, I love your hair and the way you dress."

Sarah stood up tall and lifted her chin. She smoothed her plaid skirt, straightened her vest, and pretended to settle a crown on her head. Then she held out a hand to her friend. "Shall we go play soccer? Or is that too undignified for daughters of the King?"

Natalie grabbed the ball. "Oh, no. Princesses play soccer."

The two girls skipped to the soccer field, laughing. They spent the rest of recess playing soccer with their friends. Once, Sarah fell going after the ball.

On the way inside, Kirsten and Amy snickered at the grass stains on Sarah's knees. For a moment, Sarah started to wilt. Then she straightened up and settled her crown.

"What are you doing?" Amy asked. "You don't have anything on your head."

"Yes, I do. It's my crown. You just can't see it." Seeing the girls' confusion, she said, "I'm a princess because I'm a daughter of the King of kings. If you'd like, I can tell you how you can be princesses too." Mary Whitlow

How About You?
Do you ever let other people get you down? Sometimes we all need an attitude adjustment. It starts by remembering who you are. Jesus died for you so you could be part of God's family. He is the King of kings, and that makes you a prince or a princess. So wear your crown proudly, and let others know how they can be royalty too.

Today's Key Verse:
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood...that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (NKJV)
( 1 Peter 2:9  )

Today's Key Thought:
You're a child of the King
 

Stay Away

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Daily Devotional For January 01, 2019
  

Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 6:11-14  

Evan's mother was shaking him gently, and he struggled to wake up. He sat up and opened his eyes wide. "I had to run!" he said in a shaky voice.

"I heard you yell," Mom said. "What were you running from?"

Evan took a deep breath. "I must have been dreaming, and...and soldiers were shooting at me!"

"What did you watch at Carter's last night?" Mom asked. Evan told her the name of the movie, and she frowned. "Didn't I tell you not to watch that one?"

Evan lowered his eyes. "Yeah, but everyone else did, so what else could I do?"

Mom looked at him thoughtfully. "Do you remember hearing Grandpa talk about how he stopped drinking? Once he realized he was an alcoholic and got help, he knew just one drink could set him back a long way. So, whenever he had to go near a bar or liquor store, do you remember what he did?"

Evan thought for a moment. "He'd cross the street to avoid it."

"Right," said Mom. "Grandpa depended on Jesus to help him quit drinking, but he knew it would be difficult to resist temptation if he went anywhere there was alcohol."

"I guess being around alcohol would make it a lot harder not to drink," said Evan.

"Yes, and Grandpa never went into a bar again as far as I know," Mom said. "He stayed sober for the rest of his life. Now, how does that apply to you?"

Evan frowned. "Are you saying I shouldn't go to Carter's house anymore?"

Mom shrugged. "Well, think about it. There have been several times when you've watched movies at Carter's that you knew you shouldn't be watching. Don't you think it might be a good idea not to go there unless you have definite plans to do something other than watch TV?"

Evan was quiet for a moment. "Would it be okay to invite Carter over here more often?" he asked.

"That's a great idea." Mom tucked the blankets around Evan. "If you let Him, Jesus will help you make the right choices. But you need to do your part by not putting yourself in the way of temptation." Karen R. Locklear

How About You?
Are there places where you find it hard to do what is right? Situations where you feel pressured to lie, cheat, gossip, look at bad internet sites, or do something else that's wrong? The Apostle Paul told Timothy to flee from things like that, and that's good advice for you too. Stay away from situations where you know you'll be tempted, and trust Jesus to give you the strength to do what is right.

Today's Key Verse:
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue
righteousness, faith, love and peace. (NIV)
(2 Timothy 2:22  )

Today's Key Thought:
Flee temptation
 

Good Father

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Daily Devotional For January 01, 2019
  

Bible Reading: Psalm 27:7-14  

Natasha slipped off her backpack with a sigh and took a warm chocolate chip cookie from the plate in front of her.

"How was your sleepover at Tracy's?" Mom asked, pulling off her oven mitts.

"It was great," Natasha mumbled through a bite.

"Then why the long face?" Mom plopped down on the stool next to her daughter.

Natasha sighed. "Mom, it was too great. Tracy's family is just, well...perfect. Especially her dad. He played a board game with us and even made us pancakes in the morning. It's just not fair. How come she has a dad who loves her and cares about her, and I don't?" Tears welled up in Natasha's eyes, threatening to spill over.

Mom put her arm around Natasha and gave her a gentle squeeze. "Oh, Nat, I'm so sorry. You absolutely deserve to have a father here on earth who loves and cares for you. People on earth will always let us down. But you know, you have a Father in heaven who loves you every bit as much as Tracy's dad loves her, and even more."

Natasha sniffled. "Will you remind me how God loves me as a Father?"

Mom pulled her worn Bible off the counter and opened it. "Psalm 68:5--  'A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God.' 1 John 3:1--  'What great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!'" Mom looked into Natasha's eyes with tears glistening in her own. "Oh, sweetie, I know it's tough not to have a father here on this earth who is involved in your life. But never forget that God is the best Father you could ever have. He sacrificed His own Son so you could be His child, and He won't ever leave you or abandon you."

Natasha wiped the tears off her cheeks. "Thanks, Mom. I know it's not easy for you either. Good thing we have Jesus to lean on; I don't know what we would do without Him!"

"Probably wallow in a bathtub full of milk and cookies," Mom teased.

"Yum!" Natasha giggled and took a bite of her cookie. "I think that's one of the most delicious ideas I've ever heard!" Savannah Coleman

How About You?
Do you struggle with the pain of not having a caring or involved mother or father in your life? In this life, people will let us down. Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33  ). But we can remember that because of Jesus' sacrifice, God is always with us as our heavenly Father. He loves to listen to us and encourage us, just like a good earthly father should.

Today's Key Verse:
You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed. (NKJV)
(Psalm 10:17-18  )

Today's Key Thought:
God is our good heavenly Father
 

We All Make Mistakes

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Daily Devotional For January 01, 2019
  

Bible Reading: 1 John 1:5-10  

"You got us a rabbit?" Mason shrieked with joy.

"Yup!" Dad said. "And he's going to live in the house, not out back in a cage."

"Really?" Zack jumped up and down. "That's so cool!"

"Check out the bathroom," Mom said. "I put his cage in there, and a litter tray. I read online how we can train him to only go in the litter box, like a cat. That's why I agreed to this."

The three kids ran into the bathroom to check out the rabbit's new digs. "He's so cute and fluffy," Jocelyn said as she came out holding the rabbit. "Can we call him Oreo? He looks like a cookie with his black fur and white flecks."

"Fine with me," Zack said, and everyone else agreed.

It didn't take long for Oreo to get accustomed to using the litter box. Once Mom was sure he was fully trained, Oreo was allowed to explore more and more of the house. Soon enough, he had complete freedom to roam the whole first floor. Until a few weeks later...

"Oreo just had an accident on the couch!" Jocelyn yelled, grabbing the rabbit and running him to his litter box.

"Dumb rabbit," Mason said, heartbroken. "Now we're going to have to get rid of him."

"No, we're not," Dad said. "He's a rabbit. He was created to live outdoors. We're not going to give him away just because he was doing what rabbits do. We'll just have to restrict where he can go in the house from now on."

"We're not going to get rid of him just because he made a mistake," Mom added. "He's our rabbit, and we're going to keep helping him learn to use the litter box. You know, we aren't perfect either. We make mistakes, and we sin. But Jesus won't abandon us when we mess up. He'll always love us and help us walk in His light. When we admit our sins to Him, He forgives us."

Mason went and got Oreo. "I'm sorry I said you were dumb," he said, hugging the furry bunny. "You're part of our family now, and I'll love you forever, no matter what!" Claire McGarry

How About You?
Do you ever worry that Jesus won't love you anymore if you sin? That will never happen. We all make mistakes and do sinful things, but Jesus will always love us and forgive us. We're part of His family, and He won't ever abandon us. Trust Him to forgive you when you sin and to teach you to walk in His light.

Today's Key Verse:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (NIV)
(1 John 1:9  )

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus always forgives our sins
 

God Never Changes

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Daily Devotional For January 01, 2019
  

Bible Reading: Hebrews 13:5-8  

Dylan went into his bedroom and slammed the door shut. He took his pillow and hurled it across the room, then sat down on the bed. Great, he thought, another change in my life. His mom had just told him she had gotten a full-time job and he would have to go to his grandparents' house after school every day. First Mom and Dad tell me they're getting a divorce, then Mom and I have to move, and now this.

A knock on the door interrupted Dylan's thoughts. "Can I come in?" Mom asked.

"I guess so," Dylan said.

Mom came in and sat on the edge of Dylan's bed. "I thought you enjoyed spending time with your grandparents."

"I do," Dylan replied. "I just don't want another change I have to deal with. I have a routine after school. Now this is going to change everything, and I'm not going to see you as much." He sighed. "It just seems like nothing is stable. Everything is changing."

Dylan got off the bed and went to look out his bedroom window. Mom came and stood beside him, and they looked out at the night sky.

"Look, we have a beautiful full moon tonight," Mom said. "Even that is always changing."

Dylan nodded. "It seems like it's a different shape every night."

"Well, the moon is always the same shape," Mom said. "It's just our view of it that changes. We can't always see it in its full form because of our position to the sun, but we can count on it to be out in some shape every night. Jesus is the same way. He never changes. Our view of Him may change because of things that happen in our lives, but He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He always loves us and cares for us." Mom put an arm around Dylan. "I know there are a lot of changes in our lives right now, but Jesus is right here helping us through them."

Dylan thought about what his mom had said. As he looked out at the moon, he said a silent prayer thanking Jesus for being there through all the changes. Melissa Yeagle

How About You?
Are you going through a lot of changes in your life right now? You can count on Jesus to help you through them. He is always with you, and His love for you never changes.

Today's Key Verse:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (NKJV) (Hebrews 13:8  )

Today's Key Thought:
Jesus never changes