Keys for Kids - daily devotions and Bible stories for kids

Keys For Kids Ministries

Keys for Kids is a daily storytelling show based on the Keys for Kids children's devotional. Hosted by Zach, this podcast combines Scripture readings with captivating stories that illustrate essential Biblical principles. With Zach's creative voices bringing characters to life, listeners embark on a faith-filled journey. Tune in to discover the keys to growing in faith and understanding God's love. Produced by Keys for Kids Ministries, this podcast is a treasure trove to help young hearts grow closer to God. read less
Religion & SpiritualityReligion & Spirituality

Episodes

Broken Window
Today
Broken Window
Bible Reading: Romans 6:1-11Jaxon hadn't meant to break the window. The ball had slipped out of his hand, and now he stood in front of a mess. If only there was some way to hide it, Jaxon thought.But there wasn't. He couldn't fix it. He'd broken his bedroom window, and his parents were going to find out. They were probably going to ground him.Jaxon sighed. "It's my own fault. I shouldn't have been playing ball in the house."Instead of trying to hide things, Jaxon went downstairs. "Dad?" Jaxon said.Dad turned toward him. "Yes?"Jaxon looked at his feet. "I broke my window."Dad got up. "How did that happen?""I hit it with a ball," Jaxon mumbled. "I'm sorry."They went upstairs to look at the damage, and Jaxon waited for his dad to tell him what his punishment was going to be. "I'm sorry," Jaxon said again. "I know I shouldn't have been playing with the ball in here."Dad nodded slowly. "You did know it's against the rules to play ball in the house, right?"Jaxon nodded. "I guess I thought I could get away with it if no one saw me."Dad sighed. "I need to talk to your mom," he said.Jaxon waited for his parents and was surprised by how calm they looked when they came into his room."We decided to give you grace this time," Mom said."Grace?" Jaxon asked."Yes," said Mom. "We're not giving you what you deserve for breaking the rules. We've decided to give you grace instead." She smiled. "Just like how Jesus gives us grace all the time. He died to take the punishment we deserve for our sins so we could be saved and enjoy life with Him. Whenever we do something wrong, He offers us grace and forgiveness.""Right," Dad said. "But the Bible says that those saved by grace shouldn't go on sinning. We're trusting that there will be no more ball playing in the house.""There won't be," Jaxon quickly agreed.Mom hugged him. "We forgive you and we love you.""We do," Dad said.Jaxon smiled. Grace felt pretty amazing. –Bethany AckerHow About You?Has anyone ever given you grace when you didn't deserve it? How did it feel? Have you received God's grace by trusting Jesus to forgive your sins? His gift of grace covers all your wrongs. Instead of getting the punishment you deserve--eternal separation from God--He forgives you and gives you eternal life with Him. Trust in Him so you can enjoy His grace every day. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page or go to www.keysforkids.org/goodnews.)Today's Key Verse:For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. (NIV) (Ephesians 2:8)Today's Key Thought:Grace is a great gift
The Trinity Tree
Yesterday
The Trinity Tree
Bible Reading: Matthew 28:16-20; John 14:16-17, 26Anya inhaled the rich scent of the woods. She loved these weekly hikes to various parks in Michigan with her homeschool group. Remi and Taylor, two of her best friends, ran around her. "Come on, Anya, race you to that dune!"The three friends looked over the shimmering waters of Lake Michigan as they waited for the group to catch up. After a rest and snack on the beach, the homeschoolers headed back into the thick of the woods. Anya stopped suddenly and gasped. "Guys! Look at this awesome tree!" This particular tree had a wide base that morphed into three separate trees two feet up. The kids all took turns standing in the middle of the three portions of the tree on its base. Remi, Taylor, and Anya could fit in the tree at the same time, and they each leaned back against their own section."This tree reminds me of the Trinity," Anya said thoughtfully. "What's that?" Remi questioned. "Well, the word Trinity isn't in the Bible, but it means that God is one God with three Persons--kind of like how this tree has three trunks." Anya shrugged. "At least, that's the way I picture it. My mom says it's hard to understand the Trinity because our human minds can't totally grasp it.""I know about God the Father and Jesus the Son, but what's the third part of the Trinity?" asked Taylor."The Holy Spirit," Anya answered. "Remember when Jesus went back to heaven after His resurrection? Before He went, He told His disciples and other people that He would leave His Spirit to be with them always and to comfort them and remind them of everything He said.""Mom said when we belong to Jesus, His Spirit guides us through the truth of the Bible and helps us through hard times," Remi said.Taylor ran her fingers over the tree's bark. "This tree is one tree, but with three unified parts--just like how God is one God with three Persons." "It's always been a little mind-bending to me, but seeing this tree helps me understand," Anya noted. "Let's name it the Trinity tree," Remi suggested with a grin. "Photo-op!" Taylor yelled as her mom aimed her phone camera at them. "Say trini-tree!"–Savannah ColemanHow About You?Did you ever stop to consider how God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one God but three Persons? In John 10 verse 30, Jesus says that He and God the Father are one. Jesus also promised His followers that God the Father would send them the Holy Spirit to help, comfort, and be with them forever. As God's children, we have access to a God who is our Father, the Son who died for our sins and rose again, and the Holy Spirit who helps us through each day.Today's Key Verse:May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (NIV) (2 Corinthians 13:14)Today's Key Thought:God is Father, Son, and Spirit
Treasures That Matter
2d ago
Treasures That Matter
Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 6:6-12"What's the matter, honey?" Mom asked when Amelia came into the house. "Your face is telling me something isn't right."Amelia's words came in a rush. "Abby's always bragging about her clothes and all the places she gets to go and how much money she has. Today she wouldn't stop talking about the spring break trip her family has planned. I'm so tired of hearing about it!"Mom looked at her thoughtfully. "You're not jealous, are you?" Amelia blushed a little. After a moment, Mom said, "I'm going to give you two gifts.""Really?" asked Amelia in surprise. Then she narrowed her eyes. "I have a feeling there's a catch to this."Mom smiled. "Here's the first gift." She reached out and gave Amelia a big hug. "I love you, love you, love you," Mom told her, using a favorite family phrase."Love you too, Mom," Amelia replied as Mom went to get her purse. "But I still think there's a catch."Mom grinned, opened her purse, and handed Amelia some money. "Here's your second gift."Amelia squealed. "I hear the ice cream truck coming. Can I use it for ice cream?" Mom nodded, and Amelia hurried out, forgetting to look for a catch.When Amelia was ready for bed that evening, she went to tell her parents goodnight. "What do you have left of the two gifts I gave you?" asked Mom."Well, the money is all gone, and so is the ice cream I bought--though I might still have some blue moon left on my teeth!" She laughed as she hugged her mother. "But I still have your love, and you're not getting it back!""You'll always have it," Mom said. "I gave you those two gifts because I wanted you to realize that you have something far more valuable than anything the world has to offer. Earthly things are like the money I gave you--they don't last. But love does. And along with the love of your family, you also have God's love, which is far greater than human love. And because of God's unconditional love, you've been given eternal life through Jesus, who died for your sins so you could be God's child. So you see, you're really a very rich young lady."–Susi McCordHow About You?Do you ever wish you had things other kids do? Remember that earthly treasures are temporary--they don't last. The love of family and friends is far more important, and most wonderful and important of all is the love of God, who offers us eternal life through His Son, Jesus. So don't be jealous if other kids have more stuff than you do. Instead, remember that you have eternal treasure found only in Jesus.Today's Key Verse:Then Jesus said to them, "Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed. People do not get life from the many things they own." (ERV) (Luke 12:15 )Today's Key Thought:Don't be jealous of what other kids have
In God’s Care
3d ago
In God’s Care
Bible Reading: Psalm 34:4; Matthew 6:26-34; Philippians 4:6-7On her way home from a job interview, Morgan and Lissa's mom stopped at school to pick them up. "Mom, when is Dad going to come back home?" Lissa asked as they started out. She asked the same question almost every day. "He isn't," snapped twelve-year-old Morgan before Mom had a chance to answer. "Mom's told you a hundred times." Morgan wanted Dad to come back too. She missed him, and she felt scared. But Lissa's question just reminded her that it wasn't going to happen. How will we ever manage without Dad? Morgan wondered. What will we do if Mom doesn't find a job soon?Mom seemed to sense Morgan's thoughts. "Don't worry," she said. "Jesus is with us, and He'll never leave us. We can trust Him to take care of us. One of the ways He does that is through the church--we can rely on them for help and encouragement when we need it." Morgan wanted to believe that, but sometimes it was hard.Suddenly, the car sputtered and slowed down. Mom steered it to the side of the road just before the engine stopped. "Well," she said when she wasn't able to start the car again, "that's not good." She got out and raised the hood.As the girls waited in the car, Lissa began to cry. "I'm scared! How will we get home? What will we do?" "I don't know, but Mom will take care of everything," Morgan said, confident that their mother would know what to do. "I know you're scared, but we can trust her."As Morgan tried to comfort her little sister, she realized her mom had been comforting them in a similar way--and now Morgan understood a little better. Even though none of them knew what to do about Dad leaving, God knew, and He cared. They could trust Him, even when they felt worried. Mom opened the car door, got her cell phone out of her purse, and made a call. When she hung up, she smiled at the girls. "Help is on the way." "See, Lissa? Everything will be okay," Morgan assured her little sister again. This time, Morgan also reassured herself of something she knew was true--God knew what the future held, and He would be with them through everything. –Katherine R. AdamsHow About You?Are you worried about something? Are there things in your future that scare you? Trust God to take care of you. He knows all about it and has promised to take care of His children--those who trust Jesus as their Savior. Pray about your problem, and then leave it in the Lord's hands. And let other Christians know about your struggles too so they can help you, encourage you, and pray for you.Today's Key Verse:Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. (NLT) (1 Peter 5:7 )Today's Key Thought:Don't worry
Shedding
4d ago
Shedding
Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6, 22-24"Good morning, Albert," Sarah said. She opened the door of Albert's cage and fed the bearded dragon a breakfast of worms and small chunks of vegetables. Her pet happily gobbled it up. As he crawled onto his hammock, Sarah saw that the scales on his face and his tail were coming off. "Mom," Sarah called, "I hope Albert isn't getting sick. His skin is falling off!"Mom came over and peeked in Albert's cage. "Don't worry, honey," she said. "That's natural. When bearded dragons and other reptiles grow too big for their skin, they shed. Just like how when you grow, we have to buy you new clothes and shoes.""Is he itchy?" Sarah asked. "He keeps rubbing his face against his rocks.""Shedding is a little uncomfortable. We can give him a bath to help."Mom and Sarah filled a tub with warm water and placed Albert inside. "A bath will help make the old skin soft and loosen it so it's easier to shed," Mom explained. "Soon all the old skin will be gone, and then we'll be able to see just the new skin!""That sounds like a verse I learned at church about taking off our old self and putting on our new self," Sarah said."You're right! That's just like Albert outgrowing his skin. When we become Christians, our old sinful habits don't fit us anymore because Jesus has made us new people, so we need to shed them. If a bearded dragon's shed gets stuck, that can be dangerous for him. His body is bigger and needs more space to be healthy.""What if we get stuck in our old sin? I wish we could just wash it all away with a bath like Albert!" Sarah said. "He might not give us a bath, but God does help us shed our sinful habits," Mom said. "He has given us His Word, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit to help us do what is right. And at church, He has given us other Christians who can encourage us as we grow to be more like Jesus." –J. R. KleebergerHow About You?Do you have any old habits that don't fit who you are now in Christ? If you know Jesus, He has made you a new person, and He will help you take off your old self and make you more like Him in your words and actions. It can be difficult sometimes, but we can look to the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and other Christians to teach us and encourage us as we shed our old habits and form new ones.Today's Key Verse:You have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (NIV) (Colossians 3:9-10 )Today's Key Thought:Jesus helps us form new habits
The Sparkplug
5d ago
The Sparkplug
Bible Reading: Acts 4:13; 1 Corinthians 1:27-31When Micah's family got home from church and sat down to dinner, Micah didn't say a word. "You've been quiet," said Mom. "Did something happen today at church?"Micah sighed. "Today we were assigned parts for the church play, and I didn't get one."His older brother Ethan chimed in. "They didn't give you a part?""Well, not the one I wanted! I'm in charge of set decoration. Mr. Ritter told me that he really needs me on the decorating team. But I was hoping for a more important part." Micah sighed again. "I just wish I was good at something else." Ethan thought for a moment. "Micah, why don't you come out to the garage with me after dinner? I've been working on Mom's car, and there's something I want to show you."When the table was cleared, the boys went to the garage and Ethan lifted the hood of their mother's car. "Mom's car was running rough, so she asked me to take a look at it," Ethan said. "There was a part that had gone bad. Can you guess which one?"Micah didn't know as much about cars as his brother did, but he pointed to a big box that looked pretty important. "This part?" he guessed.Ethan smiled. "Nope!" He reached over the whole engine and pulled out a tiny piece not much bigger than his finger. "This is a sparkplug," he explained. "Without these guys, the whole car stops working right."Micah held the part in his hand. "Wow," he said. "But it's so small!""You know," Ethan said, "sparkplugs sort of remind me of how God uses people. The Bible tells us that people were amazed when they saw the boldness of Jesus's disciples because they were uneducated and common men. But God still used them to do incredible things! Because we're followers of Jesus who have been given the Holy Spirit, it isn't about what talents and abilities we have to offer--it's about what Jesus can accomplish through us when we trust Him to use whatever gifts we have. The gifts themselves aren't as important as trusting Jesus to help us use them for His glory."–Emily TenterHow About You?Have you ever felt like you were too young or too small to be used by God? The Bible is filled with stories of people who probably felt that way too. But God still chose to use them to do mighty things! And He wants to use you too. No matter what gifts you have to offer, Jesus can use you to shine the light of His love and truth into people's lives and point them to Him.Today's Key Verse:God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (NIV) (1 Corinthians 1:27 )Today's Key Thought:Jesus can use anybody
God’s Jewels (Part 2)
6d ago
God’s Jewels (Part 2)
Bible Reading: 1 Peter 1:3-7"Take a look at this. This is a diamond!" said Mr. Billings, holding up a dull-looking rock. The kids in his Sunday school class looked surprised as they passed it around. The rock looked a lot like a rock they'd find on the side of the road. "Most diamonds look dull like this when they come from the mines," Mr. Billings told them. "Before this diamond can flash and sparkle, I have to cut many little sides, or facets, in it. Each one must be just the right size and angle to bring out its full beauty. Let me show you." The class grouped around Mr. Billings. He showed them how he had to decide where to split away the rough, unimportant parts and leave smooth facets on the stone. "See how much better this is beginning to look?" he asked after making several cuts. "It has a long way to go, but you can begin to see what it will become." He turned toward the kids. "Here's what I want you to remember. God is also working on His jewels--Christians. What do you think I mean by that?""That God works in our lives to make us more like Jesus?" said Bo.Mr. Billings nodded. "Yes. When we first come to Jesus and trust Him to save us, we're like a rough, uncut gem. Then God begins to develop Christian character in us through our day-to-day experiences. Sometimes He uses trouble and tough times to polish us and make us more like Him. But there's a big difference between my cutting and polishing and His. Can you guess what?""I think I know," said Kylee. "God would never make a wrong cut--He never makes a mistake.""Good answer!" said Mr. Billings. "And another difference is that we're not lifeless like this diamond is. We have a choice--we can become bitter about what happens and fight back or we can trust the Lord to shape our lives. Even though the cutting and polishing may hurt sometimes, He knows what He's doing. He knows what's best for us. And it takes a long time--our whole lives--before He's finished. Trust Him to use all your life experiences to shape you into something beautiful." –Mary Rose PearsonHow About You?Have you been having troubles lately? It's hard to go through difficult times, but God can use them to shape you and polish you so you'll shine with the light of Jesus. Look to Him for strength and comfort as you read your Bible, pray, and spend time with other believers. Trust God to be with you in whatever you're going through. He can use the hard times in your life to deepen your faith and develop your character so you'll become more like Jesus.Today's Key Verse:God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. (NLT) (Philippians 2:13)Today's Key Thought:God is polishing you
God’s Jewels (Part 1)
1w ago
God’s Jewels (Part 1)
Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 16:7; Malachi 3:16-18; Matthew 7:21-23Mr. Billings opened the door to his shop and stood aside to let his Sunday school class through. "Welcome to my shop!" he said. "As you know, I'm a lapidary--a gem cutter. Look around and see which gems you like best." The kids walked into a glittering world of sparkling jewels in lit cases. Bright instruments gleamed from their places on a work table in the back."Wow! Look at all this cool stuff!" said Bo. The kids looked around for several minutes, pointing out the gems they liked best.After a while, Mr. Billings called them over. "Kids, did you know that God refers to those who trust in Him as His jewels? If you're a Christian, you're one of them--one of His special treasures!""If I'm a jewel, I'd like to be like one of those," said Annaleigh, pointing to a sparkling, clear gem set in a ring."Not me." Bo pointed to a ring with a bigger stone. "I think this one's the best."Mr. Billings took out both rings. "One of these is a real diamond, and the other is a cubic zirconium--a fake. Can you tell which is which?"The kids examined the stones carefully, but they couldn't see any difference. Mr. Billings picked up Bo's choice. "This is the fake," he said. "It's not surprising that both of these look real to you, but I can easily tell the difference because I know jewels." He put the rings back into the case while the children whispered in surprise to each other.When the kids turned their attention back to Mr. Billings, he said, "You know, God knows people even better than I know these jewels. The Bible tells us that while we see only the outside of a person, God sees the heart. He knows which people are truly His--those who know Jesus as their Savior--and which people only look like they're Christians on the outside. One day, God is going to gather all His jewels and take them to be with Him forever. If you're not sure whether you're one of God's jewels, I'd like to talk with you about what Jesus has done so you can know you're His jewel too." –Mary Rose PearsonHow About You?Are you one of God's jewels? Or do you just appear to be a Christian on the outside? Maybe you aren't quite certain. If you're not sure, talk to a trusted Christian in your life who can tell you more about what it means to know Jesus as your Savior. He died for you so you could become a precious child of God and live with Him forever. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page or go to www.keysforkids.org/goodnews.)Today's Key Verse:"They shall be Mine," says the Lord of hosts, "on the day that I make them My jewels." (NKJV) (Malachi 3:17)Today's Key Thought:You can be one of God's jewels
New Beginnings
18-02-2024
New Beginnings
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:51-57Garrett lay in the warmth of the bright sunshine and watched beautiful butterflies flit from one flower to another. "This is the saddest day of my life," he said to his brother Wyatt, who was lying on the ground next to him. "Yeah, mine too," Wyatt said as he dug at the grass with a stubby piece of stick. "I can't believe Grandma died. She wasn't sick very long at all!""I know," said Garrett. "I miss her." The back door opened, and Mom came out carrying two glasses of juice. "Can I join you?" she asked as she handed each of them a glass. The boys scooted apart, and Mom sat down between them. She had been crying--her eyes were puffy and her nose was red. She closed her eyes and lifted her face toward the warm sun. "The sun feels so good, doesn't it? I'm glad God gave us such a beautiful day," she said as she looked around the yard. "Look at all those pretty butterflies!""I guess they hatched from these things," said Garrett, handing a couple of empty gray casings to his mother. "Grandma showed these to me a few days ago. She said the caterpillars in them would turn into butterflies."Mom smiled and nodded. "Those caterpillars have a new and better life now, don't they?" She put an arm around each of the boys. "Just like Grandma." Tears spilled onto Mom's cheeks. "She left her old, worn-out body, and now she's with Jesus in heaven. Someday her body will be resurrected and made all new and perfect. Can you imagine what she might do then?""I never thought about it before, but she told us she used to like running races," said Wyatt. "So she'll probably run a lot when she has a body that doesn't hurt from arthritis anymore.""Yeah!" said Garrett. "I never thought of Grandma being able to run. She always moved so slowly. Maybe she'll even do cartwheels!"Mom laughed. "Maybe. We can be sure she's happy and will never feel pain again." Mom wiped her eyes. "But it's still normal for us to feel sad and miss her. Just remember that since we all know Jesus as our Savior, we'll see Grandma again one day." –Deborah L. WhitsittHow About You?Have you been sad when someone you love died? It's okay to feel sad, but remember that when a Christian dies, their soul goes to heaven to be with Jesus. So if your loved one knew Jesus as their Savior and you do too, one day you'll see them again! And someday all those who know Jesus will receive a glorious, resurrected body. Even though we feel sad and miss those who have died, we have hope knowing we will live with Jesus forever.Today's Key Verse:When the last trumpet is blown…those who have died will be raised to live forever. (NLT) (1 Corinthians 15:52)Today's Key Thought:Christians will get new bodies
Tea for Two
17-02-2024
Tea for Two
Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 3:26"I'm ready for my birthday adventure, Grandma!" Emily said. "Where are we going?""You'll see. But you'll need this." Grandma handed Emily a big box.Emily tore off the paper, opened the box, and gasped. "A dress?"Grandma nodded. "You'll look so pretty. Go get changed, dear."Emily put on the dress and eagerly followed Grandma out to the car. After a short drive, Grandma said, "Here we are.""Is this a mansion?" Emily asked as they climbed the stairs to the front door.Grandma grinned. "It is a mansion. Long ago different families called it home. Now it's a Victorian tea room.""Is this why we're all dressed up?" Emily asked. Grandma nodded. Once inside, Emily whispered, "Everything's so fancy. And it's so quiet."A woman in a long black dress greeted them. "Hello, I'm Rachel. How may I help you?""My granddaughter and I have reservations.""You must be Emily, the birthday girl. May I say you look like a princess in your lovely dress." Rachel smiled. "Please follow me." Rachel led them to their table. "I see you've requested the birthday tea for two with lunch. Excellent choice! I'll bring out your tea first.""Rachel's so nice," Emily said. "I do feel like a princess in my dress with all the beautiful things here.""Well, Emily, whether you're here, on a soccer field, or anywhere else, you are a princess," Grandma said. Emily looked puzzled. "You are a child of the King of kings," Grandma told her. "God is your heavenly Father.""And since He's King over everything, that makes me a princess?""That's right. The Bible tells us many times that we are God's children because we trust in Jesus. He died for our sins so we could be forgiven and become part of God's family."As Emily pondered that, Rachel returned carrying a teapot with yellow rosebuds painted on it. She poured Emily's tea. "Would you like sugar or honey?""Honey, please," Emily said."Sweets for the sweet princess."Emily's eyes sparkled as she glanced at Grandma. "Rachel, can I tell you something? It's not this fancy dress that makes me a princess. I'm a princess because I'm a child of God, who's the King of kings!""I could tell." Rachel smiled. "I'm a child of God too!" –Lynda BoucherHow About You?Are you a child of God and a member of His family? When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we become children of God. As His children, our heavenly Father gives us the Holy Spirit to guide and help us as we walk with Him. If you haven't yet trusted in Jesus, do it today, and you will become a child of the King. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page or go to www.keysforkids.org/goodnews.)Today's Key Verse:Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God. (NIV) (John 1:12 )Today's Key Thought:Christians are God's children
Darkness and Light
16-02-2024
Darkness and Light
Bible Reading: Matthew 5:13-16"Is your homework finished?" asked Gia's mom after dinner one evening. "Yeah," said Gia. "But you know what, Mom? I like our new apartment, but I wish I could have stayed at my old school. I don't think there's a single kid in my class here who goes to church except me. They seem nice enough, but I miss having Christian friends at school."Mom nodded as she opened a cupboard door and took out a flashlight and a light bulb. "The light bulb in the bathroom went out," she said. "It's too dark to see in there, so come hold the flashlight for me, will you?""Okay," said Gia. She took the flashlight and turned it on."Do the kids at school know you're a Christian?" asked Mom."Well, I haven't really said anything," said Gia. "I'm not sure what they'd think." She sighed. "It was so much easier to be a Christian at my old school." She turned the flashlight toward the light fixture and Mom quickly screwed out the old bulb and replaced it with a new one."Gia," Mom said as they headed back to the kitchen, "where was that flashlight needed--in the kitchen or in the bathroom?""In the bathroom," Gia answered. "That's where it was dark.""Right," said Mom. "Jesus said to let our light shine for Him, and that's needed most in dark places--places like the school you go to now, and like this apartment complex too. I've talked with a few of our neighbors, and I don't think any of them know the Lord."Mom put the flashlight back in the cupboard. "Why don't you ask one of the girls from school to come over for dinner sometime?" she suggested. "As she gets to know you better, she'll start to see that you live life differently from what she's used to, and she might want to find out more about it." "Okay," said Gia. "I'll try Rumi first--she's really nice.""Good," said Mom. "And let's see how you can get involved at our new church too. That will help you get to know some Christian friends who can support and encourage you as you shine your light for Jesus." –Mary Rose PearsonHow About You?Are there kids in your neighborhood or school who don't know Jesus? Does that make it hard for you to speak up and let others know you're a Christian? Remember, if there's a lot of spiritual darkness around you, that's exactly where you need to let your light shine for Jesus. Let it shine through your obedience, honesty, kindness, forgiveness, and by using opportunities to tell others about Him.Today's Key Verse:Shine as lights in the world. (NKJV) (Philippians 2:15)Today's Key Thought:Let your light shine
Change
15-02-2024
Change
Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 31:6; Lamentations 3:21-23 Manuel's sneakers squeaked as he dragged his feet across the kitchen linoleum. Dad looked up from the pot he was stirring on the stove. "Looks like you had a rough day."Dad brought him his favorite after-school snack--cookies and a glass of milk. Manuel took a bite of his cookie and made a face. "Hey, Dad, these don't taste the same," he said.Dad looked at the box in surprise. "Maybe they changed the recipe."Manuel pushed his plate away and slid lower into his seat. "Why can't things just stay the same? Why do they all have to change?"Dad set the box aside and leaned his elbows on the counter. "Sounds like you're talking about more than just your snack," he said, concerned. "What's going on?"Manuel swallowed around the lump in his throat that had been there all day. "Josh is moving to another state. He's been my best friend since kindergarten, and now I have to go to middle school without him!"Dad frowned. "I'm sorry to hear that. You're going to miss him a lot, aren't you?" Manuel nodded. "And you're worried about how different middle school is going to be from elementary school?" Manuel nodded again. "It's normal to miss your friend and be worried about a new school," continued Dad. "But change is a part of life. One thing will never change, though."Manuel liked how that sounded--one thing that he could always count on to stay the same. "What is it, Dad?" he asked eagerly.Dad grinned. "God. The Bible tells us that God never changes. Jesus is always with us, and His love for us never wavers. We can always count on Him to be there, no matter what happens."Manuel felt the lump in his throat shrinking. "That's good.""So when you feel overwhelmed, you can talk to Jesus about it and know that He'll be there with you.""Thanks, Dad," Manuel said, feeling a little better. He would still miss Josh, but at least he wouldn't have to go to middle school alone. Jesus would be there with him. Manuel took a cookie and dunked it in his glass of milk. His eyes lit up. "Hey, these aren't so bad after all!" –Christa Hogan How About You?Do you find change difficult? Are changes that are out of your control happening in your life? Remember that no matter what changes around you, you can always count on God to stay the same. Jesus loves you so much that He gave His own life for you. He will always be there for you and help you through whatever comes your way.Today's Key Verse:Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (NKJV) (Hebrews 13:8)Today's Key Thought:God never changes
Lonely on Valentine’s Day?
14-02-2024
Lonely on Valentine’s Day?
Bible Reading: John 13:34-35"Did Daddy give you those roses?" asked Chloe. Mom smiled. "They smell so good. He never forgets Valentine's Day. He took some daisies and some cookies over to Grandma too. She may feel lonely today." "Why would she feel lonely on Valentine's Day? It's so much fun--and delicious!" "Well, Grandpa always gave her flowers on special days. That made her feel loved. Now that Grandpa has passed away, we want Grandma to know she's still loved. Actually, many people feel lonely on Valentine's Day." Chloe seemed puzzled, so Mom explained. "People like Grandma who have lost a loved one may feel sad and lonely on Valentine's Day, or someone whose spouse is away in the military, or a single person who hoped to get married but didn't." Chloe was still thinking about that while she waited for her friend Laura to arrive. In Sunday school, she'd learned that the Bible says to "bear one another's burdens." Mom and Dad were helping lift Grandma's burden of loneliness by showing her she was valued. Chloe prayed, Lord, please show me how to help someone feel valued today.She and Laura had planned to go to the movies. But Chloe had a plan. "My mom said that some people are sad on Valentine's Day, like Mrs. Holt across the street," she told Laura. "Her husband died last summer. He used to come over here and Dad would help him pick bouquets of wildflowers for his wife from our backyard garden. She probably misses that. What if, instead of going to the movies today, we made her a bouquet?" Laura loved that idea. "I have some red ribbons we could tie it with to make it fancy. Hey, what about Miss Whitman, the cafeteria lady? I bet she'd love some flowers. Who else?" "Let's make a list," said Chloe.By that afternoon, the girls had made and delivered bouquets to six people, who all seemed pleased to be remembered. Then the girls took several bouquets to the senior center to brighten up their dinner tables. When Chloe's dad heard about it, he beamed. "You two gave up your own plans to bring smiles to a lot of people today. Well done, girls." –Teresa AmbordHow About You?Have you ever felt lonely or sad? Of course you have. Some people are deeply lonely or sad much of the time, and you may not even know it. Jesus cares about people who are hurting, and you can remind them of His love by showing that you care about them too. You might be able to lift someone's burden with a smile, a cheerful "hello," or a sincere compliment. Look for ways to help those who may be feeling sad or lonely know they're loved and valued.Today's Key Verse:Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (NKJV) (Galatians 6:2 )Today's Key Thought:Help others feel loved
The Legend of Two Wolves
13-02-2024
The Legend of Two Wolves
Bible Reading: Romans 7:19-25; 1 John 5:4-5Jamar loved the smell of the pine forest mingling with the smoke from campfires as he and his dad sat in the outdoor amphitheater at the national park campground. They were listening to the park ranger talk about wolves. Near the end of his talk, the ranger said, "I'm going to close with a legend that has been passed down for hundreds of years." Jamar relaxed against a log, eager to hear the story."Many, many years ago," began the ranger, "a Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson. 'Inside of me are two wolves,' said the grandfather, 'and they are having a terrible fight. One wolf is evil--full of hate, lies, anger, greed, and jealousy. The other wolf is good--full of peace, love, truth, sharing, kindness, friendship, and generosity. That same fight is going on inside of you.' "The grandson looked concerned. 'But which wolf will win?' he asked."The wise grandfather replied, 'The one you feed!'"As Jamar and his dad walked back to their campsite, they talked about what the ranger said. "That story has a lot of biblical truth!" said Dad. "The Bible says a fight is going on inside us as Christians. Our old sinful nature--the selfish desires all people are born with--fights against the new spiritual nature Jesus gave us when we trusted in Him." Jamar was silent for a bit, then sighed. "And it's a lot easier to feed the bad wolf, isn't it?" "Sometimes it seems that way," said Dad. "The world's way of doing things is all around us, and we have to be careful not to feed on its false messages. That's why it's such a good idea to start each day by feeding the good wolf." "Like reading the Bible and praying?" asked Jamar. "Exactly!" replied Dad. "As we focus our minds on God's truth, it helps us remember that our sinful nature doesn't have to control us because Jesus has freed us from sin. He's made us new people, and we have the Holy Spirit within us to help us resist temptation. One day Jesus will give us new bodies and our sinful nature will be gone forever, but until then, we don't have to let the bad wolf win." –Lore WolifHow About You?Have you felt the tug of war inside of you--the struggle between the good wolf and the bad wolf? Your old sinful nature wants control of your life again. Don't feed it! Instead, feed your new nature by focusing on Jesus and the truth about who you are in Him. He made you a new person when you trusted Him as your Savior, and the selfish desires you had before don't have any power over you. He will help you fight against them and win. Today's Key Verse:Clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don't let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires. (NLT) (Romans 13:14 )Today's Key Thought:Feed your new nature
The List
12-02-2024
The List
Bible Reading: Revelation 21:22-27Ella smoothed her dress out and reached into her purse to feel the worn pages of her book. She couldn't believe she was going to meet her favorite author! One of Mom's friends worked with the author and invited Ella and Mom to come to a special book signing event. Ella couldn't wait to get her book signed! As they entered the lobby, a man with a clipboard approached them. "Your names, please?" Mom gave their names, and he moved his finger down the length of paper. "I'm sorry," he said, "but your names aren't on the list.""What?" said Mom. "That can't be. A friend of mine invited us." "I'm sorry," said the man, "but this is a private event. Your names have to be on the list to go inside."Ella felt the blood rush to her face. She looked down at her purple dress and shiny shoes and thought she might cry. She wasn't going to meet her favorite author after all. "Wait!" a voice called from down the hall. Ella's heart soared when she saw Mom's friend Caroline coming toward them. "It's okay, John. I forgot to put their names on the list earlier, but you can add them now," she told the man. "They're with me." He added their names to the list and motioned them inside.Caroline led them into a large room full of people and seated them, then rushed off to finish some things before the event started. Ella breathed a sigh of relief and pulled out her book. "That was scary! I thought that man was going to kick us out because our names weren't on the list."Mom nodded. "It's a good thing Caroline came to our rescue." She looked at Ella. "You know, not having our names on that man's list when we came in reminded me how thankful I am that my name is already on the most important list of all.""What list is that?" asked Ella. "The Book of Life," said Mom. "It's the list of all those who know Jesus as their Savior. And the only way you can get into heaven is if your name is on it." –Courtney LasaterHow About You?Is your name on the most important list of all--the Book of Life? The only way to get your name on that list is to trust Jesus as your Savior. When we were separated from God because of our sin--the wrong things we do--Jesus came to our rescue. He died and rose again to save us and give us eternal life! When you trust in Jesus, your name is written in the Book of Life, and you can have peace knowing you will live with Him forever. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page or go to www.keysforkids.org/goodnews.)Today's Key Verse:Rejoice because your names are written in heaven. (NKJV) (Luke 10:20)Today's Key Thought:Make sure you're on God's list
False Teeth
11-02-2024
False Teeth
Bible Reading: Colossians 2:6-10"Aaagh!" screamed Olivia when she looked into a cup on her grandmother's bathroom counter. "There are teeth in this cup!" She heard Grandma laugh and walked into her bedroom. "I forgot that you wear false teeth. They don't look false when they're in your mouth." "Good," said Grandma. "Then maybe only my dentist and I know for sure." She gave Olivia a toothless grin. "And you."At school the following week, Olivia became friends with Ginny, a new student who often talked about God. "We all have God in us, so we can all figure out what's right and wrong for ourselves," Ginny said one day. "You may think certain things are wrong, but I may think they're okay. And that's fine. We should each make our own decision." Olivia didn't think that was true, but she was so glad to find a friend who wasn't afraid to talk about God. Maybe she's right, Olivia thought.One day, Olivia got into trouble for hitting her brother. "He was teasing me, so I don't see anything wrong with hitting him!" Olivia said. "Ginny says we're all a part of God and should decide for ourselves what's right.""And who is Ginny?" asked Mom."She's a new Christian friend at school. She talks about God a lot.""Are you sure she's a Christian?" asked Mom. "Because what she's saying is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible says God is holy and always does what is right, but we are sinners who have been separated from God because we do wrong things that go against who He is. That's why we need Jesus to save us from sin and give us the Holy Spirit." Mom shook her head. "People may talk about God, but if they don't think they need Jesus, they're like--well, like Grandma's teeth." "Grandma's teeth!" exclaimed Olivia. "What's that supposed to mean?""You told me her teeth look so real you don't think about the fact that they're false," said Mom. "Well, things people say about God may seem true, but if they don't agree with what the Bible says about God and our need for Jesus, they're false. God is perfect and holy, and He certainly does not say you can decide for yourself what is right or wrong." Mom looked at Olivia. "And hitting your brother is definitely wrong." –Nance E. KeyesHow About You?Do you assume that anyone who talks about God is a Christian? Repeating words and phrases often used by Christians is not proof that someone belongs to Jesus. Don't be fooled by people who say they know God but teach things contrary to what God says. That's false teaching. Check anything you hear with what the Bible teaches, and ask Christian adults you trust for help too.Today's Key Verse:Jesus replied to them, "Watch out that no one deceives you." (CSB) (Matthew 24:4 )Today's Key Thought:Watch out for false teaching
The Disobedient Dino
10-02-2024
The Disobedient Dino
Bible Reading: Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17It was the day he had been waiting for, his eighth birthday! James couldn't wait to open his gifts. He had been asking for a Robo Dino for months and was certain he would not be disappointed. He couldn't wait to train it to sit, roll over, do his chores, and roar at his sister. With his family watching, he tore into a large wrapped box, and there it was--Robo Dino! "Yessss!" James cried. "Thank you! Can I start training him now?""Sure," said Dad, laughing. "But don't you want to open your other gifts?"After opening a block set from his sister and new art supplies from his grandparents, James began Robo Dino's training."Sit!" he commanded his new toy. The dino roared. "Roll over!" James called out. The dino leapt into the air and wagged its tail--like he wanted to fetch. "Roar!" James yelled, becoming frustrated. The robot lay down and began snoozing. "This is not going well," James said. He tried again and again to get the dino to obey his commands, but the robot did not want to cooperate. He seemed to do everything except what James wanted him to do!"What's wrong with this thing?" said James. "Mom, my dinosaur is broken!" "James," Mom replied, "did you try reading the instructions? They came with the dino to help you teach it to do the right things. If you read the instructions, I'm sure this training will be much easier.""Yeah, guess I should have read the manual first," said James."You know, this makes me think of what we talked about in church this week," said Mom. "God gives us directions in the Bible for how we should live as Christians and show others His love. But unlike the booklet that came with your dino, the Bible is much more than an instruction manual. It's the living Word of God, and as we read it and learn about what it says, the Holy Spirit helps us understand its truth and reminds us of God's love. As He works in our hearts to make us more like Jesus, He uses God's Word to teach us to listen and obey--not the opposite, like your dino!" James smiled. "I guess I have a lot of reading to do!" he said, then sat down and began to read Robo Dino's instructions. –Christy MazerHow About You?Do you read your Bible to learn about God and find out how He wants you to live your life? As you read God's Word and learn more about it at church, the Holy Spirit will help you understand what it says and train you to put it into practice. He will use it to help you know how much Jesus loves you and teach you to trust and obey Him. Read your Bible and learn about it with other Christians, and trust God to help you listen to what it says. Today's Key Verse:Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. (Psalm 119:11)Today's Key Thought:Read and learn from God's Word
Troubled Times
09-02-2024
Troubled Times
Bible Reading: John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Philippians 4:6-7Lincoln watched the shadows flicker on his bedroom ceiling. He could hear his younger brothers snoring down the hall. But he lay wide awake, his heart as heavy and cold as a stone. His parents usually turned off the news when he came into the room, but tonight they let him watch. Now he wished he hadn't. He couldn't forget the faces of the people called refugees who had fled their homes to avoid war. Some were kids his own age or even younger. Some had lost their families. They looked scared, and that made Lincoln scared. And sad. He wanted to help, but what could he do? He was just a kid on the other side of the world. Lincoln was still awake when Dad came in to check on him. "Trouble sleeping?" he asked, sitting on the edge of the bed."I can't stop thinking about the refugees," Lincoln said, swallowing back tears. "Why would God let something like that happen? Why doesn't He do something?"Dad's warm hand rested on Lincoln's shoulder. "Those are big questions, buddy. Part of the answer is that even though we can't see what God is doing, it doesn't mean He doesn't care or that He isn't at work. We can trust that God, who sent His own Son to die for us so we could be saved, loves us all very much.""And what's the rest of the answer?" Lincoln asked, eager to hear how God was going to fix everything for the refugees right away.Dad thought for a moment. "Let's pray together. Let's ask God to show us if there's a way we can help the refugees. And let's ask Him to act on their behalf, to protect them and use the situation to bring about something good in His Kingdom.""That's it?" Lincoln asked, disappointed. It didn't seem like enough.Dad nodded. "Prayer is powerful, Lincoln. God works through the prayers of His people to help those in need, heal the hurting, and bring people to Jesus."As Dad prayed for the refugees, Lincoln listened. The anxiousness in his heart was slowly replaced with something calmer. He didn't want to forget about the refugees, but he knew that feeling afraid and worrying wouldn't help them. Instead, he thanked God for his family and his safe home, and he prayed that God would find the refugees safe homes too. – Christa HoganHow About You?Do you feel overwhelmed by tragic events in the world? Do you wish you could help those who are suffering? You can pray. God loves all people and can use any situation for good in their lives. Ask Him to help those who are suffering and show them His love. Then ask an adult if there's anything else you can do to make a difference in their lives.Today's Key Verse:You observe trouble and grief…the helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless. (NKJV) (Psalm 10:14)Today's Key Thought:Pray for those in need
A Place of Escape
08-02-2024
A Place of Escape
Bible Reading: Psalm 71:1-5; 1 John 4:4Nora and her dad sat outside, watching for birds. "Look, Dad! A cardinal," said Nora when a flash of crimson caught her eye. The little red bird landed on a nearby rock, then flew into a huge maple tree. Nora lifted her binoculars and tried to locate the bird. "I can't see him anymore," she told her father. "I can't either," said Dad. "He's completely hidden by leaves." He pointed to another bird hovering near the maple tree. "That's a hawk circling up there.""Oh no!" exclaimed Nora. "Do you think he noticed that cardinal because of its bright color?" Nora stared at the hawk's outstretched wings. "I hope he doesn't have the cardinal for lunch!""I think he'd rather have a nice, fat field mouse for lunch," said Dad. Nora nodded, but she was glad when the hawk finally glided out of sight. "The world is scary sometimes, and full of enemies," said Dad."Yeah," said Nora. "Male cardinals are so pretty, but their bright color makes it easy for predators to see them."Dad nodded. "Christians are something like bright cardinals. Last Sunday Pastor Burns reminded us that we stand out in a dark and gloomy world, remember? Our brightness--the love and peace of Jesus that we have in our hearts--often catches Satan's attention, and he tries to destroy us by getting us to give in to temptation, doubt, or despair. But we can always escape the enemy's clutches.""But not by hiding in a tree like the cardinal does," said Nora. "Pastor Burns said we can go to God for protection."Dad smiled. "Right. When we trusted in Jesus, He freed us from the power of sin and Satan, and He hides us in the strong fortress of His presence. In Him, we always have a place of escape.""Yeah, but how do we do that? Just pray?" Nora asked."Good question," said Dad. "Yes, I'd say we do that by prayer--by calling on Him for help when we're facing trouble or temptation. We also do it by remembering His promises and trusting Him. God is always watching over us and caring for us, and He will help us resist the devil." – Suzanne DalyHow About You?Are there things in your life that fill you with fear or doubt? Are there temptations that are hard to resist? Satan is a fierce enemy, but he's no match for Almighty God! If you trust Jesus as your Savior, Satan has no power over you because you've been freed from sin. When you think you're too weak to resist temptation or stand firm against the devil's lies, remind yourself that God is far more powerful than Satan. Run to Jesus when you're tempted or afraid and He'll help you escape.Today's Key Verse:God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (NKJV) (Psalm 46:1)Today's Key Thought:God takes care of you
The Brick House (Part 2)
07-02-2024
The Brick House (Part 2)
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:9-15"The bricks have arrived for that house I'll be working on, William," said Dad. "I'm going over there now. Want to come along?" "Sure," said William, and soon they arrived at the building site. "Wow! That's a huge pile of bricks!" William exclaimed. "I guess that means you've got a whole lot of work to do, huh?"Dad laughed. "Yes, I do." He smiled at his son. "We talked the other day about building a life-house. Did you know that you have bricks to work with too? Bricks to build your life-house with?""I do? I know you don't mean bricks like the ones piled up here, so what do you mean?""All your thoughts, words, and actions are the bricks you're building with day by day," Dad explained. "You'll keep building with them as long as you live." He motioned toward the pile of bricks. "There are always some cracked or broken bricks among the good ones. When I come to those, I throw them out. I want this to be a beautiful, sturdy house when I'm finished. And when you find bricks that are poor choices for your life-house--unloving thoughts or words or deeds--you need to throw them out too and just use the ones that are fit for the house you're building. Remember, since you trust in Jesus, He's the foundation of your life-house. He will help you choose good bricks so others can see you're building your life on Him." "But what do I do with the broken bricks?" asked William. "How do I throw them out?""Whenever we think, say, or do things that don't fit who we are as God's children, we need to confess them to Jesus," said Dad. "He will forgive us and help us replace those broken bricks with good ones that reflect His love.""Good bricks like being kind and helping others?" asked William. "Right," Dad said as they started back toward the car. "And doing things that help us grow in our relationship with Jesus is also like laying sturdy bricks in our life-house--things like praying and getting to know Him better by reading the Bible.""I really do want to build a good life-house," William said. "So I'm going to trust Jesus to help me do it wisely." – Mary Rose PearsonHow About You?What kind of life-house are you building? If you're building on Jesus as your foundation--if you trust Him as your Savior--you want your life-house to reflect that. Each thing you think, say, or do is like a brick that becomes part of your life-house. If an unkind thought comes to mind, or if you say or do something hurtful, confess it to Jesus and throw it out. Trust God to help you choose bricks that show others you're building your life-house on the Rock--Jesus.Today's Key Verse:Everyone should be careful how they build. (ERV) (1 Corinthians 3:10 )Today's Key Thought:Build your life-house wisely