Keys for Kids - daily devotions and Bible stories for kids-logo

Keys for Kids - daily devotions and Bible stories for kids

Religion & Spirituality Podcas

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.

Location:

Pasco, WA

Description:

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.

Language:

English

Contact:

Keys for Kids Ministries 2060 43rd St SE Grand Rapids, MI 49508 (616) 647-4500


Episodes
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Bent, Not Broken

5/20/2024
Bible Reading: Romans 8:31-39; 2 Corinthians 12:9 The wind blew through Georgia's hair as she and her uncle paddled their canoe among the reeds that filled the marshes near her new home. She didn't feel like paddling. Her mom had died of cancer four months before, and now she and her little brother were living far from home with Uncle Steve. The bayou, as Uncle Steve called it, looked like a swamp--nothing like Georgia's home in Michigan. Georgia watched the marsh reeds bend under the force of the strong wind and muttered, "I know how you feel." "What did you say, Georgia?" asked Uncle Steve, who had been doing more than his fair share of paddling for the last half mile. "Oh, nothing. I was just thinking how those reeds and I have a lot in common." Georgia sighed. "How so?" asked Uncle Steve. "Well, they get blown around wherever the wind wants. They don't get any say in what happens to them." She sighed again. "Just like me." "You know, Georgia, I think you're right. You do have a lot in common with these reeds. But not in the way you think. Look a little closer," urged Uncle Steve as he paddled them over to the reeds. "What do you notice?" Georgia studied the cluster of reeds. It was true that the wind blew them around, sometimes switching directions abruptly. But no matter how hard the wind blew, the reeds just bent over and popped back up. "They aren't breaking," observed Georgia. "As soon as the wind stops, they straighten back up again. But that's not like me at all. I feel like I'll never pop back up." Uncle Steve stopped paddling. "There's a verse in Isaiah that says, 'A bruised reed He will not break.' Georgia, no matter how much the hardships of this life may bend you, you can hang on to the promise that you don't have to break because God loves you and offers you grace, peace, and hope. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for your sins so that you could have the promise of eternal life and never have to face life's troubles alone. In times when it seems like you'll never pop back up, trust Him to hold you up so you won't break--just like these reeds." –Laura Kuehn How About You? Are you going through a hard time right now? Do you feel like a reed getting bent over? Remember God's promise to you--no matter what you face in life, He will be with you. Because of His great love for you, He gave His Son, Jesus, so you would never be alone. No matter how hard the winds may blow, you can trust Him to be with you and hold you up. Today's Key Verse: A bruised reed He will not break. (NKJV) (Isaiah 42:3) Today's Key Thought: Trust God to hold you up

Duration:00:04:29

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Give It a Try

5/19/2024
Bible Reading: Psalm 34:3-8 "Wanna come to church with me this week, Finn?" asked Tobin, who was at his cousin's house for the day. "We're studying the life of Jesus in my Sunday school class, and I think you'd really like it!" "Nah," muttered Finn. "I don't like church." "How do you know?" asked Tobin. "You've never been there." "I just know I won't like it, that's all. Let's go see what's for dinner." Finn led the way to the kitchen, where he peered over his mother's shoulder. "Salmon patties, yum!" Tobin frowned, then felt embarrassed when he realized his aunt had noticed. "Don't you like salmon patties, Tobin?" Aunt Kim asked. Tobin shook his head. "No, not really." "Have you ever eaten one?" asked Aunt Kim. Again Tobin shook his head. "Then how do you know you don't like them?" asked Finn. Tobin shrugged. "I just know, that's all." Finn rolled his eyes. "Salmon patties are so good! But hey, if you don't want any, I'll eat yours." "Before you do that, I think Tobin really should try one," said Aunt Kim. "Yeah, give it a try," said Finn. "You might like it, Tobin." Tobin started to protest but then stopped abruptly. "Okay, you win," he said, grinning. "I'll try a salmon patty." "All right!" Finn gave him a fist bump. "I know you're gonna like it." When they sat down to dinner, Tobin hesitantly cut into his salmon patty. He put it in his mouth and chewed slowly. "Not bad," was his verdict. He eagerly ate the rest. "I think I'll have some more!" Aunt Kim smiled and passed him the patties. "You know, this reminds me of a verse I learned at church," Tobin said as he helped himself to another patty. "It says, 'Taste and see that the Lord is good.' The Bible tells us that when we get to know Jesus, He'll show us how good He is and how much He loves us. That's why I love church--it's a place to learn more about Jesus with others who have seen His goodness and love too." He grinned at his cousin. "Well?" Finn looked at him thoughtfully. "Okay, I get what you're saying," he said. "Mom, can I go to church with Tobin this week? I want to give it a try." –Barbara J. Westberg How About You? Have you ever turned down invitations to go to church because you thought you wouldn't like it? If you already go to church, do you pay attention and learn all you can about Jesus? Next time, give it a try! Listen to the lesson and songs and think about them. If you have any questions, ask them. Once you start learning about God and how much He loves you, you just may find you want to know more and more! Today's Key Verse: Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the person who takes refuge in him! (CSB) (Psalm 34:8) Today's Key Thought: Let God show you how good He is

Duration:00:04:29

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Hit and Run

5/18/2024
Bible Reading: Romans 5:6-11 "Oh no!" groaned Jonas as he and his mom stood looking at the dent in their car. "What happened?" "Apparently someone backed into the car while we were shopping, but whoever it was didn't leave a note saying they did it." Mom sighed. "Well, there's nothing much we can do about it, but I suppose we should make a police report." After the report was made, Jonas and Mom hurried home to tell Dad about the accident. "Well," Dad said as he went out to look at the car, "I'm thankful it's just a car that's damaged--nobody got hurt." He examined the dent in the fender. "This isn't major damage, but body work can be quite expensive. I'll call the insurance company--I'm pretty sure they'll cover it." "I hope so, but it still doesn't seem fair," said Jonas. "The person who backed into us should pay the bill. It was their fault." "I know, Jonas, but we can't make them pay when we don't know who they are," said Mom. "So if insurance doesn't cover it, we'll just have to take care of it ourselves." "What? That's not fair at all!" said Jonas. "It makes me mad. We shouldn't have to pay when it's not our fault. Whoever hit us shouldn't just get away with it." "No, and if we end up having to pay for damages that are someone else's fault, I can't say I'll be happy about it," said Dad. "Me neither," said Mom. "But it's not good to drive around with a big dent in the car." "Tell you what," said Dad. "When we feel annoyed that somebody is getting away without paying, let's remember that we don't have to pay for everything we deserve to pay for either. Jesus willingly paid the price for our sin by dying on the cross, even when He knew who was at fault--us!" "That's right," said Mom. "So let's not spend our energy being angry about this dent. We have so much to be thankful for--nobody got hurt, the damage to the car is minor, and above all, Jesus paid the price for our sin so we wouldn't have to!" –Hazel W. Marett How About You? Would you be angry if you had to pay for something that wasn't your fault? That's natural. But just think--that's exactly what Jesus did for you! He loves you so much that He died to pay the price for your sin so you could have eternal life with Him. If you haven't trusted Him as your Savior, do it today and He will cover the cost of your sin so you don't have to. (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: God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NKJV) (Romans 5:8) Today's Key Thought: Jesus paid for your sin

Duration:00:04:29

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Always Listening

5/17/2024
Bible Reading: Psalm 66:19-20 "We're leaving in five minutes, everybody. Let's get moving!" Dad called from the garage. Hunter, already packed and ready hours ago, bounded in through the back door. "Mom, Mom! Guess what I found outside!" But, distracted with her preparations, Mom didn't seem to hear. She bent over the cooler she was trying to organize and, frowning, pulled out a box of graham crackers. "That certainly doesn't belong in here…and neither does this…" "Mom, listen, in the backyard there's this…" Hunter paused, realizing his mother wasn't paying attention. "I know you're busy, but this is really cool!" Mom blinked. "Hmm? Hunter, if there's something you need, you can go ask your sisters. I still have so much to do." She glanced at the clock on the wall. "Oh, look at the time!" And with that, she hurried away. Hunter found his sisters in the next room. "Hey, Addy, Katie, guess what I saw in the backyard!" But the girls seemed to be preoccupied with their own business as well. "Addy, do you have my coloring book?" Katie asked her twin. "Well, yes, but--" "Oh, there it is. Let me have it." "Guys?" Hunter interrupted. "Don't you want to hear?" Addy ignored Hunter and scowled at her sister. "It's not your coloring book anymore. Mom said I could have it since you never used it." Katie jumped to her feet. "What? That's not fair! Give it back!" "Nuh-uh! Mom said it's mine!" "We'll see about that. Mom!" Katie stormed out with Addy close on her heels. Hunter sighed in disappointment. "Isn't there anyone who wants to hear what I have to say?" Then he remembered the one person he could always go to when he wanted someone to talk to. Closing his eyes and folding his hands together, Hunter prayed. "Jesus, I haven't been having a very good day--no one seems to have time for me. But I know you're always there and always want to listen. You know what I found today? A robin's nest with two little blue eggs in the tree next to the window. I'm going to keep watch every day so I won't miss it when they hatch!" –Eliana Canfield How About You? Have you ever wanted to talk to someone who wasn't available to listen? It can be disappointing when our family or friends don't have time for us. But the greatest friend of all, Jesus, always listens to our prayers. He loves it when we talk to Him! Next time you want someone to talk to, share your thoughts with Him, the one who always listens. Today's Key Verse: Even before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear. (CSB) (Isaiah 65:24) Today's Key Thought: Jesus is always listening

Duration:00:04:29

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How to Make Friends

5/16/2024
Bible Reading: Matthew 7:12; Romans 13:8-10 Elodie's heart ached as she got ready for school. "No one ever talks to me at school," she told her parents at breakfast. "I hate it here! We've lived here six weeks, and I still don't have one friend--not one!" "Elodie, when I was a kid I learned a little poem that I think you need to apply to your life," Mom said. "It says, 'I went looking for a friend, but not one could be found. I went out to be a friend, and friends were all around.'" Elodie wiped her hands on a napkin. "What does that mean?" "It means you shouldn't think so much about finding a friend and instead focus on being a friend," Mom explained. "Start looking for someone who needs a friend instead of waiting for them to come to you." Dad nodded. "In the Bible, Jesus says to do to others what we would want them to do to us. I know it can be scary to reach out to people you don't know when you're the new one at school, but you can start by being a friend like Jesus to the kids in your class. He reached out to us in love before we were His friends, and we can do the same to others. Trust Him to help you do that, and we'll pray that He will bring the right friends into your life." As Elodie got out of the car at school, Dad gave her an encouraging smile. "Be friendly today," he said. "I'll be praying for you on my way to work." As Dad drove away, Elodie noticed a girl going up the walk. That looks like the girl who sits across from me in math, she thought. What's her name? Oh yeah--Nadia. She doesn't seem to do much with the other kids. Maybe she doesn't have any friends either. Maybe… "Nadia!" called Elodie. "Wait up. Can I walk with you?" Nadia looked up. "Sure," she said, surprised. "You're new here, aren't you? I am too. I've been here seven weeks, and you're the first person who's really talked to me." A warm feeling filled Elodie, and it drove out the cold, lonely ache. Mom and Dad were right, she thought. God, please help me be a friend like Jesus to Nadia. –Barbara J. Westberg How About You? Do you feel lonely or left out? Instead of waiting for someone to be a friend to you, be a friend to them first. Before we knew Him, Jesus reached out to us in love and friendship, and He will help you show the same love to others. Ask Him to bring new friends into your life, and the next time you see someone who needs a friend, think of ways you can reach out to them. Today's Key Verse: Do to others as you would like them to do to you. (NLT) (Luke 6:31) Today's Key Thought: To make friends, be a friend

Duration:00:04:29

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Jingo and Jayla

5/15/2024
Bible Reading: John 10:7-10 Jayla's black and white kitten dug his claws into the leg of her jeans. She shook him off and started loading the dishwasher. Meow! protested the kitten. "What do you want, Jingo?" asked Jayla. Jingo bounced to the sliding door. "I guess you're ready to go outside," said Jayla. The kitten meowed and--according to Jayla--smiled. "You said, 'Uh-huh,' didn't you? I'll open the door for you as soon as I finish putting the dishes in the dishwasher." But Jingo didn't want to wait. He attached himself to the leg of Jayla's jeans again. "Ouch!" she exclaimed. "Quit that!" Jingo dropped to the floor and trotted back and forth between Jayla and the door. Finally, he stationed himself there and looked at Jayla with enormous green eyes. Jayla laughed. "Okay, Jingo. You win. I'll open the door for you." She dried her hands, and with Jingo at her heels, she walked to the door. When she opened it, he bounded outside and made a beeline for his favorite spot in the sunshine. When she was finished with her chores, Jayla went to her room. Soon she returned to the kitchen. "Mom, guess what? I was just working on learning my verse for church, and Jingo gave me an example of what it means." "Really?" asked Mom. "And what is that?" "Well, Jingo knows he can't open the door himself, so he comes to me and gets me to open it for him," Jayla explained. "So the way outside is through me--it's like I'm the door for him. That's like my verse. It says Jesus is the door to salvation. We can't get into heaven by ourselves, but when we trust in Jesus, He opens the door so we can get in--He saves us from sin and gives us eternal life." "That's a good way to look at it!" said Mom, and she and Jayla laughed as they looked out the window and saw Jingo jump around on the grass, having the time of his life. "But unlike you and Jingo, Jesus doesn't just open the door and then leave us. The Bible says He's always with us, from now into eternity." "Jingo is a lot of fun," said Jayla. "And now he's taught me something too." –Glenna B. Roberts How About You? How do you expect to get into heaven? Do you think you can get there by being good? By obeying your parents? By going to church? It won't work. There's no way you can get into heaven except through the door--Jesus Christ. The only way for you to be saved and have eternal life is through Him. Trust Jesus to open the door for you today. (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: I [Jesus] am the Door. Anyone who goes in through Me will be saved. (NLV) (John 10:9 ) Today's Key Thought: Jesus is the door to salvation

Duration:00:04:29

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Like Jesus

5/14/2024
Bible Reading: Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:1-3 Armel sighed as he looked out the window. He had planned to spend the day fishing with Grandpa, but it was raining. "This is going to be the most boring day ever," he grumbled. "Oh, you're always complaining," said his sister. "Read a book or something." The sound of a man's voice came from the kitchen where Mom was listening to a podcast of one of her favorite speakers. "When Jesus appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He is," the man was saying. Armel's thoughts lingered on that last phrase--"see Him as He is." I wonder what Jesus looks like, he thought. How tall was He when He was on earth? Did He really have long hair like in the pictures in books? I wish somebody who knew Him had written a description. He probably smiled a lot, and maybe His eyes twinkled like Grandpa's. "Armel," Mom called from the kitchen. "Grandpa wants to talk to you." When he heard Grandpa's voice on the phone, Armel knew he was smiling. Grandpa was calling from ten miles away, but it was easy to imagine how he looked--and Armel liked how everybody said he reminded them of his grandfather. "Hi there," said Grandpa. "What do you think of the weather?" "It's raining," Armel replied with a pout. "Yes, but I've got an idea. I need some help in my workshop. Are you available?" "I'm ready right now!" Armel exclaimed. As Armel returned the phone to his mom, the voice in the kitchen caught his attention again. "Our hope lies in the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ. We will not only see Him, but we will be like Him. Until then, the Holy Spirit is working so that others can see Jesus in us now. As He shapes our hearts, we can reflect Jesus's love in our thoughts and actions, looking forward to the day when we will finally be like Him." Armel smiled to himself. I like it when people say I remind them of Grandpa because he's such a warm, loving person. I want to remind people of Jesus that way too. And it will be even better when I'm with Jesus, because then I'll be perfect like He is. Armel grinned, imagining what his sister would say about the idea of him being perfect. –Phyllis I. Klomparens How About You? Do you wish you could see Jesus or know what He looks like? If you know Him as your Savior, someday you will see Him. Not only that, but you'll be like Him too! You'll have a new body that will never hurt or die. And you'll never sin again--you'll be perfect. That's definitely something to look forward to! Until then, trust God to help you show others what Jesus is like through your words and actions. Today's Key Verse: We know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (NIV) (1 John 3:2) Today's Key Thought: Look forward to being like Jesus

Duration:00:04:29

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Adjustments

5/13/2024
Bible Reading: Philippians 4:11-13; 1 Timothy 6:6-8 "Hey, Mr. Watson," said Thiago as he walked across the courtyard of his apartment complex. His neighbor was watering pink and white impatiens in a flower box. "Hi, Thiago," replied the elderly man. "Have you gotten used to being in the city yet?" Thiago put his backpack down before he answered. "No, not really. I wish we didn't have to leave Oceanview. I miss swimming in the ocean." "You can swim here too, you know," said Mr. Watson as he began watering the plants in a large urn. "I know. That's what Sam said--he's in my class at school. But the only place there is to swim around here is the city pool. I went with him one day, and it was so crowded, it was no fun at all! Nothing like swimming next to a sandy beach in the hot sun." "Sounds like you need to make an adjustment," said Mr. Watson. Thiago sighed. "What if I don't want to?" "I didn't either. Before I moved to this apartment, I used to have a big garden at a house outside the city. When I first moved here, I tried to grow the same flowers on the north side of this complex as I had grown in my big, sunny garden. Most of them either died or grew spindly and didn't bloom." "Your flowers look okay to me," said Thiago, looking at the boxes and urns popping with color. "That's because I adjusted to my new situation and planted flowers that bloom in the shade," Mr. Watson explained. "I learned that God created more than one kind of beautiful flower. And you might discover that God has good things He wants you to experience here that you wouldn't have had in Oceanview." "You sound like my Sunday school teacher," said Thiago. "She's always telling us that if we know Jesus, we can be content no matter where we are or what we have." "Well, she's right," said Mr. Watson. "Jesus has given us eternal life and promises to be with us in every situation, and because of that, we can be content. Trust Him to help you adjust to your new situation. Give it some time, and you might learn to like city life--just like I've learned to like impatiens and begonias." –Ruth McQuilkin How About You? Do you have to adjust to something new--like a new home, school, or family member? If you only see the bad things about your new situation, you'll miss out on the good things God has for you. The Bible tells us that, with Jesus, we can be content in any situation. Trust Him to show you something good about your new situation and to help you through any adjustments. Today's Key Verse: I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. (CSB) (Philippians 4:11) Today's Key Thought: Learn to adjust

Duration:00:04:29

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Run!

5/12/2024
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:12-14 As Charlotte carefully counted out the money she had taken from her drawer, her sister Rachel watched from the bed. The girls had decided to pool their money and get their mom a special gift for Mother's Day. "We should go around the neighborhood and ask if there are any odd jobs we can do," said Charlotte. "Then we might have enough money to get Mom that necklace we saw." "Well, Mrs. Stowe is always looking for someone to do yard work for her. Let's try her," suggested Rachel. Soon the girls were mowing and raking Mrs. Stowe's yard. It was a very humid day, and they were hot and sweaty by the time they finished. Wiping her forehead, Rachel gratefully took the money Mrs. Stowe gave them and put it in her pocket. "I'm thirsty," said Charlotte as they started down the street. "I'd give anything for an ice-cold soda right now!" "Or a huge cone of chocolate ice cream," said Rachel. "But we can't spend any of our money or we might not have enough for the necklace." Just then, the girls heard the music of an ice cream truck as it came around the corner. "Ice cream!" called out the driver. "Ice-cold drinks!" Charlotte and Rachel looked at each other. "This is so tempting, Rachel," said Charlotte. "What should we do?" "Run!" shouted Rachel. And they did! They ran straight home and immediately poured themselves giant glasses of ice water. Later that day, they counted their earnings. Charlotte turned and grinned at Rachel. "We have just enough to get that necklace. Good thing we didn't spend any on anything that ice cream truck was selling." "Yeah," Rachel said. "It's like what we learned at church last week--when we face the temptation to sin, the best thing to do is run away. Because Jesus freed us from sin, we don't have to give in. He will help us escape temptation and do what's right instead." "But spending our money on ice cream wouldn't have been a sin, would it?" asked Charlotte. "Of course not," said Rachel. "But we agreed to use it all on Mom's gift, and I'm glad we stuck to that decision. And when we are tempted to do something that's wrong, we can run away from that temptation too." –Linda E. Knight How About You? What do you do when you're tempted to do something that's wrong? When you're enticed by sin, remember that, through Jesus, you have the power to resist it and act out of love and obedience instead. God promises to always provide a way for you to escape temptation, and when you see it, run! Trust Him to help you resist temptation and do what's 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: Run from temptation

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Silent Treatment

5/11/2024
Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-8 Alex frowned as he poured some cereal and looked out the window. Joanna never quits talking! he thought as he saw his sister coming up the driveway. I wish she'd leave me alone. He snapped his fingers. I know what'll fix her. I'll give her the silent treatment. So when Joanna came into the house, Alex retreated to his room. She banged on his door and called his name, but he put on some music and turned up the volume so he couldn't hear her, and Joanna finally gave up and walked away. A little while later, Joanna started to tell Alex something, but he covered his ears with both his hands and began to hum. I'll teach her, he thought. All morning he refused to hear anything she said. At lunchtime, Alex noticed that Joanna had put on her swimsuit. "Are you going somewhere, Joanna?" asked Dad. She nodded. "I'm going to Water World with the Mannings." "Sounds like fun," said Dad. He looked at Alex. "You're not going?" "I wasn't invited," Alex answered crossly. "You were too!" said Joanna. "I tried to tell you all morning, but you wouldn't listen. They had two extra tickets and invited both of us, but now they've given the last ticket to someone else." "Oh no!" wailed Alex as the Mannings' car turned into the driveway. That evening, Alex asked his parents for help with something for church. "My small group leader wants each of us to share some thoughts on prayer during our group time this week," he said. "But what should I say?" "Well, let's see," said Dad. "Maybe you could talk about the importance of talking to God and listening to Him." "You could tell about how you missed out on a fun outing today by refusing to talk with your sister," suggested Mom. "Then explain that we all miss out on the blessing of communicating with God when we fail to talk to Him." Dad nodded. "God loves us and wants us to pray about all the things that matter to us. Jesus died and rose again so we could have a relationship with Him, and that means we can talk to God whenever we want!" "Good idea," said Alex. "I'll tell the kids in my group not to give God the silent treatment." –Nance E. Keyes How About You? Do you regularly talk to God? Do you tell Him what's going on in your life and ask Him for help with your problems? Or do you think it doesn't make any difference whether you pray or not? It does! God loves you so much that Jesus gave His life so you could have a relationship with Him. He wants to help you and bless you through the gift of prayer. Talk to Him about everything. Today's Key Verse: Pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (NLT) (Philippians 4:6) Today's Key Thought: Talk to God

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Slicing Onions

5/10/2024
Bible Reading: Psalms 34:17-18; 147:3; Hebrews 4:14-16 "I can't wait for the school carnival on Friday!" said Skylar. "My mom's working at the slushy booth. She's gonna make me a slushy with every flavor in it!" "My dad's helping out with the pin game," said Gabriel. "He said there are some cool prizes for whoever knocks them all down!" "What about you, Nevaeh?" asked Skylar. "Is your grandpa helping?" Nevaeh shook her head. "No, he can't work at a booth--he can't be on his feet for long periods of time." "That's too bad," said Gabriel. Nevaeh smiled and shrugged. "It's okay," she said. "No big deal." When Nevaeh got home from school, Grandpa greeted her. "How about some of my famous guacamole?" he said. "I have to put the lawnmower away, but if you'll start cutting up the onions, I'll be back in a jiff to make the rest." "Okay," said Nevaeh. But as soon as she sliced into an onion, her eyes started to tear up. The onion must be making my eyes water, she thought. But even after she put down the knife, the tears kept coming. When Grandpa came back inside, Nevaeh was sobbing. "I'm sorry, Grandpa!" Nevaeh cried. "I keep trying to accept that I can't live with Mom or Dad and be thankful that I live with you, but when Skylar and Gabriel were talking about their parents working at the school carnival, I really wished my parents were working there too!" "Your grandmother never wanted to bother anyone with her feelings either," Grandpa said. "So whenever I sensed something was wrong, I'd ask her to cut up some onions, and the same thing would happen to her--the tears would just come out." He gave Nevaeh a hug. "But your feelings aren't bothersome to those who love you, Nevaeh. Whenever you feel sad or upset, you don't need keep it to yourself. You can tell me--it won't hurt my feelings to know that you miss your parents. And most importantly, you can tell Jesus. He loves you and can handle any feelings you have." Grandpa cut into an avocado. "I may not be able to help with a booth, but I could bring some guacamole to your school carnival. How about that?" Nevaeh smiled and nodded. –Courtney Lasater How About You? When you feel sad or upset, do you ever try to keep it to yourself? Maybe you don't want to bother other people about it or don't think they'd care. But it's important to share your feelings with others instead of bottling them up inside. Jesus wants you to tell Him about your feelings too--you can trust Him to understand and to help you with them. 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: Share your feelings with Jesus

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For Grammy and God

5/9/2024
Bible Reading: Matthew 25:31-40 "Are you ready to go, Elizabeth?" asked Mom. Elizabeth frowned. They were going to visit Mom's grandma, who had Alzheimer's disease. "I'm not sure why we visit every week," murmured Elizabeth as they started toward the door. "Last week she didn't even remember my name." "No, but Grammy always enjoys seeing you," said Mom. Elizabeth doubted that. Visits to Grammy always seemed awkward and sad. A cry came from the baby's room upstairs. "Sounds like Simon needs a bottle," said Dad, putting his tablet down. "I'll get it! You two have a good visit." "Okay," said Mom, and she and Elizabeth went on out to the car. "Elizabeth, I was just thinking about how much I appreciate your help with Simon," Mom said as they pulled out of the driveway. "You seem to really enjoy feeding him, playing with him, and holding him when he cries." Elizabeth grinned. "I do, Mom. He's such a sweet baby, and I love him so much!" "Me too," said Mom. "But do you think Simon will remember that you fed him or took care of him at all a year from now? He probably doesn't even realize how much you do for him now, and he's too young to understand who you are." "Well, you still need to take care of him, so I'm doing it for you too," said Elizabeth. "I'm happy to help. And when he's older, he will know who I am." Mom nodded. "Just like Simon, Grammy needs someone to care for her too, even though she can't fully appreciate all we do for her or even remember our names sometimes. But Jesus still loves her and promises to take care of her, and one way He does that is through us. When we show her the same love and care He does, we're not just doing it for Grammy--we're doing it for God too." Elizabeth sighed. "You're right. It's just hard to visit her sometimes when she won't even remember we came." "I know, but she'll know somebody cares right now," said Mom gently. "It will help her today." She smiled. "She may not remember, but God will. And one day, when Jesus gives Grammy a new, perfect body, I'm sure she'll remember too." –Mike Dize How About You? Are you willing to help people who will probably forget all the good things you do? God won't forget. Jesus says that the things you do to show love and care to others are done for Him, whether anyone else remembers or not. Be willing to help in whatever way you can, even if you don't think it will make a difference. Do it for the Lord, and trust Him to use your good deeds to show people His love. Today's Key Verse: [Jesus said,] "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." (NIV) (Matthew 25:40) Today's Key Thought: God remembers all you do

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Rule Breaker

5/8/2024
Bible Reading: Exodus 20:1-17; Romans 8:1-4 Tristan sighed as the bell signaling the end of recess rang. "Come on," he said to his friend Aria. "We'd better hurry or we'll get in trouble." "Yeah," Aria said. "Mrs. McGinn is so strict. Her rules are impossible!" As Tristan worked on his math that afternoon, his pencil point broke. He tapped Aria on the shoulder. "Do you have an extra pencil?" he whispered. "Tristan," said Mrs. McGinn sternly, "you know the rule about not whispering in class. You broke that rule, so you will stay inside during morning recess tomorrow." Tristan tried to explain, but it was no use. When Tristan told his parents about it, Mom shook her head. "I'm sorry your teacher is so strict and didn't listen to what you had to say," she said. "But you knew the rule, and you broke it. Next time ask Mrs. McGinn for a pencil instead of Aria." Dad picked up his Bible. "Ready for family devotions? I believe we're up to Exodus 20, and it's your turn to read, Tristan." Tristan took the Bible and began to read. "More rules!" he exclaimed after reading several verses. Dad nodded. "These rules are called the Ten Commandments. They were given to the Israelites as part of God's law. The Bible also tells what the punishments would be if the Israelites disobeyed them." "Is it as bad as Mrs. McGinn's?" asked Tristan. "Much worse. Sin is a terrible offense against God, and sometimes the punishment was death," said Mom. "In fact, the final punishment for sin--for all people--is eternal death. That's punishment in hell forever." "But because God loves us, He offers us grace instead of the punishment we deserve," said Dad. "We've all done things that are wrong and are therefore guilty of breaking God's law. But Jesus took the punishment for our sin when He died on the cross. When we trust in Him, He forgives our sins and gives us eternal life with Him." Mom nodded. "Because of God's grace, we don't need to fear eternal punishment. Jesus took that for us." Tristan smiled. "It would be nice if someone would take my punishment from Mrs. McGinn too," he said. "But at least it won't last forever!" –Nance E. Keyes How About You? Have you heard of the Ten Commandments? They are listed in Exodus 20 and are part of God's law. Take a moment to read through them. Have you ever broken any of those commands? Then you have broken God's law and deserve to be punished. But guess what? Jesus took that punishment for you! Trust in Him, and you will receive God's grace and be given eternal life. (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: Those who belong to Christ will not suffer the punishment of sin. (NLV) (Romans 8:1) Today's Key Thought: Jesus took your punishment

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Little Lies

5/7/2024
Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:17-25 "Hi, Dad," Zander said as he entered his father's workshop. "Can you help me build a birdhouse now?" Dad looked up. "I'm ready if you are. Let's pick out some wood." He led the way to the bin of scrap wood. "I thought you were playing with Landon today." "He left," said Zander. "I wanted to do this, so I told him I had homework to do." Dad frowned as they carried several pieces of wood over to the workbench. "You mean you lied to Landon?" "Not really. I do have homework, but I'll do it after we finish the birdhouse." "But you purposely led Landon to believe that you were going to do the homework now. That's a form of lying, Zander." Zander shrugged. "Well, what was I supposed to say? 'Go home. I don't want to play with you anymore'?" He handed Dad a board. "Anyway, it was just a little lie. It won't hurt Landon's feelings or anything. He'll never know." "All lies hurt the people who tell them," said Dad. "You could have just explained that you wanted time to work with me before doing your homework." He held up the piece of wood Zander had just handed him, and using both hands, he easily cracked it in half. Zander watched, wide-eyed. "Look closely at this wood," said Dad, holding the pieces out to him. Zander looked and saw several tunnels crisscrossing through the place where it had split. "Wow! I guess those tunnels made the wood weak. I could probably have split it myself! What caused that?" "Possibly carpenter ants," said Dad. "They eat away at wood until it's weak and easily breaks apart." He looked at Zander thoughtfully. "Ants are little, but they can do a lot of damage. Lies are like that too. Lies--even so-called little ones--eat away at our truthfulness. As Christians, we're called to be like Jesus, who always tells us the truth, and His truth transforms us. He gives us the power to be truthful too so our lives point to Him and His love for us." Zander was startled. "I'm sorry," he murmured. "Should I text Landon and tell him to come back?" He thought about it a moment. "That's what I'll do. He can help us with this birdhouse!" –Daryl B. Knauer How About You? Do you think it's okay to tell little white lies? Do you figure they won't hurt anyone? They do hurt--and even if no one else finds out, they still hurt you. When you tell lies--big or small--you are not being truthful like Jesus, who speaks the truth to us out of love in His Word, the Bible. Being honest isn't always easy, but God will help you love others and tell them the truth. Today's Key Verse: Do not lie to one another. (NKJV) (Colossians 3:9) Today's Key Thought: Be truthful like Jesus

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Paper Grandpas

5/6/2024
Bible Reading: Philippians 1:3-6; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Astrid plopped down on the porch swing. She looked up as her Uncle Tim came up the porch steps. "Hi, Astrid," he said. "Do I see a frown on this beautiful day? What's up?" Astrid sighed. "My friend Ella's rich grandpa paid for a vacation in Florida for her whole family. I heard all the details at least a hundred times! Why can't I have a rich grandpa too, instead of just paper ones?" "Paper grandpas? What do you mean?" asked Uncle Tim. "Well, Grandpa Jerry's picture has been standing on the desk for as long as I can remember, and that's all I know of him. And my other grandpa died so long ago that I can't remember him either. We just have pictures of them--paper grandpas." Uncle Tim frowned. "You have an awfully poor reason for wanting a grandpa," he said, and Astrid looked down at her feet. "Both of your grandpas are in heaven, Astrid. They might not be able to show you how much they love you in the same way Ella's grandpa can show her, but they gave you something much better than a trip to Florida." Astrid looked at her uncle with wide eyes. "They did?" Uncle Tim nodded. "Grandpa Jerry loved me in a way that helped me realize how much God loves me. He prayed for me throughout my life--and he prayed for you too, even if you weren't old enough to remember. He prayed that you would believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and trust Him as your Savior so you would be with Him forever." Uncle Tim smiled at Astrid. "I guess neither of your grandpas had a lot of money, but they had something much more important. Their greatest hope and prayer was that all their family members would recognize the depth of Jesus's love for them." Astrid gave her uncle a little smile. "I trust in Jesus," she said. "When Ella comes back from Florida, maybe I should tell her about my grandpas and how I can't wait to see them in heaven someday." "Good idea." Uncle Tim grinned. "Your grandpas may just be pictures to you now, but when you meet them in heaven, they won't be paper grandpas anymore." –Phyllis I. Klomparens How About You? What do you value in your parents or grandparents? Is it the things they can give you in this life? Or have they taught you that, for Christians, the best is yet to come? Thank God for the Christians He's put in your life who show you His love and pray for you. Even if some of them aren't with you anymore, one day you'll be able to thank them too for pointing you to Jesus. Today's Key Verse: I thank my God every time I remember you. (NIV) (Philippians 1:3 ) Today's Key Thought: Be thankful for Christians who love you

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Ninety-Nine

5/5/2024
Bible Reading: Matthew 18:12-14 Rain pelted against Jack's face as he tried to ride his bike. Three more blocks and he would be home. However, it seemed like he wasn't getting anywhere with the wind pressing against him. He peddled hard but wasn't moving fast. It's even hard to see, Jack thought and finally pulled to the side of the road. There was a big tree on the corner of the street, and he parked his bike under it so he'd be out of the rain. Jack shivered as he stood there, his T-shirt and jeans soaked. If only he had taken his friend's mom's offer of a ride home instead of biking back. Jack took a seat on the damp grass and leaned back against the tree. How long is the rain going to last? he thought. What if it keeps raining like this all night? "God, please help me," Jack whispered. He had been sitting there for a while when headlights came down the road. A vehicle pulled to the curb, and Jack's eyes filled with tears of relief when he saw his dad climb out. "Jack!" His dad ran to him through the rain. Jack hugged him. "You came for me!" "Of course I did," Dad said. "Your friend's mom called when it started raining. We were worried about you." "Thanks for finding me, Dad." "Anytime." Dad smiled at him. "I would leave the ninety-nine for you, you know." Jack's brow wrinkled for a moment, but then he got it. "You mean, like in the Bible?" Dad nodded as he wheeled the bike to his truck. "Jesus tells the story of a shepherd who left ninety-nine sheep to find the one who was lost. That's how He loves us as our Good Shepherd--when we were lost in the darkness of sin, He came to find us. And it's also the way I love you. I will always come to help you, and Jesus will always be there for you whenever you feel lost or alone." "I prayed when I was alone," Jack said. "Then God sent you." Dad smiled. "See? God was with you. He knew you were in trouble and He helped you." Jack climbed into the warm van and returned his dad's smile. "I'm glad you and God care about me." –Bethany Acker How About You? Have you ever felt lost, alone, and afraid? Did you cry out to God and ask Him to help you? Jesus tells us that He is our Good Shepherd who came to find us and help us when we were lost and alone, and He promises to always be with us. Trust Him to take care of you, and thank Him for parents and other adults in your life who show you His love and care by always looking out for you too. Today's Key Verse: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (NIV) (Isaiah 41:10 ) Today's Key Thought: God will always help you

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The Monkey Trap

5/4/2024
Bible Reading: Luke 12:16-21, 31 "Hey, you want a monkey for a pet?" asked Anthony's friend Obi one day. "Sure, but how would I catch one?" asked Anthony. He and his parents had recently arrived in Africa as missionaries. "It's easy. You trap him," said Obi, handing Anthony a gourd. "First, make a hole in this gourd--make it just big enough for a monkey to put his paw through." He supervised while Anthony worked. "Okay," Obi said, "that's big enough. The gourd is hollow, so now we'll put some fruit in it. Then we'll fasten it to the branch of a tree at the edge of the village." "I don't get it," said Anthony. "How will this work? Even if a monkey reaches into the gourd to get the fruit, what will keep him from getting away with it? Doesn't the trap have to slam shut or something?" Obi shook his head. "When the monkey has the fruit in his fist, his paw won't go through the hole. If he'd just let it go, he could get away, but they usually don't do that. I guess they want the fruit so bad they hang on even though it means they get caught." Soon the trap was ready. The boys walked to the tree Obi had selected and attached the gourd to a branch. "There. By tomorrow morning, you'll probably have a monkey," said Obi. Back home, Anthony told his mother how the monkeys foolishly held on to the fruit instead of letting it go and getting away. Mom laughed. "Do you know I used to be just as foolish myself?" "You were?" Anthony was surprised. "I wanted certain things," Mom explained. "A nice home, pretty clothes, a nice car, a grassy lawn. I wanted to hang on to those things--I didn't want to give them up and come here, even though your dad and I sensed God calling us to move to Africa. But the Lord helped me let go of those things by showing me I already had something much better--a relationship with Him and the promise of eternal life. I've never been as happy as I am here in Africa, sharing the good news of Jesus with the people I meet." Anthony looked around their new home and smiled. "God really wants what's best for us, huh, Mom?" Mom nodded. "Yes, He truly does." –Hazel W. Marett How About You? What things do you want badly? Good grades? Nice stuff? Money? It's not bad to want things like that, but don't let them become a trap that distracts you from what truly matters. If you know Jesus, you already have the best thing of all--eternal life with Him. So don't set your heart on the things of this world. Instead, be willing to let them go as you trust God to lead you in His will for your life. Today's Key Verse: Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. (NKJV) (Colossians 3:2) Today's Key Thought: Love God, not possessions

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Storms of Life

5/3/2024
Bible Reading: Isaiah 25:4-5 Gwen did a belly flop on her bed and began to sob uncontrollably. After a couple minutes, there was a light knocking on her door. "Come in," Gwen said into her pillow. Mom sat down on the side of Gwen's bed. "I take it you didn't have a good day at school today?" "It was the worst day ever!" Gwen said as she sat up in bed and tried to wipe the tears from her eyes. "What happened? Does it have to do with the spelling bee?" Mom asked gently. Gwen sniffed and nodded. "I got so nervous when it was my turn, I misspelled the easiest word. I spelled house H-O-W-S-E, and everyone in my class burst out laughing." The tears began flowing down her cheeks again. Mom embraced Gwen in a hug and rubbed her back while she continued to cry. After a while, Gwen broke free and looked at her mom. "How am I ever going to show my face in school again? The kids are probably going to make fun of me for a long time. It was so embarrassing!" "I know how hard it can be to face others when they might make fun of you, but remember that you're not alone. God is with you, and He will never leave you." Mom stood up and looked at the rain outside Gwen's window. "When it storms outside and we're inside the house, do we need to worry about getting wet?" Mom asked. Gwen got up and joined her mom at the window. "No, because the house shelters us," she said as she watched the rain pour down and lightning light up the sky. "Exactly, and God is our shelter when we face the storms of life. When others laugh at you or judge you, remember what God thinks of you--He loves you so much that Jesus came to earth and died for you! Trust Him to help you through this, and know that I'll be here to help too." After Mom left her room, Gwen stood watching the storm outside. Dear Lord, please help me face this storm in my life, she silently prayed. Afterward she felt like she could face school the next day. –Melissa Yeagle How About You? Are you going through a storm in your life? Are you relying on God to help you through it? He promises to never leave you and to be your shelter when storms come. No matter what you face--difficulties at school, problems at home, the loss of a friend or family member--He will be with you. Trust Him to shelter you in life's storms. Today's Key Verse: God has said, "I will never fail you. I will never abandon you." (NLT) (Hebrews 13:5) Today's Key Thought: God is with you through life's storms

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Sleeping Peacefully

5/2/2024
Bible Reading: Psalms 63:6-8; 73:23-28 "How does she sleep like that?" Lennon asked, staring at her baby sister. Lennon had been having nightmares that just wouldn't stop. "How is she so peaceful?" Mom smiled. "I think Lyric feels safe. I think she's pretty comfortable here with us." She shifted the baby in her arms. "If I put her down, then we might have issues." Lennon wished she could sleep in her mom's arms. She would feel a lot safer then. "Do you know who holds you when you sleep?" Mom asked, as if reading her thoughts. Lennon shook her head. "Jesus does," Mom said. "He holds each of those who trust in Him as we rest. He watches over us so we can feel peace, sort of like what I'm doing with little Lyric here." Lennon's face scrunched up. "But I'm not a baby. You really think God holds someone like me?" "Someone like you, someone like me." Dad stepped into the room. "God watches over us as we sleep." He moved to Mom and sat beside her, stroking his finger along Lyric's cheek. Lennon looked between her parents. She knew they loved her and would do anything they could to protect her, but she wasn't a baby anymore. She didn't sleep in a crib in their bedroom like Lyric did. Lennon twisted her hair around her finger. "Jesus is with me in my room when you two are across the hall with Lyric?" "He is," Mom said. "And He's there in the middle of the night when I wake up from a bad dream?" Lennon asked. "He is," Dad said. "He loves us so much He died for us, and He is always present with those who have faith in Him. When we feel afraid, we can turn to Him for comfort and peace. And you can still come to us too, you know. We might have a newborn to look after now, but we're still here for you." Lennon nodded. "God looks after a lot of kids, huh?" Dad smiled. "Yes. Many more than we could ever look after." Mom rocked Lyric in her arms. "And He offers each one the peace needed to sleep like a baby. Like this baby." –Emily Acker How About You? Have you ever struggled to sleep at night? Were you worried about something or scared to close your eyes in case you had a bad dream? The Bible tells us that we can find rest in the Lord. Jesus died for us so we could be with Him forever, and He is always with us. Trust Him to give you peace so you can rest, and when you struggle with worried thoughts or bad dreams, ask an adult for help too. Today's Key Verse: In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. (NIV) (Psalm 4:8) Today's Key Thought: God holds you as you sleep

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Transformed

5/1/2024
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:35-44 "It's a nice sunny day," said Mom. "Want to help me plant seeds in the garden? We can plant the flower seeds we found at Grandma's house." "Okay!" said Leo. "I'll get them." He ran to fetch the brightly colored packets, and soon he and Mom were burying tiny brown seeds in the rich, dark earth. "I wonder if there will be flowers in heaven," said Leo suddenly. His grandma had recently died, and Leo knew she was now in heaven. Mom smiled. "I hope so!" "It's hard to understand what heaven is like, huh?" said Leo. "I know Grandma is there now, but…" He paused. "We'll still have bodies, right? I know Pastor Holmes said Grandma left her body and went to be with Jesus, but he said her body would be raised up again someday when Jesus comes back to make the whole world new again." Leo hesitated. "But Grandma was old and sick. I don't think she'd want her body back." "The Bible says that when our bodies are raised, they'll be changed," said Mom. "They'll be glorious, heavenly bodies." "But how can such an old, sick body like Grandma's change so much?" Mom thought a moment. "Leo, do you really think those seeds you're planting will grow into flowers?" she asked. Leo looked at her in astonishment. "Why wouldn't they?" "Look at them--they're so small and ugly! They don't look at all like the flowers in this picture." Mom pointed to the picture on the seed packet--a glorious mass of red, orange, and yellow flowers. "Do you really think those seeds can turn into something as beautiful and as different as this?" "Mom! Of course they can!" exclaimed Leo. "They're seeds--that's what they do." Mom grinned. "I just want you to see how God can make things change. Just like He created tiny seeds that become big, beautiful flowers, God promises that He will one day transform those who trust in Jesus and give them bodies more glorious than we can imagine." Leo glanced back and forth from the seed packet to the seeds he held in his hand. "Glorious, heavenly bodies," he murmured. Then he smiled. "All right!" –Tanya Ferdinandusz How About You? Do you ever wonder what the new bodies Jesus gives us will be like? Think of how God makes plants of all shapes, sizes, and colors grow out of small seeds. That's just a tiny glimpse of what He can do! You can be sure He will work even greater miracles when he gives Christians new, glorious bodies that will last forever. Today's Key Verse: [The body] is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. (NKJV) (1 Corinthians 15:44) Today's Key Thought: Christians will receive glorious bodies

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