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A Bit for Every
Day of the Year
S. D. GORDON
AUTHOR OF "QXHET TALKS ON POWER," '"QUIET TALKS ON
PRAYER," AND OTHER VOLUMES
AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION
1816 Chestnut Street
IHE NEW YOKK
ASTOR, LENOX AND
R 1010 L
Copyright, 1918. by the
American Sunday-School Union
A WORD AT THE START
These daily bits are meant to be little
wedges for the Quiet Corner, to get things
A Hfe of victory and power hinges on three
things: an Act, a Purpose, and a Habit; an
initial act, a rock-rooted purpose, and a daily
habit; the act of surrender to Jesus as Master
of one's person and life, the simple, steady
purpose in everything to do as he would wish,
the daily hahit of getting a bit of time every
day off alone with the Master, with door shut,
the Book open, the knee bent, and the will
The daily habit needs much emphasis be-
cause it puts new life-blood daily into the act
and the purpose. After these other two are
fixed in where they belong this is the hinge on
which the whole life swings.
These little bits are meant to be distinctly
secondary to the Book itself. They are simply
to start one's thoughts a-going, and to help
fit the Book into one's own daily life. The
chiefest thing always is the fresh touch face-
to-face with Jesus. And he always meets one
at the bent-knee time to give that fresh touch.
You can count on that. S. D. G.
Sunday. Mark 1:1-11.
MAKING A WAY FOR JESUS.
This is the thing, to prepare the way for
Jesus. John did it. Jesus needed it. He
needs it. We can do it. By purity of Hfe,
earnestness of purpose, gentleness of spirit
we can open the way for Jesus into hearts
and homes. We may; it is our privilege.
We can; it is in our power. We must; Jesus'
love in the heart drives us to it. Surely we
will; this shall be our glad, set purpose.
Monday. Isa. 40 : 3-5 ; Mai. 3:1-6.
FINDING GOD'S PLAN.
Everyone's life is foreplanned. It seems
hard for us to take this in as really so. But
that's the kind of a God our God is. A
simple shepherd lad, years ago, tending sheep,
found out that all the plan for his hfe was
written down in a book beforehand, God's
own record book, Ps. 139 : 16. We may find
this out, too. God will foretell us his plan.
May we not fail God, nor his plan!
6 THK HKXT-KNEE TIME.
Tuesday. Luke 1:8-17.
GOD NEVER FAILS.
God never forgets. He never loses count
of prayers nor of time. Prayers may seem
unanswered. But, when the heart's in right
touch, there's always thoughtful love in the
delay. The waiting-time is a training-time
for us. More is being planned for by God
than had been prayed for by us. Hannah
found this out with Samuel, and Zacharias
with John. Lcfs keep fii it h's fire burning even
through long waits and heavy rains.
Wednesday. John 1:19-30.
POINTING TO JESUS WITH YOUR LIFE.
John pointed to Jesus. He did it so whole-
heartedly that people forgot the pointer, and
looked at Jesus. Every question brought a
"not" about himself, which emphasized the
word about Jesus. The voice spoke so dis-
tinctly and self-forgetfully that men were
c aught only by what was said. Each of us
may be an indcx-Jingcr pointing to Jesus. The
home-life, the controlling spirit, the daily
touch with others, may make others think
THE BENT-KNEE TIME. 7
Thursday. John 3 : 26-36.
STICKING STEADILY TO IT.
John did the thing he was asked to do.
He began, and kept on, and he finished it up.
He tied a knot on the end of a thread. It's
good to begin; it's better to keep undiscour-
ageably going; it's best to stick it out to the
end, regardless of difficulties. Starters are
plenty, but stickers are scarce, and finishers
are scarcer. Let's stick it out on the thing
we are doing for Jesus, prayerfully and sing-
Friday. Matt. 9 : 36— 10:8.
ON AN ERRAND FOR JESUS.
Praying is the key to every needed thing.
When you pray, something happens. The
praying puts you into fresh touch with Jesus.
You are where you can be used. The pray-
ing man is given power. He can be trusted
with it. For he will use it only as the Master
guides. He can help his fellows in their need
most. The closer we keep in prayer with
Jesus the more we can help our fellows.
8 THE BENT-KNEE TIME.
Saturday. Matt. 1 1 : 2-9.
WHEN IT'S DARK TRUST MORE.
Trust trusts God when it doesn't under stafid
what he is doing. John was puzzled. Jesus
was filling out ihc personal part of his mis-
sion; but not the official, the kingly part.
The people were being helped. But John, the
King's herald, was a prisoner. What did it
mean? Was someone else coming to fill out
the other part? Jesus practically rephes,
"Wait; hold steady; trust me. though you
don't see how things are working out."
Sunday. Mark 1 : 12-20.
JESUS IS ALONGSIDE TO HELP.
Jesus touched every side of human life. He
did it by giving a bit of his own life. He took
a decisive stand in the Jordan with God's
messenger. He was tempted. He came into
personal friendship with men. He took men
into close partnership in his blessed ministry.
He revealed the resistless power of God help-
ing human need. And he still does. He will
begin this sort of thing in us as we let him.
THE BENT-KNEE TIME. 9
Monday. Matt. 3 : 16 — 4 : II.
A TEMPTATION IS A CHANCE FOR VICTORY.
Jesus was tempted, really tempted. No
one was ever tempted so cunningly and re-
peatedly. The tempter did his best and
worst. And Jesus felt the temptations
keenly. Many a time his brow was moist
and his jaw set. But every temptation met
its full match in him. He overcame by his
set will and his Father's grace. And so may
we, by his victory and his help. Temptation
is a chance for victory through Jesus.
Tuesday. Heb. 4 : 14—5 : 9.
A FRIEND IN A TIGHT CORNER.
Jesus was the Brother of man as well as the
Son of man. He shared our experiences. He
trod the same rough road, and knew the same
tight corners. He was tempted as we are.
and he was tempted first, and he was tempted
most. The path's never so rough for our
feet. His have smoothed it down. He un-
derstands. He can help; he knows by experi-
ence. And he will help, and we shall have
10 THE BENT-KNEE TIME.
Wednesday. Isa. 42 : 1-8.
SPELLING "IDEAL" WITH AN "R."
God carries an ideal in his heart. Eden
pictures that ideal most winsomely — God and
man walking and working in a garden as
closest friends. Sin broke the ideal. God
gave his Son to heal the hurt of sin and w'oo
us back to the garden-life. Both prophecy
and gospel tell how practical and winsome
his wooing was. God'll never rest content
till his ideal has become real. Let us make it
Thursday. John 1 : 35-47.
KEEPING "IN TOUCH."
Jesus winning five men one after another
into personal friendship — how like him and
his Father! P'or (iod loves the personal
touch. When he created man he gave a bit
of himself, his breath. When man lost touch
he gave his only Son to get us back in touch.
And Jesus gave his own very self, his life, in
doing it. Let us keep in close, personal
touch with Jesus, and help somebody get in
THE BENT-KNEE TIME. 11
Friday. Luke 5 : 1-11.
GIVING JESUS A PULPIT.
A boat for a pulpit! Who would have
thought it? How glad Peter must have been!
Probably he never forgot it. The old boat
never seemed quite the same again. But
that's a way Jesus has, using our common
things in his uncommon task of helping and
winning men: patched-up fishing-nets, a car-
penter's bench, the curb of an old w^ll, water-
jugs. He'll use our kitchen and shop, store
and office, to help men today, if he may.
Saturday. John 2 : 1-11.
LIMITLESS POWER WAITING AT YOUR FINGER-
Jesus fitted his help in just where it was
needed. He never used his power to show
that he could, but to help somebody. The
people were hungry, and he fed them. The
widow was broken-hearted over her boy, and
Jesus brought him back to hfe. The tax-
collector called, and he helped Peter pay the
bill. The wedding supplies ran out, and he
renewed them. His power is at hand today to
help in the common things of our daily lives.
12 THE BENT-KNEE TIME.
Sunday. Mark 1 : 21-34.
LET YOUR HEART CONTROL YOUR HAND.
Jesus couldn't help working. He had a
tender heart. He fell the need of the crowds.
He couldn't withstand the plea of their need.
His heart responded. His hand reached out
quickly to help. No criticisrn or scorn or
opposition could hold back the thing so sorely
needed. The work grew oul of a heart in touch
with his Father and with the needy crowds.
This is the secret of true working, now as then.
Monday. Mark I : 33-45.
FRt^SH TOUCH WITH GOD.
Jesus was never too busy to pray. That
exj)lains his close, helpful touch with men.
That was a busy day in the Galila?an fishing-
town. But he was up early the next morning
for the fresh talk with the Father; that came
first. Out of it grew the clear vision of the
next towns with their needs, though it was
easier to stay with the enthusiastic Caper-
naum crowds. Prayer clears the vision,
warms the heart, and makes us practical.
THE BENT-KNEE TIME. i:^
Tuesday. Acts 10 : 34-43.
LETTING JESUS OUT THROUGH OUR LIVES.
The sun needs no recommendation on a
winter's day; nor the steady downpour of
rain after a dry spell; nor Jesus where there's
good to be done, hearts to comfort, sins to
forgive, feet to steady, tempted men to be
helped. If we can just get folks to know the
real Jesus, he'll do all that needs doing. Let
us do our best to get men into contact with
Jesus. He'll do the rest.
Wednesday. Luke 4 : 14-22.
It takes strength to yield. The highest act
is in yielding to a higher will. Jesus yielded
strongly to the control of the Holy Spirit
during those human years. And so the Spirit
could flood his words, and acts, and presence
with power. Then the Holy Spirit yielded to
Jesus, who sent him down on Pentecost to
give lis power. Let us use our strength in
yielding thoughtfully, intelHgently, to the
Spirit's sway. This is the secret of power.
14 THE RF.XT KNEE-TIME.
Thursday. Luke 5:12-16.
HE WILL, TODAY.
Practically, faith is not simply believing
that God can. but believing that he will.
That he can do a thing tells of his power.
And his power has no limit. But there's
something immensely more; that's his love.
His love comes into sympathetic touch with
our need; his eye sees; his heart feels; then his
hand eagerly stretches out to help. Today
Jesus says to each of us. "/ will do what you
need done, if you'll let me."
Friday. Matt. 11 : 25-30.
KEEP IN STEP.
"Rest is not quitting earth's busy career;
Rest is the fitting of self to one's sphere."
Keeping step is rest, for the soldier on march,
and the man following Jesus. Rhythm of
color is beauty. Rhythm of sound is music.
Rhythm of action is power. Jesus made
I)eace by his blood and gives it to us. As we
keep step with him, we find peace stealing
softly in, and others find power breathing out.
Let's keep in step with Jesus.
THE BENT-KNEE TIME. 15
Saturday. Ps. 103 : 1-3.
PRAISE OPENS THE SKYLIGHT.
You can't remember all, but be sure you
don't forget all. Praise opens the door wider
for more. Thanksgiving clears the skies and
quickens your step. Doing your daily, com-
mon task to the sound of music — some song
with Jesus' name in — lightens the work,
strengthens both heart and arm, gets more
work done and better, brightens the day,
helps your neighbor, and gladdens God.
Let's sing more. Everything we have is red-
marked with Jesus' love.
Sunday. Mark 2 : 1-12.
GOD IN HUMAN SHOES.
Jesus was God coming amongst us in hu-
man shoes, to do what needed doing. The
sorest need is heart-deep — the sin forgiven,
the stain washed out, the power of sin broken,
the conscience set free; then the heart full of
glad song, and the hands and feet impelled
to carry the glad news to others. So he
touched the secret springs that control the
whole hfe. It cost his life. But he never
flinched. Blessed Jesus!
16 THE BENT-KNEE TIME.
Monday. Psalm 32.
A heart at peace with God and itself — this
is the greatest of blessings. The sin washed
out and burned out and the heart kept clean
means sweetest music within. Then all the
powers, bodily and mental and of the spirit,
key up to their best, the mind is open to be
taught, the will ready to be guided and shaped,
and the telling of the God-story to others is
simple and clear and natural and unbroken.
Tuesday. Luke 15 : 1 1-24.
LOVE NEVER FAILS.
Prodigals are thicker than we think. A
child dissatisfied with the Father's way, get-
ting all he can for himself, dead-bent on his
own way, cutting loose from restraint, clearly
a prodigal in spirit, though not at his rope's
end— the last stage. But the Father's love
clean outdoes any prodigal wilfulness — wise,
patient waiting till the dead-end of the blind
alley's reached, tireless watching, eager run-
ning, the tender embrace, the welcome back.
Love outruns the prodigal still.
THE BENT-KNEE TIME. 17
Wednesday. Luke 7 : 41-50.
SEEING THROUGH GOD'S EYES.
Not that you must sin much to be forgiven
much and so love much — not that. God
doesn't need bad to bring out his good. But
when we see how much of a sin one sin is,
and how bad a break just one break makes,
then we begin to know what love God's love
is. Then our hearts are broken that we
treated God so, and we're down on our knees
in untenable gratitude and eager service. It's
worth while to see as God sees.
Thursday. 1 John 1 .
THE GREATEST THING— A PURE HEART I
It's a great thing to be forgiven — to be
back in the old seat by the hearth-fire, the
old score wiped off the slate, the heavy
heart lightened, the Father smiling gently
into your eyes. But there's something more
and yet better — to be cleaned up inside; the
bad taken out, washed out, and burned out,
and a new clean inside put in you. Jesus
does both, though it cost him his life to
IS THF BF,\T-KXEE TIME.
Friday. Isa. 1 :2-h, 16-18.
THE CHEMISTRY OF LOVE.
We've heard much of late in college about
the new chemistry. Do you know about the
old chemistry, the oldest, the chemistry of
love, God's love? It puts the bright, run-
ning red of the blood of Jesus over the dirty
black of our sin. And the startling result is
a white, a pure, clear white, that neither fades
nor yellows. Expensive chemistry that! Sin
is awfully expensive. But love stops at noth-
ing to get us clean again.
Saturday. 1 Pet. I : 1 3-23.
KEEP THE JESUS FIRES BURNING.
When it gets hold of us what Jesus did for
us in dying, everything changes inside and
out. We want to be pure for his sake; it
cost him so much to clean us up. A passion
burns to tell somebody else about him, to do
something to open the way for that telling
where the door is shut. We tnust serve; it is
our life. We can serve; we've learned how.
I'or only love service is real service.
THE BENT-KNEE TIME. 19
Sunday. Mark 2 : 23—3 : 5.
THE ZEST OF VICTORY.
The old Sabbath was a rest day. It came
at the end of the week's work. Its observance
was a recognition of the love that gave us life
and time, strength to work, and enjoyment
in rest. The new Sabbath is more — a victory
day. It tells of Jesus' victory over sin and
death. It comes at the beginning of the
week's work. So we start the week with a
song that lasts till Saturday night.
Monday. Luke 4 : 16-22.
HOW GOOD GOD IS!
"Worship" grows out of "worth." It
really means thinking deep down in your
heart how worthy God is; how full of power in
making the world so beautiful, and in sus-
taining life so constantly, even in those who
leave him out; how full of love in giving his
only Son to die; how patient, and gentle, and
winsome, and motherly. It's blessed to do
it in the church service. It's yet more blessed
to do it in between times.
20 THE BEXT-K\EE TIME.
Tuesday. Luke 1 3 : 10-17.
When you've learned the real Sabbath song,
everything is changed by it. It is the rest
song, the rest that comes out of victory.
Jesus' victory gives rest of heart. Then we're
keeping Sabbath day in our hearts every day.
The music of it makes the wheels of life go
easier. There's an eagerness to get the Sab-
bath spirit — the rest spirit — into everybody
else, easing pain of body and circumstance
and heart for them.
Wednesday. I sa. 58:6-14.
KEEP THE SABBATH DOOR OPEN.
God. asks a seventh of our time as an ac-
knowledgment that it's all his. Giving him
the seventh of our time weekly helps bring
us into that touch of life where he can flood
his best into all the days. If we reckon the
(lay as his, in grateful acknowledgment of all
he's given us, he will help us steer a wise
course between the Sabbath looseness so com-
mon, and the old straight-laced rigor that
made the day a burden.
THE BENT-KNEE TIME. 21
Thursday. Exod. 16 : 21-30.
Thinking ahead is common with thoughtful
people. The housewife "sets the sponge" the
night before. The engineer "oils up" before
train-time. Even the squirrel stores away
nuts for winter, and the dog'll bury a bone
against hungry-time. Nothing ever happens:
whatever good comes has been thought out
by somebody. Let us plan ahead thoughtfully,
sensibly, for God's day. It'll make the day
more restful and sweeter, and put a hallowing
touch on all the weekdays, too.
Friday. Mark 16:1-9.
THE REAL SABBATH FRAGRANCE.
Jesus rose on "the first day of the week."
We can never forget that. That alone would
make it the first of all days for us. The
women brought the fragrant spices, but they
didn't use them. A richer, subtler fragrance
had already been breathed into the day. The
early disciples never forgot the day nor its
fragrance. And we later disciples will do
well to remember weekly the sweet odor of
that great first day.
22 THE BENT-KNEE TIME.
Saturday. Rev. 1 : 9-20.
THE BIT OF QUIET TIME.
John was far from home and loved ones.
He must have felt the loneliness of it. Was
he depressed? It wouldn't have been sur-
prising. But when the Lord's Day came he
had a bit of quiet time alone with the Master.
.And the gracious Spirit came a bit closer,
brooding like a mother. And then came the
wondrous vision of the glorified Christ. Let
us, too, be in the Spirit on the Lord's Day.
It'll bring Christ closer to us.
Sunday. Mark 3: 13-19.
HAVE YOU VOLUNTEERED ?
Jesus is looking for men. He needs men.
He uses men. He chooses the men he uses.
The qualification he looks for is willingness,
strong, earnest, intelligent willingness, to do
what he wants done. He takes such men into
habitual companionship with himself. So
they catch fire with his passion, learn his pur-
pose and plans, are filled with his power,
know the music of his peace, and gladly
sacrifice, if need be. May we not fail Jesus!
THE BENT-KNEE TIME. 23
Monday. Luke 6 : 12-16.
KNEE POWER FOR THE DAILY JOB.
He picked them out on his knees. Slowly,
thoughtfully, through the night, he sifted
back and forth, taking account of weaknesses
and drawbacks, till at last the list of twelve
men stood clear. A great night's work, that,
getting fishermen ready to be apostles. No
wonder Peter came back, and John's fire
burned out in love. That night's knee work
did it. Nothing human can resist quiet,
steady, confident knee work. Try it on your
Tuesday. John 15 : 15-27.
The Holy Spirit would bear witness of
Jesus. "And ye also shall bear witness,"
Jesus said. They added their bit. They
could do nothing without the Holy Spirit.
And, reverently let us say it, the Spirit could
not do his work without them. They must
let him use them as he needed. They be-
came the pipe-line through which the water of
life flowed. Are you an ^''also'"? Are you
adding your hit — your life? It is needed.
That's the plan.
24 THK BI:N T KXKK-TIMP:.
Wednesday. Luke 14 : 25-35.
FOOTING THE BILLS.
Everything worthwhile costs. And you
can tell its worth by how much it cost — some-
body. It cost God much to give his only
Son. It cost Jesus both reputation and life
to save us. He saved others, but he couldn't
save himself from the awful cost of saving us.
It costs to sin. Selfishness is awfully costly.
And it costs to follow Jesus, really, truly,
fuUv. But iTs worth all it costs, and immensely
Thursday. John 17 :9-21.
JESUS IS PRAYING MOST NOW.
Jesus is still praying. He ever lives to
pray us through. Thirty years of living,
three years of serving, one tremendous act of
dying, nineteen hundred years of praying I
What an emphasis on prayer! Yet all through,
praying had its roots deep down in the living,
and serving, and dying. And the prayer at
heart is this: that love, real love, might flood
our lives, purifying, unifying, and perfecting.
Let us pray and — love.
THE BENT-KNEE TIME. 25
Friday. Matt. 10 : 14-25.
THAT KNOTTED PLACE.
Jesus is Master: we are disciples. He leads:
we follow where he leads. The path is a
plain one to eyes that keep close to him.
The prints of his feet may be clearly seen,
often red-marked. His hand reaches out to
take ours. There's a little knotted place in the
palm of his. That grips our hearts greatly as
we follow. And his voice may be clearly
heard by ears trained in the quiet corner with
Saturday. Matt. 19 : 23-30.
THE HIGHEST REWARD.
Partners with Jesus — daily, friendly touch
with himself, being taken into his confidence,
knowing something of his plans, being sent
on errands for him, hearing his quiet voice of
approval — could there be greater, sweeter re-
ward than just this? Yet there is. There
will be need of trained, trusty workers in the
coming Kingdom-time. Those who have
learned how, even a Httle, now, will be the
trusted ones then. Yet we'll be thinking more
of the Master than of the reward.
26 THE BKNT-KNEE TIME.
Sunday. Mark 4 : 1^. 14-20.
Jesus taughl. But he lived what he taught.
.Vnd he Hved it first before he taught it. And
he lived it most, more than even lie ever could
leach it. On the human side here was the
great power of his teaching. He will teach
us. \Vc need it. We need it daily. But we
must live it as we learn it; then we can teach
it to others. This is the first rule in Jesus'
Monday. Gal. 5 : 16-24.
WHOS IN THE LEAD?
There are two leaders. Everyone is walk-
ing behind one or the other. The evil leader
covers up so we shan't suspect whom v/e're
walking behind. But the things he leads you
to do are a sure telltale mark — selfish, pas-
sionate, sinful things. The other leader is as
open as the things he leads you to do are good.
.\n unselfish love welling up inside controls
heart, and tongue, and head. Today's life
(,11s :rli,nu y,)i( arc U'alln}ig behind.
THE BENT-KNEE TIME. 27
Tuesday. Luke 21 : 29-36.
DON T GET DIZZY.
To be drunk means you've taken so much
of something that you've lost control. You
may get drink-drunk, food-drunk, pleasure-
drunk, or anxiety-drunk. The word rendered
"surfeiting" really means to get dizzy. The
only safe rule on Hquor is total abstinence;
and on other things this: don't get dizzy;
never lose control of heart, or head, or tongue,
or hand. Live each day so you'll he glad to
see Jesus whenever he comes back.
Wednesday. Eph. 5 : 11-21.
KEEP ON TOP.
Evil insists on pushing its way in. Some-
times it's very subtle and snaky. There are
three things you can do: Yield to it; that's
bad. Play with it; don't say no to it, but
don't oppose it; that's bad, too, but very
common. The only right thing is to he ag-
gressively good and Jesus-like, in a tactful way;
then you'll overcome it. Be not overcome of
evil, nor play with it, but overcome it.
J!s THE BEXT-KXEE TIME.
Thursday. Prov. 23 : 29-35.
KEEP THE ENEMY CLEAN OUT.
There's only one safe thing to do with al-
coholics of every grade and kind: treat them
as you would a poisonous snake. You never
know when they'll bite. Never take the ^r^^
drink, or if you have, never take the next one.
Drinking is like giving the front-door key to a
burglar. Everything inside is in danger when
the first glass is taken; nothing is quite safe
— brain, tongue, heart, purity, character,
loved ones, property.