Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 May 2021 Ephesians 2:8.

Ephesians 2:8.     ​For by grace are ye saved (you have been saved) through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

Another Sunday morning friends, another grateful day of praise and worship! Oh, how I wish though, that we could say like Bruh David did of his companions on that fateful Sabbath day: ‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps. 122:1) But right now, that’s only wishful thinking for most of us, what with the serious state of the Corona virus lockdown, and the many restrictions placed on actual sanctuary gathering. 

However, because we are children of the Most High God Jehovah, we will not be defeated. We might be constrained or restrained, but we will never stop worshipping our God on His day, especially with all the modern technological inventions that allow it to be done virtually. Yes, this way does detract some from the spontaneity and togetherness that comes from gathering in person, but in these troubled and perilous times, any kind of worship is better than no worship at all. And it’s been going on for so long now that most of us have become accustomed to it. 

So enough with the talk, let’s get to some praise and worship, singing the well-known and much LOVED, hymn, written by John Newton, the ex-slave trader back in the last half of the 18thcentury. We all know it as ‘Amazing Grace.’ And according to the GodTube website: This isn’t a song of theology – it’s John Newton’s own heartfelt expression of gratitude to God, who helped him turn from his profane and wicked life and eventually fight against the ills he practiced.’ Therefore, with our own sincere and heartfelt gratitude, let’s sing it out now nuh, letting all of heaven and earth know just how much we truly value God’s grace in our lives. 

So, in soulful harmony, let’s raise our heads, hearts and voices to the sky. ‘Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures; He will my Shield and Portion be, As long as life endures. Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace. 

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, who called me here below, Will be forever mine. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, Than when we’d first begun. Oh yes, When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, Than when we’d first begun.’ 

Oh, what magnificent, Bible based sentiments my people! And did we ever express them well! (smile) But seriously though my brethren, who would have thought that an ex-slaver could write such exquisite words and declare such heartfelt emotion. Only through the grace of God, you say! I guess so. And the story goes that it was during a serious storm on the ocean, when their ship did not look like it would survive the relentless pounding, that Newton’s mind turned back to the God his mother had taught him about at an early age. 

And I can tell you about a personal experience on Lake Ontario, when caught in a storm late at night, in the middle of the lake in a small boat, and I saw drunken men pray like mad. I wasn’t drunk, but believe me, I prayed too! That’s also the first time I truly understood what the words ‘shivering of the timbers’ meant.’ (smile) I can laugh about it now, but then it was really scary. So Newton’s reaction is not surprising, because it’s ofttimes during serious storms in our lives, literal or figurative, that our thoughts turn to Jesus, and we realize that He is our only answer for calming the storms. 

And it’s said that Newton’s behavior was so terrible that it even shocked the sailors themselves, who already had a bad reputation for profanity and licentiousness. And it does say a lot about the power of God’s grace, if it could save such a disgusting heretic. As one commentary puts it: ‘Only God’s amazing grace could and would take a rude, profane slave-trading sailor and transform him into a child of God. Newton never ceased to stand in awe of God’s work in his life.’ And so he should! 

It’s not surprising then, that Newton described God’s grace as ‘amazing’ and the sound sweet to his ears in saving a wretch like him. Oh, the power of God’s grace! He was once lost, but God’s grace found him at his lowest ebb, where God usually finds us, and also opened his blinded eyes to see the value of salvation. That’s why Bruh Paul emphasizes to the Ephesians, and also to us, the great importance of God’s grace in our salvation. ‘For by grace are ye saved (you have been saved) through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2:8-9) 

And you ask, what is this grace and faith that we’re talking about? Well, grace is basically ‘the expression of God’s goodness towards the undeserving.’ It’s the unmerited favour of God; meaning we don’t deserve it, but He’s so good to us, He gives it to us anyway. And faith is the way we gain God’s grace to be saved. That’s by believing in Christ Jesus, believing that God sent Christ to earth to die on the cross at Calvary to pay for or atone for our sins. 

So when we have that faith in Christ, then we can be saved by God’s good gift of grace. And Bruh Paul made sure that we knew salvation could not be obtained by works, but only by grace, God’s gift, otherwise men would be boasting like crazy, not that that has stopped them down through the years. (smile) 

Now, let’s end with this last tidbit on Newton’s conversion. It’s reputed that he found a New Testament and while reading it, Luke 11:13, seemed to assure him that God might still hear him. That verse contains these famous words of Jesus’ teaching on prayer. ‘If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?’ That’s a very good question friends. And obviously John Newton took it to heart, and asked God for the Holy Spirit, and it was given to Him. 

So today, as we give God the glory He so richly deserves, it would be a good idea to sit and ponder how we each came to faith in Christ and thus received the free gift of salvation, through God’s amazing grace. Much LOVE!

Salvation’s source is grace… the means of salvation is faith… ( 

Hear our podcast at         

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2020 Ephesians 2:8.

Ephesians 2:8.     ​For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving).

Come Tuesday – another nice summery day, just like Monday! Oh yes, that would indeed be wonderful my people! That’s why we need to give much thanks to Almighty God for all the blessings He’s continually bestowing on us. As the psalmist so rightly says: ‘This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.‘ (Ps. 118:23-24) 

Wow! What awesome words of wisdom and truth! And don’t forget what our Lord and Saviour Jesus said on the subject. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal and destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Mama Mia! If that isn’t a direct directive (smile) of our Lord’s to enjoy and be thankful for this earthly life, then I don’t know what is nuh! In addition to salvation and eternal life when our frail and fragile bodies wear out and return to the dust from which they came, He also desires us to enjoy and prosper and succeed in this earthly life. Oh, He certainly knows that it will not always be wine and song, because like us, He experienced trials and tribulations too. As the Good Book proclaims: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb. 4:15) 

Yes my brethren, Jesus experienced all the problems that we experience down here on this evil and ungodly earth, but never did you see Him miserable and downcast, regardless of the circumstances He faced. Just look at how brutally they treated Him in His own home town of Nazareth nuh. I like how the website puts it. ‘When Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth, He found a warm welcome at the synagogue—that is, until He preached. The young carpenter claimed to have fulfilled the messianic prophecy He had just read from Isaiah 61:1–2 (Luke 4:16-30). 

The hearers took offense that the local-yokel Jesus would dare to be remarkable. After all, wasn’t He the guy who built their dining tables? The townspeople were so enraged that they took Jesus to the edge of the Nazareth Ridge and wanted to fling Him off into the Jezreel Valley. But He passed through their midst and departed. You think that made for awkward subsequent holiday gatherings?’ 

Yes friends, Jesus always exuded a good attitude, which He also expects His followers to exemplify. No, it’s not easy, and He promised us that it wouldn’t be, but with His help we could make it. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And if we’re finding it difficult of be of good cheer, then we can always go to our understanding and sympathetic High Priest, who will empathize with us and enable us to have good cheer. 

Hear the author of Hebrews on the topic nuh. ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) Brother! Mercy and grace are the two great attributes the Lord uses in our everyday lives. Mercy is not receiving what we ought to, for example punishment for some disobedient act. Many of us know about that from our youth when our parents mercifully did not punish us for some verboten behaviour. 

While grace…ohhh…grace is so marvellous, that there are no words to truly explain it. It’s basically God’s favour; the wonderful things He does for us that we do not deserve. Even salvation is through grace. The Good Book puts it thus: ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving). Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2:8-9) So grace is the basis of our salvation, the unmerited favour of God. 

The scholars offer this acrostic of grace. ‘God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth, for it’s only through the expense of Christ’s life on the cross at Calvary did we receive salvation and the marvellous promise of eternal life! 

And hear this li’l tidbit from the great English Baptist Preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) affectionately known as ‘The Prince of Preachers.’ On the subject of ‘By Grace Ye Are Saved,’ he apparently wrote: ‘It is by the grace of God that ungodly men are preserved from instant death. The sharp axe of justice would soon fell the barren tree if the interceding voice of Jesus did not cry, “Spare him yet a little.” And isn’t that the indisputable truth! Were it not for Jesus, the sharp axe of justice would certainly have fallen on sinful, disobedient, ungodly man long ago. 

And yuh know friends, there’s only ONE real reason for all of that mercy and grace yes; God’s unconditional, irrational, indisputable, undying LOVE for us, His sinful and disobedient creation. Hear the Good Book: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.’ (Eph. 2:4) And Jesus verified it, like only He could. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) And that says it all my precious saints of Christ! 

So for those of us who sincerely believe, and also try to be diligent and excellent followers of Christ, wisely accepting God’s LOVE, grace and mercy, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, boldly and confidently proclaiming to the whole world, who and whose we are! 

All together now, in strong voice with sincere hearts! ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And the natural consequence of that pledge is for us to keep on trusting Jesus and generously share His awesome LOVE with others! Much LOVE!

…without God’s grace and mercy…His LOVE would have been just an ordinary word… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 October 2018 Ephesians 2:8.

Ephesians 2:8.   For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

Another day friends! Another day in the life, as the universe unfurls as our great God planned it! Praise His holy name! We’re alive, be we kicking or not (smile), and that means the Lord still has work for us to do down here on this nonconforming earth. So let’s do it with a good attitude nuh, one that reflects all the values that Jesus taught us. 

And I simply could not resist the pull of this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, this Tuesday morning. It’s called ‘The Lesson of the Windmill.’ So please read with me: ‘Lorraine, Kansas, where I grew up, was known as the City of Windmills. I LOVED having one in our backyard. I was sure that if I climbed to the very top I could touch God! If only I was brave enough to try! 

My brother, two years younger than I, was usually eager to please me, so I begged him until he finally agreed. He stepped on the first rung, the second, the third and fourth. “Im proud of you!” I shouted. Another rung…and another…and almost to the top. Then he looked down – and froze. Our mother heard his screams. When she saw her young son on the ladder, she calmly silenced his screams while I ran for our neighbour. 

In moments Johnnie was rescued. I knew he was angry. “You said if I climbed to the top I could touch God, but I didn’t even see him.” Often God has used this memory of the windmill to remind me that we never reach God by climbing. Again and again we attempt to climb the rung of good works, the rung of prestige and success – until we discover anew that the ONLY way to reach God is by kneeling at the foot of the cross. He waits for us there!’ 

Wow friends! What Truth! Everything we are and ever will be begins and ends at the foot of Jesus’ cross, for that’s where He carried out His greatest and most important work. And if we need to meet Him, that’s the surest place to do it. And what I really want to highlight in the poem is the climbing, the striving behind the world’s treasures and rewards that so many of us supposed believers are still so voluminously (for want of a better word) involved in. 

Oh my people, we can’t serve both God and mammon, or the world’s vision, at the same time. We have to choose one or the other. And obviously serving Almighty God is the one that makes the most sense. Remember what Jesus said on the subject in His famous Sermon on the Mount? ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Yeh friends, if we truly and diligently seek God, He will add all the material things we need. As the scholars say: ‘When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides.’ I like that… so much so that we’ll say it again: ‘Where God guides, He provides.’ 

And that’s the absolute truth! Our God DOESN’T ask us to go somewhere or do something and NOT provide the wherewithal to accomplish it! We need to remember that my brethren. But then again, we can only come to that point, that recognition through the working of our faith in the school of hard knocks. For it’s mostly when we struggle, but also persevere that we truly see God’s faithfulness. 

However, also in answer to our false and misleading attempts to reach God through good works and the world’s system of rewards, hear the basic impossibility of that approach – the scripture promise for the poem above, as well as our Bit – as penned by Bruh Paul to the church at Ephesus. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.’ 

Yes people, works have nothing whatsoever to do with our being saved! It is an undeserved favour, a divine gift of God! And why did God make it thus? Simple, as Bruh Paul elucidates: ‘Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph.2:9) God knew the animal that He’d made, for if anything was up for grabs through our good works, men would be bragging and boasting from here to kingdom come, just like we do under the world system. 

 But instead, He turned it around. ‘For we are his workmanship (new creation) created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.’ (Eph.2:10) So the long and short of the story is that God long ago decided that once we were spiritually saved, morally reborn, then our natural course would be to do good works. 

So please remember, as the scholars explain: ‘That no part of salvation is “of yourselves” or due to what we do – the whole of salvation is the gift of God. Man is saved “by grace” that is by the kindness of God in having Jesus die for our sins. But this grace is appropriated through faith, that is; man believes what God has done for him and relies upon Christ’s atonement to blot out his sins and bring him into a proper relationship with God.’ 

And having written that indelibly in our hearts, minds and souls, we can now go home declaring (yeah! spelled it right!) our Tuesday Mantra. In full voice, with a strong sense of purpose, let’s make known to this sinful world who and whose we truly are.

‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ Now let’s go out and do just that! Much LOVE!

…good works CAN’T get you into heaven…only faith in Jesus CAN…













Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2015 Ephesians 2:8‏‏‏‏‏

Ephesians 2:8.  For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Well hello there all you beautiful people out there in Scrip-Bit Land! Welcome to a terrific Thursday morning on God’s planet Earth! The sun’s shining, the birds are singing and all nature is showing respect to our Creator. So, as God’s most important creation, it is only meet and right that we too should offer a few words of thanks.

Please say with me: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ Yes Friends, we don’t know how long our sojourn will be on this earth, so it is in our best interest to enjoy it as much as possible, and that can only be done successfully if we’re walking under the protective umbrella of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

And all God’s children said ‘Glory Hallelujah! All thanks and praise be to our wonderful God!’

Now hear these words from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s titled ‘Rare Moments of Delight.’ ‘

Because You are God and Your Word is unquestionable There are things I assuredly know Even when my heart is a brambled desert And every ounce of emotion is drained: I know Your LOVE is everlasting I know You will never forsake me Nor will you leave me comfortless I know I may come to you boldly I know you will teach and instruct me

You will guide me with Your eye I know my past is forgiven And my future is secure. But oh, dear God How I praise You for the marvel Of those rare, mysterious moments When suddenly, without a flash or a sound You add to my knowing The ecstasy of feeling And I am lifted to peaks of delight!’

Oh my people, aren’t those beautiful sentiments? They surely are! For when you have your sure knowledge of God enlightened even more by ‘the ecstasy of feeling,’ then you have the ultimate experience of godly life! And that can only work to our benefit.

And the Bible verse associated with that poem are words of Bruh David from Psalm 108 – Israel looks to God for help. ’Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth.’ (Ps.108:5)

And that my Friends, is something we need to work very diligently at having come to pass. For it’s not going to happen on its own, especially in such a godless world as we currently have.

We believers have to make up our minds and then get out there and with patience and perseverance, make sure that our great and wonderful God is exalted over all the earth. That is our bounden duty, so please let’s not abdicate it.

Now let’s turn to our ever uplifting and encouraging Bit of so many previous days. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’

Oh my people, what words of heartwarming and absolute truth! I refuse to even think of what our lives would have been like without that awesome and free gift of grace from our ever-LOVING God! It would not only have been hell on earth, but also hell in hell too! (smile)

And all God’s people cried out with true and heart-felt gratitude: ‘Oh thank You heavenly Father for Your awesome gift of grace that set me free from sin and the damnation of hell, through the sacrificial shedding of the precious blood of your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary!’

Yes my brethren, that is the greatest gift that mankind has ever received! But unfortunately most of mankind has chosen to reject it. What stupidity! Now the unenviable task of making them see sense and reason has been giving to us the comparative handful of believers.

But you know what my people? We shall persevere, and with the Lord’s help, we shall WIN in the end! Please have no doubts about that. For the Lord won’t give us a task to perform that He knows we are unable to complete.

Now let’s look at some scripture passages in this the last message on this Bit about God’s awesome grace. And I hear a lot of ‘Thank the Lord!’ emanating from the supposed true believers. (smile) But seriously Friends, if we truly desire to learn God’s Word, we just can’t expect to deal with a different subject every day.

The Bible is a comprehensive guide to earthly living and to know and follow it, one has to delve deep, get deeply involved in it, not just simply a page, or a topic a day, but oftimes repeating the same page and topic for several days, until we fully understand it.

Now listen to Bruh Paul as he talks to the Galatians about living by faith. ‘Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do (obligated to keep) the whole law.

Christ is become of no effect unto you (You have become estranged from Christ), whosoever of you are justified (attempt to be justified) by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit (eagerly) wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by LOVE.’ (Gal.5:2-6)

And the scholars offer us these explanations on those verses. ‘5:2. If ye be circumcised: Circumcision was the external ritual symbolizing acceptance of the law (v.3). In such a case, one depended on legal works rather than on God’s grace as the means of salvation. Christ, then, shall profit you nothing.’

‘5:4. This verse could be translated: “You will be severed from Christ, if you try to be justified by law; you will forfeit the favour in God’s eyes which Christ won for you.” This does not teach the loss of salvation which one earlier possessed. Rather it means that if the readers truly renounces grace through faith alone as the way of salvation, if they depend on legalism to secure divine favour, then they show that they never really knew God’s grace in the first place.’

‘5:5. Through the Spirit means that by the Holy Spirit’s help, which is obtained by faith, believers wait for the hope of righteousness, that is, live the Christian life awaiting the consummation of their salvation.’

‘5:6. For justifies the importance given faith in verse 5. In Christianity one does not profit spiritually either by being circumcised or uncircumcised. Faith which worketh by LOVE means “faith that is produced by LOVE.” Faith is man’s response to God who LOVES him, and this divine LOVE that produces human faith results in his justification.’

Oh Friends, I do hope that these explanations help us understand God’s Word more fully, for that’s my intention of including them in the Bit. But you have to take them seriously and let them seep into, then steep in your souls, so that you can get the maximum benefit from them.

Now let’s end this series of messages on grace, with a final word from the Rock, Peter. ‘But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.’ (2 Pet.3:18)

Oh my people, I could not have put it any better! So please let’s go out and do what Peter advises nuh, for that’s indeed heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!

…oh what joy it is…to be blessed with the grace of God…there’s absolutely nothing in this world to compare… 

P.S. Yes Friends, it’s long and late, but it is ever so uplifting and encouraging that you can’t help but longingly delve into it. (smile) Much LOVE!






Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2015 Ephesians 2:8‏‏‏‏

Ephesians 2:8.    For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Oh Friends, welcome to a beautiful morning in this part of God’s great universe! And it’s Wednesday morning too, which means that it’s Wailing Time! Yes my people, it’s time to wail our Wednesday Wail. So let’s wail on them nuh, let’s wail down the place. (smile)

As one set of harmonic wailers, let’s wail: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of live is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home.

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’

Ah mih breddren, it’s such a wonderful feeling to be alive, though our world is more than a bit topsy turvy! But when we have the Creator of the universe as our God and heavenly Father, our guide and protector, there’s absolutely nothing to fear! Glory be!

Remember these wonderful inspiring and uplifting words of Bruh David from Psalm 27. ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps.27:1) And the answer to those questions is simply, NOBODY!

But then, just in case the situation does arise, Bruh David faithfully declares: ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.’ (Ps.56:3-4) Strong words of faith my people.

Then dwell on these reassuring words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:28) The death of the body is not the end of life, and the only person with power to destroy both body and soul my Friends is Almighty God!

So He is the ONLY Being we ought to fear. And if we have a personal relationship with Him, then our fear should not be as someone scared, for we can come to Him at any time with confidence and courage, but a respect and reverence for His awesome power and incredible magnanimity.

And that’s shown to full effect by the words of our Bit. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’

Oh my people, my people, I certainly don’t understand how anyone can turn away from such a wonderful Deity, for even a little common sense should tell us that’s where our bread is truly buttered, not with the untrustworthy things and evildoers of the world. Now let’s continue looking at scriptures that deal with the truly wonderful blessing of grace.

And we’ll begin with Bruh Paul’s words to the Galatians, when he explained how he came to be an apostle. ‘But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen (Gentiles); immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood. Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.’ (Gal.1:15-17)

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:15-16. Since Paul’s conversion to Christianity was due to God and not man, and since he did not consult with men subsequent to his conversion, then the apostle could not have received the gospel from any but the Lord. To reveal his Son in (to) me: The divine disclosure to man of the person and work of Christ is the essence of the gospel.’

‘1:17. Following his Damascus road conversion Paul made no trip to Jerusalem, where the apostles were, but spent approximately three years in Arabia. It is implied that he conferred with God there. During these three years he was not taught by men.’

But by the grace of God, Friends! How else could he divine all the heavenly stuff that he divined eh? Our God works in so many different ways that it’s nothing but amazing!

And to Timothy, when exhorting him to endurance, Bruh Paul declares: ‘Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions (share with me in the sufferings) of the gospel according to the power of God;

Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (before time). But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.’ (2 Tim.1:8-10)

And the scholars’ tell us: ‘1:8-10. The testimony of our Lord refers to the gospel Paul preached. Me his prisoner indicates that although Paul is actually a prisoner in a dungeon cell in the city of Rome, he regards himself there in the directive will of God. Hence he is really God’s prisoner, and Rome is merely God’s agent to put him where God wants him.

Who hath saved us refers to the ultimate effect: our salvation. And called us with a holy calling looks at the means by which our salvation was effected. His own purpose and grace…was given us indicates that our salvation was totally unmerited.

Abolished death (“having rendered death ineffective”): By His vicarious death, Christ reversed the curse of sin and brought life (eternal union of the soul with God) and immortality (“incorruption”) which is guaranteed by His resurrection.’

Ah Friends, I know it does seem like a lot of heavy stuff, but we need to understand the Good Book as best we can, so that we can make worthwhile decisions and thus live righteous lives.

Now we’ll end today’s message with these well know words from Hebrews. ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:16)

Now those are definitely words of awesome heavenly wisdom, so please my people, let’s put them into action in our lives today, and every day that we draw the Lord’s breath of life. Much LOVE!

…this earthly Christian life is nothing but grace…God’s free gift of grace…grace upon grace…so that we can have a beautiful eternal relationship with Him…






Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 June 2015 Ephesians 2:8‏‏‏

Ephesians 2:8.  For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Morning Friends and neighbours! Welcome to a rainy Tuesday morning in my area, although the weather office says it’s supposed to be 25 and sunny.

Hn! Hopefully that will happen later in the day, but in the meanwhile let’s enjoy the brilliant light and blessings provided by the Son, Jesus Christ, for we know that regardless of the weather His Son is always shining. Glory to God!

And this morning we are going to start the proceedings with a simple but heartfelt prayer from the Hour of Power Devotional. This one Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) calls ‘I Want to Improve,’ something that I know we all want to do, since it’s an essential part of our ongoing Christian advancement and maturity.

Please pray with me. ‘O God, how thankful I am that you have come into my life through the Holy Spirit. I’m willing to say: “I’m not perfect, Lord! I want to improve. Show me where I can.” So, Father, I sense that a miracle is happening in my life right now. You are doing something beautiful in my heart this very moment. I thank and praise you! Amen.’

And if you sincerely prayed that prayer my people, I’m sure that the Lord is doing exactly that; making the moves necessary, setting the scene that you can improve.

I can’t resist saying it Friends: ‘What a wonderful God we serve and worship!’ If we are obedient to His will, He meets all our needs. How much more than that can we ask eh? Nothing really.

Now let’s turn to our ever intriguing and most heartwarming Bit. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’

And there is no more gospel truth that that Friends, for it is only through God’s LOVING-kindness are we able to avoid eternal separation from Him, and death and damnation with Lucifer.

And all God’s children cried out in sincere gratitude: ‘Oh thank You Lord for sending Jesus to die on the cross for us! Thank You for Your grace and mercy which we don’t deserve, but which You nonetheless bless us with! We praise and glorify Your Holy Name this morning, and pledge to serve You faithfully all the days of our lives! Amen.’

And we had better take all those prayers we’re praying this morning very seriously my brethren, for remember that God doesn’t only listen to the words of our mouth, but even more importantly, checks out the motives of our hearts. So please don’t be found wanting when He checks our motives.

Now let’s hear some scriptures that deal with grace. Oh Friends, there are so many that we can only share a few, and I believe that we might have at least one more day with this Bit. Let’s begin with this declaration of John’s.

‘John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me (ranks higher than I): for he was before me. And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.’ (John 1:15-17)

Words of immortal and everlasting truth my brethren!

And here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘1:15. After me: Jesus came into this world about six months after John (for human chronology, see Luke 1:56-57). He was before me: Jesus existed in eternity, so had precedence over John in authority.’

‘1:16-17. Fullness. (cf. Col.1:19): Here the fullness looks back to verse 14, “full of grace and truth.” Grace for grace means “grace heaped on grace.” Grace is evident in the Old Testament (cf. Gen.6:8; Ex.34:6) but not in the fullness now experienced in Jesus Christ. Grace is God’s unmerited favour toward sinners for their salvation (cf. Eph.2:8-9).’

Oh Friends, can you imagine the sad and sorry state we’d be in if Almighty God, our Creator and Provider had not seen fit to bestow us with His blessings of grace. Mama Mia!

Listen to Bruh Paul explain it to the Roman church nuh: ‘For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely (without any cost) by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (a mercy seat) through faith in his blood, to declare (demonstrate) his righteousness for the remission (passing over) of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.’ (Rom.3:23-25)

Now listen to these important explanations from the scholars. ‘3:23. For all have sinned: The human need and the divine provision are alike applied universally. Come short of the glory of God: Man can exceed his own standards but never, left to himself, can he attain to God’s standard of righteousness.’

‘3:24. Being justified (Gr. dikaioumenoi) indicates being declared righteous. It signifies the believer’s judicial standing before God. Freely: There is no just cause in man to warrant justification. By his grace: Unmerited favour is bestowed through the redemption (release on payment of ransom). Christ’s death is the ransom. The sinner is released on the basis of the ransom having been paid.’

‘3:25. Through faith: Christ’s death satisfies the Father’s righteous demands. Its benefits are appropriated only through faith in His finished work. In his blood: The emphasis is not on the blood as it coursed through Christ’s veins, but as it was shed for our sins. This is how the propitiation was accomplished.’

Ah mih breddren, I do hope that those explanations of the scholars helped us achieve a better understanding of God’s grace and all that it stands for, because it is ever so necessary if we truly want to live a God-filled and righteous life.

And we’ll end there for today. I know there’s a lot of heavy stuff involved and I surely don’t want to burden us with too much stuff to read, mark and inwardly digest at once. (smile)

Now may the Lord go with us and grant us His peace, mercy, grace, compassion, wisdom and understanding, as we go out to do His work today. Much LOVE!

…who but our great and wonderful God…would heap grace and more grace…on undeserving sinners eh…



Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 June 2015 Ephesians 2:8‏‏

Ephesians 2:8.  For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Oh Friends, unfortunately the two big days off for the weekend are now over… And I hear a loud ‘Steups!’ in response. (smile)

That means today is Monday…yes Monday, and we need to get ourselves up and out to labour for another week, so that we can earn some money, often a pittance, to try and lead a half-decent life.

We all know it’s not the ideal scenario, but it’s what we have, so let’s just get over ourselves, stop the pity parties, the whining and complaining and rise to the occasion as Jesus desires of us. And remember that if you abuse the weekend, you won’t be fit for anything come Monday morning. So enough with the sermon, (smile) instead let’s belt our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with a whole lot of vim and vigour.

All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’

Oh chuh people! That was a rather hoarse, half-hearted and off-key rendition! Jesus wasn’t thrilled at all. You could see Him shaking His head all through it, while His face bore an unhappy, puzzled ‘what else can I do eh?’ expression.

Anyway Friends, it’s too late to worry about that now. Hopefully though, just singing it boosted our adrenalin output and put a li’l pep in our step, enabling us to go out and do a good job in Jesus’ name.

We also need to remember quite clearly from whence all our blessings flow; from Almighty God. And one of the biggest blessings, if not the biggest, ever to befall mankind is enshrined in our Bit. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’

Mama Mia! I can’t help but say it Friends – what a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve and worship! And there should be NO DOUBT whatsoever about that, just judging from the fact that He gave His only begotten Son as a sacrifice for our disgusting sins. Has any of the other supposed gods ever done anything like that? Obviously not, because they are all dead, inanimate, ephemeral objects. But the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the ONE AND ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD!

And all God’s people shouted a loud and lusty: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Yes Friends, our God is a true living and breathing Being, who sees and knows all that goes on in our world.

Now let’s turn to some provocative scriptures that deal with grace. And one of the most famous ones occurs when Bruh Paul asks the Lord three times to take away ‘the thorn in his flesh.’ But the Lord’s response is certainly interesting. ‘And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’ (2 Cor.12:9)

Yes my people, in our weaknesses God’s power is demonstrated, for when we are unable to bear up in our own strength, God’s grace pulls us through. Please remember that in times of weakness and frailty. He doesn’t always solve our problems, but He ALWAYS gives us the wherewithal, the grace to handle them in our weakness.

Now hear what Bruh Paul says later on to the Ephesians, re the new life in Christ. ‘Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.’ (Eph.4:29)

Ah mih people, are we following those wise words of advice? I certainly hope so, because it is imperative that our words lift up, benefit those who hear them. We can’t expect others to come to Jesus if our words are negative and self-serving.

Then to the Colossians, he says: ‘Walk in wisdom toward them that are without (outside), redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.’ (Col.4:5-6)

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ‘4:5. Paul turns from his responsibilities for evangelism (v.3-4) to the Colossians’ evangelistic duties (v.5-6). They are to walk in wisdom or “live wisely” in their relations toward them that are without, that is, unbelievers. Redeeming the time is to make the most of every opportunity. They are to seize every opportunity to display wise behaviour toward the unsaved and to use it as a chance for witnessing.’

And yuh know what Friends? Those same sentiments apply to us in these worrisome and difficult times.

‘4:6. An example of wise conduct (v.5) is daily speech that is gracious (with grace) in nature. Such speech is to be seasoned with salt, that is, characterized by the wisdom of verse 5. Gracious, wise conversation will enable the Colossians to know how to answer every man when speaking to him about the gospel.’

That also applies to us today my brethren! 

And we’ll end with Bruh Paul’s words to the Thessalonians. ‘Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath LOVED us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish (establish) you in every good word and work.’ (2 Thess.2:16-17) 

Oh Friends, I wish those exact sentiments upon us all today, as we go out into the crazy world to live and work for Jesus. Much LOVE!

…grace…the totally unmerited favour of God…given to totally undeserving men…a true and wonderful testimony…of God’s great LOVE for us…





Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 June 2015 Ephesians 2:8‏

Ephesians 2:8.    For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Well Friends, it’s Sunday. What are your plans for this first day of the week? Whatever they are, I hope it includes going to the Lord’s sanctuary to praise and worship Him with other believers, for that’s the Lord’s will for us.

And it doesn’t matter whether the sanctuary is a large church, a small hovel, or as our service will be today, outside under a large spreading tree, next to a river in a Provincial Park, surrounded by the beauty of nature. That’s all dependent on the weather though, because some rain has been forecasted for sometime during the night.

So Friends, it doesn’t really matter where, or how many people are there to worship. What did Jesus say on the subject? ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name; there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20) And that’s the gospel truth my brethren, for Jesus is ever-faithful, He keeps ALL His promises. So getting together and fellowshipping with other believers is our number ONE PRIORITY for today. Please, let’s make sure we fulfill it.

Now let’s get right into our Bit, because we have a lot of scripture and scholars’ explanations to get through today. (smile) ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’

Yes my people, it is only because of God’s great LOVE for us that we’re not heading to hell and damnation, but to salvation and eternal life in heaven.  Let’s make sure we understand very clearly; salvation and eternal life with Christ has nothing to do with our personal efforts, because there is nothing we can ever do to deserve salvation. It’s all about God granting us His free gift of grace.

And now that we’ve understood that, let’s check out some scriptures on the intricate and intriguing attribute of grace. (smile) And we’ll start with Bruh Paul’s words which lead up to our Bit. He’s trying to explain to the Ephesians the attributes of faith and grace.

‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved;) And hath raised us together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. That in ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through (in) Christ Jesus.’ (Eph.2:4-7) What a magnificent God we serve and worship my brethren!

Now hear these explanations from the scholars. ‘2:4-6. But begins to disclose God’s response to man’s sin of verses 1-3. This divine response is expressed in three main verbs: (1) God…hath quickened us. Because they were morally dead in sins, the Lord gave them spiritual life; (2) and hath raised us up together, that is, God has not allowed these Christians to remain in the grave of their old life with its sinful ways and habits, but He brought them into a new life and demonstration of it; and (3) God made us sit together in heavenly places, that is, He has brought us into His presence and into an intimate relationship with Himself.’

‘2:7. That…he might show (or, demonstrate): This denotes the ultimate purpose for all that God did for the Ephesians in verses 4-6. It is that throughout eternity He might make us understand more and more His goodness to us.’

Ah mih people, that’s some relatively heavy stuff, but we need to take our time and read, mark and inwardly digest it, because it’s all for our benefit.

And we’ll turn now to Romans 6, where Bruh Paul is talking about freedom from sin’s power. He opens the chapter thus: ‘What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid (certainly not). How shall we that are dead (who died) to sin, live any longer therein?’ (Rom.6:1-2)

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘6:1. Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? If sin generates grace, should we encourage sin in order to cause more grace to be granted?’

‘6:2. God forbid (Gr. me genoito): Perish the thought; may it never be; don’t even think that way. This expression of unthinkable horror occurs in Paul’s epistles more than 60 times. He uses it whenever the thought suggested is too repugnant to entertain. Sin is singular in this verse and throughout this chapter. It refers to the sin nature.’

Now later on in the same chapter, where He’s trying to make them understand that Christians are under grace, the Spirit’s law, he declares. ‘For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the (religious) law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid (certainly not). Know ye not that to whom ye yield (present) yourselves servants to obey, his servants (slaves) ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

But God be thanked, that (though) ye were the servants (slaves) of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered (entrusted to) you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.’ (Rom.6:14-18)

Some more heavy stuff Friends, but it’s time we stop drinking only milk and eat some solid food. (smile)

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘6:15. Shall we sin? Paul now asks a slightly different question than he did previously. In 6:1 he sought to correct any misunderstanding as to the relationship of the believer to grace. Now he wishes to correct any misunderstanding that might arise as to the believer’s relation to the law. Neither the submission to the former, nor release from the latter, is to be construed as an encouragement to sin.’  

I hope we all got that my people? Neither submission to grace or release from the law is to be construed as encouragement to sin! Right ho!

‘6:17. That form of doctrine (lit. “pattern of teaching”) which resulted in their conversion. Doctrine profoundly affects one’s life. The life tells the type of doctrine that has shaped it.’

‘6:18. The believer is not free to do whatever he wants. He is free only to do that which is consistent with the character of God. True freedom is freedom from sin.’

And please remember that my Friends. Now let’s seriously ponder the grace-filled stuff that we’ve read today, then try to put it into action with God’s help nuh, so that we can attain to godly wisdom. Much LOVE!

…only by believing in Jesus…and walking sincerely and consistently with His Spirit…can one be freed from sin…




Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 June 2015 Ephesians 2:8

Ephesians 2:8.    For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Aye Friends, in some parts of our world night is swiftly falling, while in others, day is slowly dawning, but be it known that the controlling factor in both circumstances is the hand of Almighty God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!

So while some on the other side of the world are praying, asking for a restful and refreshing night of sleep, we on this side of the pond are giving thanks for being able to see the Son’s glorious light for another wonderful day.

And we’re also asking for strength, guidance and wisdom to do God’s Will as we go about our day, hopefully doing good like our Lord and Saviour Jesus did while He sojourned here on earth. Later on tonight, the situations will be reversed, but in His absolute wisdom, that’s just the way God planned it.

Now this past week on In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley, I heard a male quartet open the proceedings with a beautiful spiritual song that touched my heart mightily. (smile) Some of you who watch Uncle Charles might have also heard it. I don’t remember the verses of the song, but the chorus was so memorable that it stuck in my mind.

Please sing it with me. ‘Saved by grace. I have been saved by grace. My name’s written in the Book of Life. And my sins are washed away. Saved by grace. I have been saved by grace. It’s not what I deserve. But I have been saved by grace.’

One more time people, so that the truth of those statements can sink right down deep into our souls. ‘Saved by grace. I have been saved by grace. My name’s written in the Book of Life. And my sins are washed away. Saved by grace. I have been saved by grace. It’s not what I deserve. But I have been saved by grace.’

Yes Friends, it’s by God’s free gift of grace that we are saved, not by anything else! And yuh know what too? We absolutely don’t deserve it. But nonetheless, we have been saved by God’s grace.

‘And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Give the Lord much thanks and praise for His great LOVE and concern for us!’

Yuh better believe that too yes Friends, for without God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness we’d all be heading for Hades with Lucifer, with no chance for, or of redemption.  Glory be for such a wonderful Deity!

Now let’s check out our Bit and delve a little more into the ramifications of the whole situation. (smile) ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’ That’s Bruh Paul telling it to the Ephesians plain and clear!

And the scholars offer this explanation re the Grace of God. ‘2:8. The grace of God is the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving. Grace means unmerited favour, and can be expressed by the acrostic “God’s riches At Christ’s Expense.” This grace is the basis of our salvation (1:7; 2:8).

Illustration: In salvation, men who deserve hell obtain heaven. This cannot be explained apart from God’s grace. When Paul (Saul) met the Lord on the Damascus Road, Paul was a persecutor of the church. Yet God made him one of the church’s chief preachers. Application: We need to remember that we are saved, given the Holy Spirit, and allowed to serve God – by His grace. (First Ref. Gen.6:8; Primary Ref. Eph.2:8; cf. Ps.139:1).’

Yes my brethren, the whole shebang has nothing to do with us, but all with God. As Bruh Paul continues after our Bit. ‘Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.’ (Eph.2:9-10)

Now listen to the scholars’ explanation of those two verses. ‘2:9. The reason, in part, that salvation is not achieved by good works is to prevent men from bragging of having earned a place in heaven by themselves.’ ‘2:10. For verifies the assertion of man’s good works having no part in obtaining salvation.

Workmanship refers not our original or physical birth, but our spiritual birth: what we are spiritually in the good sense is due to God, not ourselves. Created in Christ Jesus unto good works means “having been (morally) re-created by Christ Jesus for good works”; that is, Jesus remade our spiritual lives so that we could then do good works.

The apostle’s thinking is this: since the Christian has been given spiritual life for the purpose of doing good works, there could have been no good works by him prior to conversion that would merit salvation. Good works follow – do not precede – salvation.’  

And there we have it my people, some basic facts about that most wonderful attribute of God, called grace! Unfortunately though, not a whole lot of us seem to appreciate it, because we don’t hold God in high esteem. Many of us refuse to even believe that there is a God. I’m sorry for that poor lot, but there’s not a whole lot that we can do except tell them about Christ and live the way He wants us to live. Hopefully our Christ-like example will make a bigger difference than our talking. 

And we’ll end with these moving words of John. ‘He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power (the right) to become the sons (children) of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’ (John 1:10-14)

Oh Friends, that puts it all into a nutshell, so that we can see it at one glance. Please ponder all that we’ve said to day, so that we can improve our faith, our Bible knowledge and our righteousness as befitting true believers. Much LOVE!

…but Noah found grace…in the eyes of the Lord…  (Gen.6:8)