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“Lord of all” really means all

January 23, 2024
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Daily Scripture

Psalm 136:1-3, Acts 10:34-36, Romans 10:9-13

Psalm 136
1 Give thanks to the LORD because he is good.
    God’s faithful love lasts forever!
2 Give thanks to the God of all gods—
    God’s faithful love lasts forever.
3 Give thanks to the LORD of all lords—
    God’s faithful love lasts forever.

Acts 10
34 Peter said, “I really am learning that God doesn’t show partiality to one group of people over another. 35 Rather, in every nation, whoever worships him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 This is the message of peace he sent to the Israelites by proclaiming the good news through Jesus Christ: He is Lord of all!

Romans 10
9 Because if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and in your heart you have faith that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 Trusting with the heart leads to righteousness, and confessing with the mouth leads to salvation. 11 The scripture says, All who have faith in him won’t be put to shame [Isaiah 28:16]. 12 There is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord is Lord of all, who gives richly to all who call on him. 13 All who call on the Lord’s name will be saved [Joel 2:32].

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Saying God is Lord of all means He is the ultimate ruler, the one with no equal. His love extends beyond all earthly boundaries, embracing every nation and people, regardless of their background. In Acts 10, Peter declared that truth to a room full of Roman soldiers, trained to enforce belief that the Roman Emperor was “Lord.” But Christians boldly confessed Jesus as Lord, embracing the hope He offered that transcends earthly distinctions and promises salvation to all who call upon His name.

  • In Acts 10, Peter said God “doesn’t show partiality,” that “whoever worships him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” How do you believe God’s universal love and acceptance are essential to his position as the ultimate ruler of everything? How could God’s lordship possibly be a good thing unless God could relate to and accept humanity across different cultures and backgrounds?
  • If God’s love and grace extend to all, regardless of background or belief, as today’s readings say, how should this influence your interactions and relationships? The passage from Romans 10 spoke of God’s impartiality and his desire to save all people. How does this fit with the reality of suffering and injustice in the world? Does God distribute blessings in seemingly unequal ways (see Matthew 5:45), or do flawed human systems and attitudes produce the inequalities?
Prayer

God, I humbly come before you, recognizing that You are the Lord of all creation, my supreme ruler. Your boundless love knows no borders, reaching every corner of the world and embracing people of every nation. Amen.

GPS Insights

Brandon Gregory

Brandon Gregory

Brandon Gregory is a volunteer for the worship and missions teams at Church of the Resurrection. He helps lead worship at Leawood's modern worship services, as well as at the West and Downtown services, and is involved with the Malawi missions team at home.

After college, I had a brief stint as an online community manager for a large international missions agency. There were a lot of great conversations about missions, worship, and general theology. Someone eventually joined not just to converse with us, but to convert us to his beliefs. He wrote essays about his personal stance on theological issues, including why you couldn’t truly be a Christian unless you made the choice as an adult to be baptized. His posts were divisive and not really productive, serving mostly to pull people out of the conversations we were having relating to the missions agency. We tried to handle the situation diplomatically by talking to him about keeping the discussions more focused on missions and worship, but he insisted that we couldn’t talk about those things unless our theology was correct. In the end, there was no agreement that could be made and we had to ask him to leave.

At the time, I was shocked by that guy’s hardline stance on theological issues while arguably being wrong about many of the things he talked about. I’m not a trained theologian by any means, but I was pretty sure that having such fierce arguments over who was really a Christian was wrong. What shocked me most, though, was his inability to engage in community while disagreements existed. But I would never do something like that, right? I was much more enlightened than him, I would never engage in such tomfoolery.

I grew up in the deep South in the ’90s, and there were a few things I grew up believing that absolutely ended up being wrong. I grew up learning that people from the opposing political party were anti-Christian, and that numerous other groups were acting in direct opposition to “us.” Most notably, I grew up with a lot of false and harmful notions about gay and trans people. I never considered what I believed to be hate—I thought I was giving these people the tough love that they needed. But even without actively hating people, I passively hated and allowed hate and injustice to exist.

In my writing for the GPS, I tell a lot of stories about other people doing the wrong things and me convincing them to do the right things. I want to be clear in my stance here: I was wrong about many things in my youth, and not loving gay and trans people, who had already been rejected by many Christians, was very wrong. I was so wrapped up in thinking of myself as a loving person that I mislabeled my apathy and inaction as love. When I write these posts, I talk about doing the right thing not because I’m some enlightened saint who has always believed everything that I preach, but because I learned many of the things I know through failure.

Being loving can often mean admitting that you were wrong in the past, not just about personal mistakes, but also about positions on major issues—and people. The point is not to wallow in guilt and make these issues about us; the point is to do better and keep the focus of the love on the people who need it. We all want the church to be a place where everyone is truly welcome, but we’re never going to get there if we spend all our time thinking about how everyone else is missing that mark. We also, each of us, have to change to be more accepting. That can be hard, but for the people who have been excluded from our community, it’s vital.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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