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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Portrait 5: Arms Outstretched

Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His
Name, He gave the right to become children of God.
John 1:12

I paint for you today a simple word portrait. It is a painting of the risen Lord Jesus. He stands robed in white with His arms outstretched.

As you gaze upon Jesus you are drawn to Him. You realize you are drawn not by His outward beauty (Isa 53:2), but instead by His penetrating eyes. You become aware that Jesus sees into your soul. He knows your thoughts and your motives. He knows your plans and desires. As you behold Jesus in His holiness, suddenly the mask you wear before others is removed, and your sin is revealed.

You start to turn away, but something stops you. His eyes, though penetrating, are inviting.  He knows everything about you, yet He draws you to Himself. You realize His outstretched arms are waiting for you. He longs for you to come to Him in belief and surrender your life to Him. He longs to be your Savior and Lord and to hold you securely forever.

There is no one in this portrait except Jesus Christ. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). There is no list of rules or regulations. Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved (Acts 16:31).

Perhaps you follow a religion of oppressive rules that are impossible to keep. Perhaps you live daily with a sense of condemnation. Are you tired of the struggle? Jesus can set you free.

Perhaps you view religion as a crutch needed only by the weak. Tell me friend, how do you explain that void in your life that cannot be filled by anything in this world? Yes, you may find temporary satisfaction, but inevitably the emptiness returns. You were created to know and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. Only He can fill that void.

Lord, today I pray for those who read this and do not know You personally as Savior, that this would be the day they would look upon you, Jesus, and believe. Amen.

Jan Burkhart

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