164. The Challenge of a Firstborn Son
For C.E., who bravely follows the Grizzley Youth Academy path of second chances.
God the Father had a Firstborn,
Who, alone, would know no sin.
Father raised our Eldest Brother,
That we might have faith in Him.
We can trust our Heavenly Parent,
With His Firstborn as our guide. (1)
And though we cannot recall it,
We once learned at Jesus’ side.
Firstborn Son of Heavenly Father,
Bless all children of this earth.
You have shown the way before them,
Your death lets them seek rebirth. (2)
Help them live to honor Father,
That they grow through Thy great care.
May the Spirit's holy fire,
Witness You are always there. (3)
In this day of sin and madness,
Firstborn sons may feel alone.
As temptations roil around them, (4)
They can stray from our road Home.
They are challenged in their labors,
They are tested by their days.
They will question, they will stumble,
They will struggle for Christ’s Way.
Firstborn sons of mortal parents,
Seek the Firstborn of the earth.
By His servants, Father bids you,
To recall His Firstborn's birth.
Every mortal needs the Savior,
Only Christ lived free from sin. (5)
But He offers us His mercy,
If we dare have faith in Him. (6)
Father gives all “second chances”,
Jesus saves all who will strive, (7)
To correct our mortal failings,
And remake our faulty lives. (8)
From the smithy’s sternest fires,
There will come the strongest steel.
Friends and family will support you,
As you strive to grow and heal.
Firstborn sons, your Savior calls you,
To begin your life anew. (9)
Present pains, in time, will vanish,
And produce, a “better you”--
Stronger, smarter, filled with honor,
Every former error o’er come.
You will know all Heaven’s blessings, (10)
Reborn by God’s Firstborn Son. (11)
(1) “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:11 (KJV)
(2) “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4 (KJV)
(3) “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.” Joh 15:26 (KJV)
(4) “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)
(5) “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” 1 John 3 (KJV)
(6) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)
(7) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (KJV)
(8) “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins…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 together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” Ephesians 2: 1, 4-8 (KJV)
(10) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” Ephesians 1:3 (KJV)
(11) “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Hebrews 10:17 (KJV)
*Written by a family friend, who walks his own path of second chances “with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12), trusting, alone, in the merits of his Elder Brother and Savior, Jesus Christ. Commercial rights reserved in © servingjesuspoetry.com.
Motivation and "Backstory"
C.E. is the son of a brother the author visits in his capacity of a Ministering Elder. This son, the eldest of three, had performed poorly in high school, and was threatened with a doubtful future. In San Luis Obispo, the California National Guard conducts an intensive "on site" program* of rigorous educational instruction and intense personal fitness.
The program is offered without charge to qualifying youth. If completed, the students receive 60 units of credit in all basic subjects. This would serve to replace wasted years and poor study habits. Of perhaps greater worth is the physical training and emotional guidance the students receive. Immersed in a multi-month "boot camp", based upon the model of rigor and dedication of military boot camps, the students find strength and self-control.
When the author learned of C.E. admission to this program he inquired of the Lord if there was some poetic message he could give to both the young man and his family. This poem was the result. The focus of the poem is that enduring, supernal, strength comes from Jesus Christ, our Eldest Brother and Savior. Trusting in Him and following His gospel, we can all rise above our sins and errors and become "new creatures": i Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
The author believes in Christ, and in C.E,'s fierce desire to improve and achieve "the measure of his creation" (Doctrine and Covenants 88:19). Again, if anything here is "virtuous, lovely or of good report", praise God. Every day and every night the author adds his personal prayers for this young man with those of his family and friends. They do not pray in vain.
From their website:
Build Leadership, Self-Esteem and Academic Skills.The mission of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program is to intervene in and reclaim the lives of 16-18 year old students at risk of dropping out. Graduates leave the program with the values, life skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to succeed as productive citizens.
Grizzly Youth Academy (GYA) is a partnership between the California National Guard and the Grizzly Challenge Charter School. For youth between the ages of 16 and 18 who have dropped out of high school, or are at-risk of dropping out, we offer a highly-structured environment that promotes leadership, cooperation, and academic skills, while building self-esteem, pride, and confidence