Chapter 1. Yesterday...Today... & Tomorrow

In 1965, a young man awakened from his sleep with a melody buzzing in his head like no other he had before. Immediately he headed to his piano and played the entire song that he had in his mind. It was all there. Work still had to be done on the lyrics. The first working title he gave to the song was the title, Scrambled Eggs, but later he changed his mind and renamed the song and also changed the words.

He finally recorded the song playing a simple acoustic guitar by himself and was backed up by a string-quartet, sending shock waves through the music world because this was new and different. This one little song touched the world like no other and continues to do so today because of the message of the song. The song touches people in a special way.

In fact, this song this young man wrote has become the most recorded song for all time with over 4000 different versions of the song that has been sung by the most famous vocalists in the world. Millions upon millions of people have purchased this song and listened to it in its various arrangements, and many know the words.

So what did this man write about that has connected with the world for over a half a century? Here are the opening words which reveal his hurt, sorrow, trouble, vulnerability, and the concern over the swiftness of his life.

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away,

Now it looks as though they’re here to stay,

Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be,

There’s a shadow hanging over me.

Oh, yesterday came suddenly.

Paul McCartney expressed his heart’s desire to turn back the clock to better times in the past. Unfortunately, it is a clock that cannot be turned. Ironically, he wrote this when he was at the mountain top of his career. He was wealthy, popular, and famous, yet, he was empty. Paul believed in yesterday because a shadow hovered over him. That is where he focused his mind at that time in his life.

As Christians, however, we look in a different direction. We look forward to the future. We face trouble and we have a shadow over us, too. It is the shadow of death, but our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ gives us peace, security, confidence, calm, and hope because of our wonderful Savior that has our future in HIS hands. Hallelujah!

Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." We look forward to our heavenly home and being with our Savior for the rest of eternity. It is that hope that gives us joy and strength to face the trials of life every day.

Most people don’t have this hope because they don’t know Jesus Christ. So they tend to focus on the good memories of yesterday. When you look through the Bible, you will find that God has a great deal to teach us about Yesterday, about Today, and about Tomorrow.

The lessons of each time period are like gleaming gems encased in a golden chest. They are treasures to be valued, prized, and guarded in our hearts. So lets begin this five part message by looking at the truths about “Yesterday.”

I. Truths About Yesterday

Some Thoughts about Yesterday

Jesus Christ is the One who enables us to cope with yesterday, today, and tomorrow! Let’s note some important insights about “yesterday” and apply these principles in our lives.

A. The Pinch and Pressure from Yesterday

Genesis 19:34-And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

The oldest daughter of Lot got her father drunk and had sex with him in order to get pregnant. The next day, she commanded her sister to do the same thing, “Go thou in and lie with him!” That statement is an imperative command in the Hebrew language.

Deeds that have been done yesterday can pinch and pressure us today. People may try to influence and pressure you to do something they did in order to make themselves feel better or they may pressure you to test or to prove yourself to them.

Listen carefully, do not obligate or follow the wickedness of an evil crowd. If you think you got problems now, you will have greater problems and pressure tomorrow and in the days ahead.

Exodus 23:2a-Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil...

Proverbs 4:14-15.... Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. [15] Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

Notice another verse.

Exodus 5:14-And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore?

Here we find that yesterday’s responsibilities surface today in our lives. Getting behind yesterday, creates urgency and stress today. Let me say right here that if you get behind in the matter of trusting Jesus Christ as your Savior, and if you die without the Lord, you will have stress and urgency in your life like you have never seen before, but it will be too late for you. You will spend eternity in Hell and never get out. Don’t let the pressure and pinch of yesterday afflict you for eternity.

B. The Performance or Pattern from Yesterday

When you change your behavior from yesterday’s past, you create curiosity or even alarm in people’s minds. They wonder, “Why the change? What is going on? What are you doing?” You will also find that your performance or behavior from yesterday creates expectation of the same, or better performance today, especially if it was good.

Good work or behavior from yesterday creates a standard that people expect to be fulfilled today. Notice these verses.

Genesis 31:1-3....And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory. [2] And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before. [3] And the Lord said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.

Jacob was working for Laban and made agreements with him about his labor. Each time the agreement was changed, Jacob always prospered and Laban failed. Hearing the griping of Laban’s sons and seeing that Laban’s attitude was stern and unfriendly, he knew something was wrong. There was a change in behavior. God told Jacob it was time to go. Now notice Exodus 5:14.

Exodus 5:14-And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore?

The Egyptians expected the quota to be met for the bricks. When the standard was not fulfilled, then punishment ensued. Now take a look at 1 Samuel 20.

1 Samuel 20:27-And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David's place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day?

The absence of David was not in the norm. His past attendance created curiosity when he did not show up for meals. All these verses bring us to some questions.

Realize this truth that if you profess to be a Christian, people expect you to behave that way based on the truths of the Bible and the actions of other godly Christians.

C. The Promptness of Yesterday

Job 8:9-(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:)

Psalm 90:4-For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

Your life passes quickly like yesterday that has come and gone. It is swift like dark shadows that journey through the day only to vanish into the shadows of the night. David said that in the eyes of the Lord, one thousand years are swift like yesterday that has quickly passed. How true it is.

We look at our yesterdays that have come and gone. For many of you, your children that ran through the house, played games, laughed, giggled, and cried are gone now. The rooms are empty. The halls are silent even though you can hear the voices fresh in your mind.

Like the smoke of a candle that has just been extinguished, the realities of yesterday are still fresh. The chairs at the dinner table are vacant, leaving your heart empty, wondering how quickly yesterday has passed. In fact, yesterday is like the water that flows through your fingers from a spigot of a well. You try to catch what you can, but there is a great deal that you lose and cannot hold in your hands.

Beloved, this day today will be your yesterday tomorrow. Make this day count for the Lord. Enjoy it. Thank God for it. It is flying! Take advantage of the opportunities that God has given to you, just like little Edith Fuller.

Edith is a shy five-year old girl, but she is the youngest child to be a regional spelling bee champion, beating out kids that were fifteen years old. In early March, 2017, she won the regional competition in Tulsa, Oklahoma beating fifty other kids. She now heads to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. When she won the regional contest her words were, “I am thankful.” We should be thankful, too.

D. The Point of Change in Our Yesterdays

There are events in your yesterdays that continue to affect your life this very day. There are choices or decisions you have made in your yesterdays that impact you now. They are memory-markers of life-changing events.

Samson ruined his life and lost his strength when he yielded his purity and secrets to Delilah. Moses scarred his life when he wanted so bad to do good and deliver his people. Acts 7:28 says, “Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday?”

Your transformational memory may also be the moment when God delivered you of something that was destroying you or when the Lord turned your life around for the better.

For the son of a nobleman whose son was on the verge of death, it was the intervention of Jesus Christ at a certain moment that impacted his son.

John 4:47-53....When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death [49] The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. [50] Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. [51] And as he was now going down, his servants

met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. [52] Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. [53] So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.

Thank God the Christian can live in victory today because of the transformation of Jesus Christ in his life. Paul said that at that moment, you became a new person.