“Here’s to My Yesterday.”

My daughter introduced me to a song, Yesterday by Imagine Dragons.  We’re Reformed, which means we’re all about Christian Liberty, so we don’t listen to strictly Christian music.  I tell you that so you’re aware, this isn’t a Christian band I am not necessarily endorsing the group.  However, the song is catchy and good to listen to while you’re cleaning your house.

The chorus goes like this:
Here’s to my future
Here’s to my yesterday
Here’s to change
Oh, here’s to my yesterday
No tomorrow without a yesterday…

I wrote a post on the importance of reflection.  Since then, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting.  I’ve thought about the past year, the past month, and even into my past.  You can read about my trepidation and struggle in thinking about my testimony here and here.

The Bible is full of remembering.  Whenever God did something amazing, He instructed His people to look back at their history together.  A few examples:

Exodus 12:26-27

“And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshiped  (NIV).”

Joshua 4:5b-7

“Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever (NIV).”

Exodus 13:8

“On that day tell your son, ‘I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt (NIV).”

Exodus 13:14

“And in the future, your children will ask you, ‘What does all this mean?’ Then you will tell them, ‘With the power of his mighty hand, the LORD brought us out of Egypt, the place of our slavery (NLT).”

Deuteronomy 6:20-25

“In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?” tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.  Before our eyes the Lord sent signs and wonders—great and terrible—on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.  And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness (NIV).”

Exodus 20:8

“Remember the Sabbath…(NIV).”

1 Chronicles 16:12

“Remember the wonders he has done…(NIV).”

Psalm 78:1-7

“My people,

My people, hear my teaching;

listen to the words of my mouth.

I will open my mouth with a parable;

I will utter hidden things, things from of old—

things we have heard and known,

things our ancestors have told us.

We will not hide them from their descendants;

we will tell the next generation

the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,

his power, and the wonders he has done.

He decreed statutes for Jacob

and established the law in Israel,

which he commanded our ancestors

to teach their children,

so the next generation would know them,

even the children yet to be born,

and they in turn would tell their children.

Then they would put their trust in God

and would not forget his deeds

but would keep his commands.

hear my teaching;

listen to the words of my mouth.

and would not forget his deeds

but would keep his commands (NIV).”

Psalm 22:27

“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him(NIV).”

Psalm 63:6

“On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night (NIV).”

1 Chronicles 16:12

Remember the wonders…(NIV).

Isaiah 46:9

“Remember the former things…(NIV).

Deuteronomy 7:18

“Do not be afraid of them.  Remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharoah…(NIV).

Ephesians 2:12

remember that at that time you were separate from Christ…(NIV).”

2 Timothy 2:8

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel (NIV).”

Hebrews 10:32

Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering (NIV).”

Hebrews 13:7

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith (NIV).”

John 15:20

“Remember the words I spoke to you… (NIV).”

Luke 22:19

“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me (NIV).”

What was the purpose in all this remembering?

Remembering what God has done in the past bolsters faith.  When we remember and recount, the events roll off our tongues easier.  We recall God’s goodness, faithfulness, and protection.  Best of all, we relay all of that to the next generation.

I wrote in my book, Release, ”

Your story can help people see Jesus and come to a saving knowledge of Him more than any sermon or door to door evangelist.  If you can trust God long enough to get the words out, He can accomplish great things for His kingdom.  Susan Gaddis says, “The spiritual battles you face aren’t always about you; often they are about others who will become a part of your spiritual legacy.”   Release your story so that the next generation will be able to recount God’s faithfulness.  Release your story so it can teach, convert and return people to the Lord. Release your story so that your spiritual legacy will increase and others will turn and seek God’s face.  You story isn’t about you.

Who I am tomorrow is based on who I was yesterday.  While tomorrow I may not be the same person I was yesterday, Lord willing, I can’t be who I am without remembering who I was.  God designed every situation and circumstance so that I would remember Him and what He has done.

Here’s to my yesterday
No tomorrow without a yesterday…

That’s a song about not having regrets.  I think our society could use a little sorrow over the sins of the people, but I agree with not living in guilt and shame.  Not to brag about our past for our own sakes, but to boast in what the Lord has done.  He is in the business of redemption.  He redeems the slaves to sin and shame.

He’s a masterful Artist who paints over the ugliness of our canvas and makes something new.  We are new creations.  We have a new purpose and a new Master.

He’s a skilled Potter.   While He creates something new inside us, He also uses our past to shape and mold us.

Our job is to remember the past.  Remember what Christ did on the cross.  Remember how far we’ve come by God’s grace.  Remember the mighty acts the Lord has done on our behalf.  We can’t live in the tomorrow without acknowledging God’s sovereignty and action in our past on our behalf.

I’m still struggling with fully embracing my past, but I can’t have a tomorrow – I can’t impact my kids and my grandkids without the acknowledgment of my “yesterday.”

Remember and believe.

Remember and believe.

Remember and believe.

Remember and have faith.

Remember and trust God.

Remember and live forward.

Here’s to my yesterday
No tomorrow without a yesterday…

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