Always Remember and Never Forget
Today, as we remember the pain and loss of 9/11, we often hear the expressions: “We’ll always remember” and “We’ll never forget.” But will we?
Do we remember the 9 million soldiers who lost their lives and the 21 million more who were wounded by the time World War 1 ended?
Do we remember the staggering losses of World War II, the struggle that killed more people, cost more money, and damaged more property than any other war in history? In fact, the number of killed, wounded, and missing or unaccounted cannot even be calculated. Most estimates claim that more than 55 million people perished.
Do we remember Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War?
Do we remember the countless lives lost or forever changed as the result of sacrifices made?
I had a college professor who used to caution students about using words like always and never in compositions. The word always can be defined as “every time, each time, all the time, without fail.” The word never can be defined as “not ever, at no time, not at any time, not once.” My professor’s point was that rarely could one write on any subject using such absolutes.
Through the years, I’ve often been reminded of my professor’s advice. Rarely, can I use the words always and never to describe things I do or fail to do. Even with those good things that I really want to do, I rarely can say that I do them always. But there is One who can say those words – and He said them without qualification.
- Jesus said that those who follow Him would never walk in darkness.
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12).
- Jesus said we can never come to the Father except through Him.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6).
- Jesus said that those who come to Him would never perish, but would have everlasting life.
“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28).
- Jesus said He would never refuse anyone who came to Him.
“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day” (John 6:37-39).
- Jesus said He would always be with us.
“I am always with you, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
- Jesus said His Word would never pass away.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
The above statements are just a few among many absolutes that Jesus promised us in Scripture. And these are promises that I don’t want to ever forget. Thankfully, Jesus promised us that He would help us remember all that He said. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26). So when I’m having difficulty or facing struggles, I can be sure that His Spirit will help me to remember what I have in Christ and will assure me of His Presence with me whatever my need.
It is good to remember. Remembering can help us to correct past mistakes and make worthwhile changes. It can motivate us, inspire us, and encourage us. Remembering can help us recognize those who made sacrifices and spur us to find ways to honor them in things we do. Jesus, Himself, during His last supper with His disciples told them to remember Him. “And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19). When we do this during our Communion services today, we are reminded of Christ’s sacrifice and what He did for us. As we remember, we are challenged to live for Him and to honor Him in all that we do. Oh, how I pray that I will always remember what Christ did for me and that I will never forget! May that be your prayer, too.