One day sooner than I want to think about, I’m going to hear the words, “Your daddy died today.” But I don’t want to think of it that way. You see, my daddy always taught me that I needed to have the right perspective that comes from the Word of God. God’s Word says that those who die in Christ are alive with Him, raised to newness of life. Their bodies may be temporarily laid aside but that is not the true man. It is man’s spirit that is the true man, not his body. We, Christ’s followers, worship Him in spirit and in truth.
My daddy is still worshipping Him in spirit because the spirit of man does not die. The Bible says that it is Christ’s Spirit that bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, those who believe on His Name. The Bible also says that on the last day, Christ will raise our bodies from the dead and the corruptible will be exchanged for the incorruptible; but the spirit of man is either separated or united with Christ. That is why my daddy always liked to quote, “We cannot grieve as those who have no hope.”
My daddy was one of the called out ones, chosen before the foundation of the world to be one of His sheep. He always loved how the Bible referred to us as sheep [we are His people, the sheep of His pasture (Psalm 100:3)]. It says we who are His sheep know His voice (John 10:27). My daddy knew his Master’s voice and when Christ the Good Shepherd called him, he followed.
Daddy believed the Gospel. He knew he was a sinner and that when Christ died and rose again on the third day, according to the Scriptures, it was for his sins. He believed that Christ’s righteousness was credited to John Worley’s account and that when God looked at John Worley He did not see his sins. They were covered by Christ’s blood—not by any righteous acts that he had done, they were seen as filthy rags(Isaiah 64:6)—but only by Christ’s sacrifice. Christ’s blood covered it all and made John Worley blameless before his Holy God! Christ was my daddy’s Anchor that kept and keeps his soul!
My daddy was a pastor for many years but even when he left the pastorate, he did not leave his role of caring for Christ’s sheep. He planted himself in Faith Community Church and kept on caring. I believe that he saw that as his calling. Christ asked Peter if he loved Him. When Peter told Him that he did, Christ told Peter to feed His lambs and tend and feed His sheep (John 21:17).
That’s my dad’s legacy. He fed lambs and tended and fed Christ’s sheep. He gave people God’s Word, the only food that nourishes, and challenged them to follow after it and obey it.
Many people brought him their struggles and he always pointed them to God’s Word because he truly believed that it would not return empty or void (Isaiah 55:11) and would accomplish in the lives of others all that God desired. He believed in the power of prayer and made his requests known to God. He prayed for so many people. He prayed for me a lot. My daddy always taught me that I could give in to my emotions or hold on to the truth of God’s Word and keep preaching it to myself. I’ve always had to preach to myself a lot, and now even more!
God also gave my daddy the gift of giving. All my life he has been an example to me of giving to others, not just material things, but he gave of himself. He purposed to make time for people, even in his pain. He took on the role of a servant, looking out for and meeting the pressing needs of others. I praise God for giving him the strength to do all that he did and for the example to imitate. He was modeling for me what it means to persevere.
When people die there is always something within us that wants to do something. I know what my dad would want you to do. Ask yourself, “Is Christ my anchor? Does He keep my soul?” If the answer is “yes,” then cling to Him no matter what comes in this life. Take it as from His hand, in which you are held secure. Live with hopeful expectation of Christ’s glorious appearing, when we who are called by His name will for all eternity be united with Christ! With one voice we will all proclaim, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for His judgments are true and just . . . Hallelujah for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us exult and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage supper of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and pure” (Rev. 19, 1,6-8 excerpts). For if we live it is for Christ and if we die it is our gain, because Christ is our life. Live to please and honor Him in everything you do. Make it your life’s goal to be found in Him to be a good and faithful servant.
If your answer is, “No, He is not my anchor” then believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved! Repent of your sins and follow after Him. Apart from Christ you have no hope. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1). Surrender your life to His keeping. Are you being kept by Him? My daddy is experiencing the fullness of joy that comes from being in the presence of Christ right now, and he will be forever. Today I can rejoice for my daddy because he is counted among the redeemed of the Lord! Christ is my anchor!
Jackie Rebiger is a member of FCC. Her father John Worley III was an elder at FCC from 1996-2016. John went home to be with the Lord in 2016.