Genesis 47:7, 9 Next Joseph brought his father Jacob in and introduced him to Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh. Pharaoh asked Jacob, “How old are you?” Jacob answered Pharaoh, “The years of my sojourning are 130—a short and hard life and not nearly as long as my ancestors were given.” Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and left.

What a peculiar question to ask an old man standing in the morgue after his son has been shot by an Alabama State trooper for doing nothing but marching for his freedom. But that is what Dr. King asked Jimmy Lee Jackson’s daddy. “How old are you?” He said, “I’ve seen 84 years.” The significance was that he was an 84 year old man that still was honored as a man and he had no right to vote in his own country.” The police beat him down and shot his son.

How Old Are You?

1. Your age should reflect your progress. What have you been able to accomplish while you’ve been on this earth? Dr. King was 39 when he was murdered in Memphis but he had accomplished so much.

How Old Are You?

2. Your age should reflect your journey.  Jacob told Pharoh that his life had been short and full of trouble. I told my ministers yesterday that life is short. Jacob lived 147 years and he thought that was short. We do well to reach our seventies. It’s not how long you live but how full you live. Dr. King said in the movie Selma, “I’d like to live a long life like everybody else but this is not about protecting my life but making sure my people are free.”

How Old Are You?

3. Your age should reflect your growth. The young people of SNCC were in conflict with SCLC over methodology but it was the wisdom of Dr. King who included the zeal of the young with the wisdom of the older leaders.

As we get older we should get better and appreciate every day that God gives us. Today as we celebrate Dr. King’s Birthday stop to ask yourself, “How Old am I?!” Does your age reflect your progress? Does your age reflect your maturity? Does your age show signs of your journey? Are you get older or getting better?


Dear God,

Help me to age like fine wine. Help me to get better with time. Thank you for letting me be born the year a great man died. My life has been full and I intend to live it to the fullest. If you bless me to live till 84 I’ll give you more but whatever time frame you give me I will seize every opportunity to give you Glory. To live is for Christ and to die is gain.

In Jesus Name,