Ageing in Christianity is a blessing because it is the aged people in the congregation and a nation that provide its strength, its stability and its wisdom. Older believers, should they be in great numbers in the future in the church and nation, are going to make the church and nation better and more prosperous . Sir Agbato at 70 is an addition to the maturity of godliness and a benediction to the body of Christ and the world just as Job said, “Wisdom is with the aged…with long life is understanding” (Job 12:12).
Sir Agbato, a giant and icon of Agriculture industry at 70 is a testimony to the fact that old age is still viewed as the most respected stage of life. However, there is something which everybody wants and yet almost everyone fears: growing old. Sir Agbato at 70 is a model of old age which everybody want. His is with a renewing and not ageing body, wife, and spirit; Sir Agbato at 70 is with feelings of usefulness and not uselessness; Sir Agbato at 70 is with more friends and beneficiaries and not loss of friends. Sir Agbato at 70 is about companionship and not loneliness, no feeling of neglect of the poor or needy or alienation from his amiable wife, God fearing children, in laws and grandchildren, who are not just busy with other interests and pursuits. Sir Agbato is their interest and pursuit under God’s lens.
Our Psalm for today is Psalm 71, the psalm of an old man. He is an old man with many trials, success, and problems, and like Sir Agbato at 70, a kingdom treasurer, he is obviously a joyful man who is able to put his focus on the Lord in the midst his trials and successes. Just like the Psalmist, Sir Agbato shows us that, God’s way to grow old is to develop a walk with Him now. Sir Agbato has trusted God from his youth (71:5, 17); now he is 70 old with gray head as a crown of glory found in the way of righteousness (71:9, 18). Agbato at 70 reminds of walking a long time in path of righteousness as a treasure, ‘a treasure of wisdom and a treasure of experience and a treasure of understanding, a triumphant Christian who has fought the battle over and over and over and been victorious; who has experienced everything that the young are waiting to experience, become a great treasure to the church’ and nation.
Birthdays are among the most visible and joyous reminders we can have of our common humanity, and our common call to journey through time with each other. For the Christian each day, each month, each year, is a gift of grace.We have birthdays every year, but ending in zero always seem bigger, especially at 70 which has the extra power of biblical authority. “The days of our life are seventy years, or perhaps eighty, if we are strong; even then their span is only toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away” (Psalms 90:10). Being 70 reminds us of the Christian practice of a good spiritual discipline. The things we give up at 70 are often forever.
Today, we are here to give praise to God for the past 70 years of our father and the mighty things for the rest of his years that God will bring. What God calls for in our reading today in Isaiah 43 by Femi Agbato is a New Testament prophetic theme to celebrate Dad Agbato at 70…’but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14). At 70, the word of God to you dad is, press forward in good health in Jesus name.
At 70, God want you to encounter promises that are designed to cause you to jump for joy. Dad, your last 70 years is full of God’s faithfulness and challenges like the Israelite. Dad God has saved your past 70 years. At 70, God is reminding you what He has pulled you through. Dad, God parted water and stopped chariots of oppositions and oppressors.
God provided bread from the sky (life divine sustenance for each day) and water from the rock (of ages – stable source – Jesus the rock) to get you through the desert of life – maritally, medically, professionally and spiritually. God made a way where there was no way. Dad, God who walked you through those hard places and situations is about to do a new thing in your present and a wonderful plan for the future.
God has provided for your present
God has a wonderful plan for the future.
Sir Agbato at 70, you are honest in business, you continue to seek God’s wisdom, you continue to keep God’s commandment, and the final question is as you hope for Jesus’s Second Coming, what next? The character of our God has not changed. God’s grace and power have sustained you in the past, will see you through the present and guide you into the future. Dad Agbato at 70 is about serving a ‘God who continually does new things in our lives when we are willing to let go of the past and lay hold upon the future with faith in God who continues to do all things well.’ To live in the past is disabling. It means you can never be satisfied with today. It stops you seeing what God is doing or hearing what he is saying right now. Trust in God brings the past alive, gives the present meaning, and the future hope.
Sir Agbato at 70 summons us to develop true knowledge of God like the psalmist. Sir Agbato at 70 summons us to develop the godly habits of trust, praise, and hope. The habits we develop in our younger years tend to take us further in that direction as we grow older (Ps 71:3-14). Habit of trust in God, spouse, in the small beginning, workers etc. Someone asked how Sir Agbato is able to sleep looking at the management and global spread of ANIMAL CARE. Sir Agbato’s secret is his habit of hope in God, trust in God’s promises not in the secular hope. Sir Agbato at 70 invites us to develop a lifestyle based on the ministry for God. If you are not involved in some kind of Christian service, you are too self-centred. Sir Agbato at 70 calls for a change of habits and attitudes of “What can I get out of the church (or nation)?” rather than “How can I serve the Lord through His church?” The 70 years have shown Sir Agbato God, and how God is to be trusted. Sir Agbato at 70 is counter-cultural to the tragedies of old age – unloving, bitter, and selfish. Sir Agbato at 70 is about love out of principle, love with will and not just out of feelings or out of emotion.
Just as Sir Agbato and his wife are delivering and proclaiming God Power and prosperity to this generation and generations to come, God is calling us to surrender to God’s way now in order to grow old in God’s way. Sir Agbato at 70 reminds us that a longer life is an opportunity for extended ministry to God and service to humanity. Sir Agbato at 70 provides the qualities, being temperate, dignified and sensible, in order to change the qualities of today’s youth, especially in their ‘recklessness, impetuosity, thoughtlessness, and instability.’
Celebrating Sir Agbato at 70 today, and as you and I face the prospects of growing old, we need to ask ourselves, “What should I be doing now, however old I am, to prepare for old age?” The fact is, Sir Agbato at 70 is what he prepared for many years ago. What you will be at old age is what you are becoming now. Sir Agbato at 70 is reminding us, If you are not becoming a person of faith now, you will not be a person of faith then. If you are a negative, grumpy person now, you will not be a positive, cheerful person then. If you aren’t developing a walk with God now, you won’t have one then.
Like the psalmist, the secret behind Sir Agbato’s testimonies and legacies at 70 is that he developed a walk with God in the years leading up to this time. He has a proven resource in the Lord which enabled him to be strong inside and outside in hope and anticipation of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
John Wesley travelled 250,000 miles by horseback to preach over 40,000 sermons, ‘produced 400 books, and knew 10 languages. At eighty-three he was annoyed that he couldn’t write for more than fifteen hours a day without hurting his eyes. Get this, at eighty-six he was ashamed that he could only, that he couldn’t preach more than twice a day. And he said, since his eighty-sixth birthday, he had to admit there was an increasing tendency to lie in bed until 5:30 a.m. What a terrible decline in character that is.’ Dad Sir Agbato, you still have so much to offer – godly older generation; crucial to the life of the family, church, community, business world, and nations. I pray the rest of your years shall be the best in Jesus name.