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— By Richard Merritt

During the Christmas season, I had opportunity to interact with all five of my grandchildren. I love to take them on local trips down country roads to let them see and do things they might not otherwise experience.

I took some of them back to Troy where Dad’s family lived in past generations back to the 1850’s. There have been Merritt’s in this area ever since. My grandfather Paul Lynch Merritt was from Troy and then married and lived his life in the Adams Chapel community not far from Chidester.

At Troy, we went to the old Round Oak Cemetery. It is only about an acre or two in size. Three markers there were of special interest to me. My grandfather Lynch Merritt’s mother, Mary Elisabeth Griffin, wife of Confederate Veteran David Tildon Merritt, is buried there. Her children are listed on the marker.

From her generation to my grandchildren is six generations. She left a lasting impression on her children that lives on through succeeding generations.

“We spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:9, 10 KJV)

Her labors and sorrows planted seeds that grew in the lives of her family.

James Robertson’s marker bears witness to a life with a love for making furniture. One of my parent’s wedding presents in 1951 was a wooden table that he made some years before. His love for making useful things out of wood has persisted in the Robertson family and still exists today.

Woodworkers have left a huge heritage from Bible times to the present.

“And they gave the money, being told, into the hands of them that did the work, that had the oversight of the house of the Lord: and they laid it out to the carpenters and builders, that wrought upon the house of the Lord.” (2 Kings 12:11 KJV)

The homes and church buildings God’s faithful men built in the past stands as memories of a godly heritage.

The third maker is found about ten yards or so behind the cemetery.

Its inscription states the cause and manner of his death: “Killed by Bush Whacker 1881.” Death brings a rest from labors here and “their works do follow them.” (Revelation 14:13 KJV)

What heritage will you leave behind? What kind of impression will you leave on the generations of loved ones that follow in your steps? Paul left a lasting heritage as a faithful servant of the Lord in the truth.

“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8 KJV)

Our lives are tales that are told. Each year we begin a new chapter until finally the last chapter of our time on earth is completed. No one dies the death of the righteous unless they have been made righteous by Jesus Christ. “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his! (Numbers 23:10 KJV)

Abraham’s lasting heritage on his family came from his good points and his bad points. As the father of the faithful and the friend of God, Abraham’s faith as he learned to rely on his God in the difficult situations of life.

God never failed him.

He will not fail us.

You are writing you life’s story now. Write it well. Leave behind a godly heritage of a life invested in serving the Lord in the truth and living for Jesus daily.

Try it, you’ll be glad you did.

(Merritt is the pastor at Trinity Missionary Baptist Church.)

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