From “Discipleship and Discipline” by William H. Hicks, copyright March, 2005:

“The next concept to be developed in our understanding of this second element of discipline is acceptance.  Acceptance means to reach out with an open hand to receive.  Acceptance implies a willingness to take something from someone else voluntarily.  Acceptance conveys not only the willingness to take upon oneself the responsibility to take the appropriate action, but also implies a confidence or assurance that one has the capability/capacity to do the job successfully. We must accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior.  In the same manner, we must also accept the responsibilities of discipleship.  God does not force Himself on anyone! Abraham’s chief servant’s responsibility was to find a wife for Isaac.  Isaac is Abraham’s heir, the vehicle by which God keeps His promise to Abraham- and to all of us who are of the household of faith.  The chief servant employed the elements of discipline in accepting and discharging his responsibilities.

Several Scriptures illustrate these concepts of acceptance of responsibility.  Harkening back to our original paradigm, Abraham’s chief servant, we note in Genesis 24: 9 that “the servant placed his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.”  In Genesis 24: 8, Abraham spells out the conditional nature of the acceptance of this responsibility to his chief servant, saying that if he (the chief servant) could not find a wife for Isaac, he would be released from the obligation he was being asked to assume. Even though he was Abraham’s servant, he was not commanded nor coerced into taking on the important task of finding a wife for Isaac.  He accepted the responsibility of his own free will, signifying such by placing his hand under Abraham’s thigh to affirm the covenant they were making.  The underlying truth in this situation is that the chief servant really did love his master, Abraham, and would do whatever his master asked of him.”

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