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.”


William H. “Bill” Hicks is a graduate of Wesleyan University, BA, Religion, 1971 who also holds a Masters in Public Health Degree (MPH) from the University of Oklahoma Hudson College of Public Health (1973). Bill also has studied at the Dallas Theological Seminary. He grew up in Harlem, New York City, USA during the 1950s and 1960s, graduating from high school before attending Mount Hermon Preparatory School and undergraduate school in Connecticut. He has spent most of his professional life in the public health arena, while being constantly in ministry. He received his license to preach the Gospel at Oklahoma City, OK in 1971. He has written extensively on Christian topics. He enjoys life in Chattanooga, TN with former District Public Defender Ardena Garth Hicks, his wife of 30 years. They have two daughters, Rachel (BA, University of Memphis magna cum laude, 2014) and Sarah (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, Global Scholar, University of Tulsa, 2017).
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