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

“Acceptance of responsibility usually involves some form or amount of sacrifice.  Sacrifice is invariably painful. In Philippians 2: 5 – 8, Paul describes the attitude towards acceptance of responsibility and the sacrifice which accompanies it that should characterize Jesus’ disciples:  “Have this attitude in yourselves which also was in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”  Our Lord voluntarily gave up His Majesty, and if it had ended there, it would have been a great thing; however, He went on to complete His mission, to take upon Himself the sins of the world, to die upon the cross.  As it is written, “Behold, I have come (In the scroll of the book it is written of Me), I delight to do Thy will, O my God. (Psalm 40: 8)”.

Sometimes making the sacrifice after having accepted a responsibility is where disciples will have the greatest difficulty.  Even Our Lord, in Matthew 26: 39, asked His Father to remove the bitter cup of His impending crucifixion.  In the final analysis, He said, “yet, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”  More on this in the discussion of the Cost of Discipleship, below. In accepting a responsibility, it is important to assess whether or not you can fulfill your obligation.  In order to make this assessment, you must first know what the responsibility actually encompasses or what it is I am saying I will do.  The good part is in knowing that you have got “what it takes” to be and to make disciples because the Spirit of God indwells you, enables you, empowers you.  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  What are the responsibilities of disciples of Jesus Christ?  What does the Word of God describe as what we Christians (I Peter 4: 16) should be doing?””


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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