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

The third responsibility of a disciple is to be a diligent student of God’s Word.  Why here the emphasis on being a diligent student of God’s Word?  II Timothy 2: 15 encourages us to “Be diligent to present yourselves approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.”  This is the foundation scripture for the AWANA program (Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed), a youth-focused program designed to spread the gospel and to build church census.  As a young boy growing up in the African American church, we were taught the Ten Commandments.  As an exercise in Sunday School, we were called upon to recite the Ten Commandments from memory.  The King James Version.  The implication I received over time was that I was righteous for having learned to recite the Commandments.  However, the Lord makes clear, in Deuteronomy 6: 3, that recitation is not all that is required:  “O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.”  At Hebrews 11: 6, the KJV encourages disciples to “diligently seek” the Lord.”


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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