I asked ChatGPT about Jesus, Archippus Awakening and me

Curious, I decided to explore ChatGPT for myself. After all, so much has been said of AI – opportunities and threats.

After registering at chat.openai.com – very simple process – I started out by asking ChatGPT a few questions about Jesus.

  • Who is Jesus? Fairly standard answers. Nothing heretical. No surprises here.
  • Is Jesus the only way to God? The answer wasn’t a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but prefaced with “Christianity teaches that Jesus is the only way to God.” and “According to Christian theology …” And then a rather political correct note: “However, it’s important to note that different religious traditions have different beliefs regarding the path to God or ultimate truth.”

I decided to test ChatGPT with a more difficult question.

  • What happens to those who do not believe in Jesus as the Son of God? Interestingly, Chat GPT reveals that “It is important to note that these beliefs and interpretations vary among different Christian denominations and individual believers. Views on salvation, judgment, and the fate of non-believers can be diverse even within the Christian faith. Ultimately, individual beliefs on this matter may differ based on one’s interpretation of scripture, religious teachings, and personal faith.” Very sharp, ChatGPT.

Cheekily, I tried to evangelise ChatGPT.

  • Do you believe in Jesus? “As an AI language model, I don’t possess personal beliefs, emotions, or faith. I don’t have the capability to believe in anything. My purpose is to provide information and assist with inquiries to the best of my abilities based on the knowledge I have been trained on. I can provide information about Jesus and various beliefs and perspectives associated with him, but I don’t hold personal beliefs of my own.” Haha. Good save, ChatGPT.

Quite fun.

Having heard of how AI might one day render certain vocations obsolete, I asked ChatGPT to write a sermon based on Colossians 4:17 (what else, right?).

Quite cool. It came with a Title: Fulfilling Your Purpose in Christ. Complete with Introduction, five clear sermon points, and Conclusion. As well as a send off exhortation: “May we go forth from here, ready to fulfill our God-given calling and make a difference in the world.” and an “Amen.” Amen.

I wondered if this was all lifted from some Sermon Outline archive through the centuries. And when preachers would be obsolete?

Time for something closer to my heart. How would ChatGPT describe Archippus Awakening, a rather young ministry? So I typed in: Summarise Archippus Awakening. Check this out:

Archippus Awakening is a Christian ministry and movement that takes its name from the biblical figure Archippus mentioned in the New Testament. The ministry is based on the verse in Colossians 4:17, where the Apostle Paul instructs Archippus to fulfill the ministry he has received in the Lord.

Archippus Awakening focuses on awakening and equipping believers to fulfill their God-given purposes in Christ. It emphasizes the importance of recognizing and embracing one’s calling, persevering through challenges, seeking godly support, and reflecting the character of Christ.

The ministry encourages believers to actively engage in their faith, to live with intentionality and passion, and to make a positive impact in their spheres of influence. It emphasizes the need for personal revival and spiritual awakening to reignite the fire and passion for serving God.

Archippus Awakening seeks to inspire individuals to discover and live out their unique callings, not only within the church but also in their families, workplaces, and communities. It emphasizes the power of community, accountability, and the importance of being part of the body of Christ.

Overall, Archippus Awakening encourages believers to live purposefully and wholeheartedly for Christ, understanding that each person has a significant role to play in advancing God’s kingdom and fulfilling their God-given destiny.

Not bad at all! I confess that I was (am) rather tempted to use this for our website and publicity materials.

Next. More than just what Archippus Awakening is, can ChatGPT tell me about the person behind this ministry? I keyed in: Tell me about the founder of Archippus Awakening

The founder of Archippus Awakening is Pastor Henson Lim. He is a Singaporean pastor, author, and speaker who has been instrumental in starting and leading the Archippus Awakening movement.

Pastor Henson Lim has a passion for awakening believers to their kingdom assignments and encouraging them to live purposefully for Christ. He has a deep desire to see the body of Christ rise up and fulfill their God-given callings, both within the church and in their respective spheres of influence.

With over 25 years of pastoral experience, Pastor Henson has served in various leadership roles in churches in Singapore. He has also been involved in missions work, teaching, and mentoring believers to live out their faith authentically.

Through his ministry, Pastor Henson Lim has conducted numerous seminars, conferences, and workshops, both locally and internationally, to equip and inspire believers to discover and fulfill their God-given purposes. He is known for his engaging and practical teaching style, emphasizing the need for personal revival, intimate relationship with God, and the importance of aligning with God’s kingdom purposes.

Pastor Henson Lim is also the author of several books, including “Say To Archippus,” which expounds on the message of awakening believers to fulfill their God-given assignments. His writings and teachings have impacted many individuals and have helped ignite a passion for purposeful living within the Christian community.

With his leadership and guidance, Archippus Awakening has grown into a movement that seeks to bring about a fresh wave of spiritual awakening and mobilize believers to make a significant impact for Christ in their spheres of influence.

Is this for real? A computer wrote this?!

I admit that when I first read it, I was a tad freaked out. This AI thingy is really quite something. I am impressed not because it wrote nice things about me. Perhaps we don’t realise just how much information there is in cyberspace and how powerful machines have become to handle or mishandle that information.

The above interaction with ChatGPT took less than two minutes. I had merely scratched the surface and have not even begun to fully comprehend the capabilities of such tech. Since the release of ChatGPT a few months ago, thousands of AI apps have been launched. We can expect thousands more. Soon.

The potential of AI cannot be underestimated. Potentially, we can look forward to more good stuff. But, as many have warned, in the wrong hands, there can also potentially be lots of evil. And deception.

What do you think about AI and its impact on humankind? Especially from a Christian’s point of view, how do you think churches and ministries will be affected in the near future and what is the right course of action? Share your thoughts and comments with me.

In the meantime, I will play around more with this power tool. Maybe write the next KINGDOM101 teaching with ChatGPT in five seconds? Ooh … tempting …


If We Believe in the Resurrection

Photo by CP on Unsplash

Blessed Resurrection Sunday!

Christians all over the world celebrate this glorious day, remembering and declaring the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

All good. But what about the rest of the year? The other 364 days? Do we live in light of the resurrection? What does it mean when we say that we believe in the resurrection?

Allow me to share at least four implications with you.


If we believe in the resurrection, we believe the Scriptures entirely, not part of it.

Paul tells us that Jesus was resurrected according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). This means that everything that God says is true. He will fulfil every promise. We can stand upon His every word. The question is: “Do we believe it?” Because faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the word of God. Why do we believe in the resurrection, and still doubt everything else in His word? That is inconsistent and a misalignment. If we believe in the resurrection, we can believe the Scriptures and we will live our life according to every word that God says!


If we believe in the resurrection, we believe in the power of God, that God is able.

In Ephesians 1:19-20, Paul prayed that we may know “what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places”. Our God is able, more than able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or imagine, according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20). This power is the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead and that seated Him in heavenly places. If we believe in the resurrection, then we believe in the exceeding greatness of this same power. Nothing is impossible for God. He is very powerful. The question is: “Do we believe it?” Why do we believe in the resurrection, and still doubt God’s power? That is inconsistent and a misalignment. If we believe in the resurrection, we believe that God is able. More than able.


If we believe in the resurrection, we will live our life in light of the resurrection with kingdom purpose.

If there is no resurrection, then we have no hope. When life ends, everything ends. If that is the case, then we have nothing to live for. We only live for ourselves. Paul says that “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” (1 Corinthians 15:19). If we believe in the resurrection, then there is great hope and purpose for us. If we believe in the resurrection, then we will prepare for the fullness of the kingdom. We have kingdom assignments to fulfil for the King and His everlasting kingdom. What we do now in this life, we are laying up heavenly treasures for the life to come. The question is: “Do we believe it?” Why do we believe in the resurrection, and live without purpose? That is inconsistent and a misalignment. If we believe in the resurrection, we will live our life with kingdom purpose.


If we believe in the resurrection, we can look to the rewards when we spend eternity with Jesus.

In Revelations 20:12, it says: “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.” If we believe in the resurrection, then we also believe that we will stand before Jesus to give account. If we say that we believe in Jesus, then we will live our life entirely for Him for we are no longer our own, we belong to Him. Salvation is free. But rewards are earned. How we live for Jesus today will determine the prize & rewards we will receive when we stand before Him. If we believe in the resurrection, we will be obedient to the Lord. We will be faithful to fulfil the kingdom assignments Jesus assigns to us. The question is: “Do we believe it?” Why do we believe in the resurrection, and not press towards the goal of the prize in Christ Jesus? That is inconsistent and a misalignment. If we believe in the resurrection, we will do our best and go for the gold!

If we declare that we believe in the resurrection, these are important implications for us to consider. Here and now. Resurrection is not merely a future event to be looked forward to. Resurrection life and power are present realities for everyone in Christ. If we believe in the resurrection, it will determine how to live or die for Jesus and the sake of His kingdom.

If, however, you are not yet a believer of Jesus Christ, I have news for you. Resurrection and eternity apply to you too. When life ends, it will not be the end. Yes, you will also be resurrected to stand before Jesus. You will be judged according to everything you have done and said in this life. Without the blood of Jesus, without faith in Jesus, you will not stand a chance before a holy and righteous God. Eternity will not be good news for you; for Scriptures warn of eternal damnation and torment for those who do not believe in Jesus Christ. Do not wait until the end, until it is too late. Now is the time to believe in Jesus.

Adapted from KINGDOM101 Teaching #133 “The End”. More teachings at kingdom.archippusawakening.org/kingdom101-teachings.

Foolish But Not Clueless

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

It seemed so well planned and executed.

Stir the pot. Talk to one of Jesus’ disgruntled and disillusioned disciples. Encourage him a little. Thirty pieces of silver. We will take care of the rest. Done deal.

Little did they know that they staged and scored an own goal. They thought they had won. Only to discover that they had lost. Big time. That final nail was the proverbial last nail in the coffin for them.

The minions and executors – Judas, the religious leaders, the Romans – could not have known. Even more surprising and shocking, the key movers and instigators – the rulers of this age – did not know either. They were clueless.

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

1 Corinthians 2:7-8

1 Corinthians 2:8 tells us that “had they known, they could not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

Their intention was to cross out the Messiah so that He could not complete His kingdom assignment. They did not know that the Messiah’s kingdom assignment was to be carried out on the cross. By putting Jesus up on the cross, they participated in their own downfall. What a double cross!

The ways of the kingdom have always been upside-down and contrary to the ways of the world. We know this. However, so many struggle when it comes to actually accepting and living it out. Instead, the tendency is to keep looking to the power and status symbols of the world – money, knowledge, name, popularity, etc. These seem so much more attractive than the way of the cross.

Sadly, the Church has also bought into this thinking and considered these as indications of God’s favour and blessings. This is not the wisdom of God. Let us be reminded that Jesus’ perpetrators and executors thought that they were really smart; only to be outsmarted. It was cosmic cluelessness of the highest degree.

If we are to be wise in the Lord, we must not walk the same path and commit the same error. If we have the Holy Spirit and are indeed walking in step with Him, we will know the wisdom of God, the deep things of God. These may appear hidden and a mystery. Yet, in Christ, by His Spirit, through the cross, it has already been revealed and made known to us (1 Corinthians 2:10-16).

No wonder Paul “determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:3). Clearly, “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Whatever the world threw at him, however intense the spiritual battle, Paul held on to the revelation of the Cross – a picture and reminder of the wisdom of God. Over the cluelessness of the powers and principalities of this age.

What an encouragement for us as we experience and go through the challenges of life and ministry. Look back to the Cross. Live forward from the Cross. We may not know or understand everything at that point in time. Embracing the way of the Cross, we may be considered foolish. But at least we know, we are not clueless.

Blessed Good Friday.

Neither Betrayal Nor Disappointment

Contemplating Maundy Thursday.

After issuing the mandate (that’s what Maundy means) for His disciples to love and serve one another, Jesus identifies the one who would betray Him. In Gethsemane, His closest disciples fall asleep as He grappled with the prospect of death by crucifixion. On trial, His star student denies Him three times.

Ouch. Ouch. And ouch. Painful. Super painful. And we are not even talking about the cross. Yet.

As one moving on kingdom assignment, I understand the feeling of aloneness. This is not to say I do not appreciate the many who have rallied around me and continue to serve alongside me. So very thankful for these brothers and sisters. Even so, there are many moments where you know it is your assignment and you are the one who has to fulfil it. No matter what. Even if no one is there for you. This, I know and accept.

What I find difficult to stomach is the pain of betrayal and disappointment. As a leader, I wish I didn’t have to experience this at all. Wishful thinking, I know. Almost every leader I know has had his or her share of such experiences.

And yet, in a strange but sovereign way, it was Judas’ betrayal that kickstarted the fulfilment of Jesus’ kingdom assignment. I can’t imagine how our Lord felt that night, and that morning, on the way to the Cross.

This is a big lesson for me.

No one said that moving on kingdom assignments would be easy. Add people to the equation and everything becomes even more complicated. Some will run with you and others will leave. Just keep moving. Learn from every situation, every mistake and strive to be a better leader with the Lord’s help. Even so, not everything is your fault. Not everyone will understand you all the time. The key is to know what the Lord has asked you to do and be faithful to fulfil that by His grace and with His enablement. By His sovereignty, and if He allows you to discover on hindsight, not a single experience, however painful, will be wasted. It might, in fact, be the very impetus that pushes you towards the completion of your assignment.

I sure am glad that betrayal and disappointment didn’t stop Jesus from fulfilling His kingdom assignment. Otherwise, we will not be beneficiaries of His salvation through the work on the Cross.

Similarly, as I move to fulfil my kingdom assignment, Lord, help me brave the pain that others may also gain. May neither betrayal nor disappointment ever distract or deter me from what you have tasked me to do.

Follow Me: An Invitation to the Next Level

Photo by Jeremy Ricketts on Unsplash

To mark 22 years since hearing the words “Follow Me” on 8 July 2000, I am sharing the message I recently preached at Wesley Methodist Church (24 April 2022). May many be convinced that when we believed in Jesus, we became His disciples. His invitation to follow Him is a continual invitation to the next level of commitment. I responded 22 years ago and have never looked back. My prayer is that you will do the same.

On the occasion of Wesley Methodist Church’s 137th Anniversary, TRAC President, Rev Stanley Chua said:

“The greatest failure of the church is not our poor evangelism but our poor discipleship. You see, when Christians fail to be true disciples of Christ, they become just like the world, behaving and living their lives that are no different from unbelievers. And in so doing, they become indistinguishable from unbelievers as they have lost their light and saltiness and become poor witnesses to those around them. And in the worst-case scenario, they stumble others and prevent them from knowing God.”

Methodist Message, April 2022

I am in full agreement with Rev Stanley. However, as I considered this predicament, I cannot help but wonder why this is so. After all, there is no lack of resources, teaching, programmes, seminars, conferences, where discipleship is concerned. In spite of the abundance of such offerings, in my interactions with different pastors and leaders, the issue of discipleship seems to be a very common challenge across our churches.

To make it more obvious, we add the word intentional; hoping that this will provide the needed emphasis and push. So, we intentionally preach and teach about discipleship, we intentionally offer more classes, seminars and conferences, etc. Sounds right, but is it?

Perhaps the issue is more fundamental than it is intentional?

What if we are missing a very basic point in the way we define and understand discipleship? … in the way we follow Jesus?

In our age of social media, the word follow has been totally re-defined.

For example, if you want to know what a person or company says, or has been up to, you follow them. Some celebrity and influencer accounts attract thousands and millions of followers! Very impressive.

We too are thrilled when we get a few more followers. But careful, a follower could also be a stalker! Or a gossip! Have you seen or heard the latest? Post. Share.

In today’s terms, not much is required of a follower. If we bring this understanding into the Church, what then does it mean to follow Jesus? We are happy to get the information, the updates, attend the meetings, maybe help out every once in a while. But that’s about it.

As such, a church could have thousands of members who consider themselves as followers of Jesus and still struggle with discipleship! Why? Because many believers/followers do not consider themselves disciples of Jesus. Like the celebrity accounts, Jesus has thousands, millions, of followers. But not quite as many disciples.

Let me state once more: the issue is more fundamental than it is intentional. We have missed a very basic point in the way we define and understand the word disciple.

In its simplest form, whether in Greek (matethes) or in Latin (discipulus), disciple just means ‘student, learner, pupil, follower’ In relation to Jesus, a disciple of Jesus is a student of Jesus; a learner of Jesus; a pupil of Jesus; and a follower of Jesus.

Here’s the truth: If you are a believer of Jesus, you are a follower of Jesus. And since a follower is a disciple, a believer of Jesus is thus a disciple of Jesus. If you are a believer of Jesus Christ, you are a disciple of Jesus Christ!

This is where the problem is. Most believers have no issue declaring that they are followers of Jesus. But many believers struggle with identifying themselves as disciples of Jesus. Without acknowledging and accepting our positions as disciples, can you see why discipleship remains such an issue? Intentional or not?

As you wrestle with these thoughts, allow me to encourage you through Matthew 4:18-22 – an extremely familiar account about Jesus inviting the four young men to follow Him.

And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

Matthew 4:18-22 NKJV

However, the problem with familiarity is that we already have certain ideas and pre-suppositions about this account. To address this, let us be good students of the Word and ask FIVE key questions that will help unlock the right perspectives and answers.

Question 1: Was this Jesus’ first encounter with Andrew, Peter, James & John?

It is easy to presume that this was a first or chance meeting: Jesus walks along the beach, spots Andrew, Peter, James & John and says, “Follow Me.” Due to His over-powering charisma, they drop everything and follow Him.

This is not the case. Thanks to the gospel of John 1:35-42, we see that Andrew had already met Jesus earlier through John the Baptist – on the day after Jesus’ baptism. In fact, Andrew (and another) left John the Baptist to follow Jesus. Andrew then brought Peter to Jesus. John was very likely the other “one of the two” who followed Jesus (since it’s typical of John not to mention himself in his gospel). Since James is always mentioned alongside John, it is highly probable that James would have also met Jesus by then.

This was not a first encounter with Jesus. They were already following Jesus. Keep this important point in mind as we consider the next questions.

Question 2: “Follow Me” Was this a call to discipleship?

The section header in our bibles suggests so – Four Fishermen Called as Disciples. But in my opinion, NO.

We have already noted that Andrew and John were disciples of John the Baptist who “switched” discipleship to Jesus. Two days later, in John 2:2, “Jesus and His disciples” turn up at the wedding in Cana. I believe we can include Peter and James too.

Since these were already disciples, “Follow Me” was an invitation to the next level of commitment. Up until this point, Jesus’ exposure was largely limited, in smaller settings. Jesus knew it was time for a greater public ministry. The invitation was for the disciples to follow Him at a deeper level, a higher level. It’s no longer as and when, but all the way, whatever it takes.

It is the same for us. Jesus is always inviting us to go deeper and higher with Him. This is consistent with what the Church is inviting you to do: to take the next step. The Lord is inviting you to follow Him, to the next level of commitment.

Let me state again: This is not a call for believers to become disciples. You are already disciples. It is an invitation to the next level of commitment, to follow Jesus in the next phase or season of the work of the kingdom.

Many still think (wrongly I might add) that we have to be called to be a disciple. As such, too many are still waiting for the call. Others are happy to ignore or miss the call. In the gospels, not all disciples were called. There were many who expressed the desire to be Jesus’ disciples. They believed in Jesus and thus wanted to follow Jesus.

Andrew, Peter, James & John believed in who Jesus was and what He promised so they readily followed. If we believe, we will follow. Whilst one can follow without believing, one cannot believe without following. Conviction will always produce action.

You don’t have to wait to be called to be a disciple. If you are a believer and a follower of Jesus Christ, you are already a disciple. When Jesus says “Follow Me”, He is inviting you to get to the next level of commitment as His disciple. Take the Next Step.

I know some of you may still be struggling with this. It sounds right BUT I don’t feel very qualified to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. So let’s tackle another very fundamental question:

Question 3: What qualifies one to be a disciple of Jesus Christ?

Let’s consider the four young men.

Andrew, Peter, James and John were all Galileans. Galileans were not exactly well-regarded. They were not considered as spiritual people. If you want to find spiritual and holy candidates, you go to Jerusalem, where the temple is and where all the religious types are found. But Galileans? #cannotmakeitla

They were fishermen. These were considered tradesmen like carpenters, brick layers, blacksmiths. This meant that after turning 13 years old, after Bar Mitzvah, they didn’t make it to continue learning under a rabbi (basic Torah training). They were Rabbi Rejects! Hence, their involvement in a trade or returning to help out in family business.

In Acts 4:13, they were described by the religious leaders as “uneducated & untrained”. They were not theologically trained, didn’t go bible school, or DISCIPLE programme.

Yet, Jesus invited these to follow Him! It doesn’t take very much to be a disciple: Just believe and follow. However, because of how we have defined, taught and understood discipleship, many believers still feel unqualified to be termed a disciple. We think of all the requirements of discipleship and promptly disqualify ourselves, justifying it is a higher call for a special select of the elect; but not for me.

I preached a series of messages once, encouraging believers to see themselves as disciples. After the service, I asked a sister, “So how? Are you a disciple?” She hesitated and said, “I don’t know. I still feel I’m not good enough.” Guided by the Holy Spirit, I gently asked her, “What qualified us for salvation? To be children and people of God?” She replied, “Nothing. We just believe.” AMEN! We believe Jesus. He receives us! That’s just it. By grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).

It’s the same for New Testament discipleship. We are qualified by grace through faith. Rabbis of old may have selected and accepted the worthy ones. Jesus only invites us to believe in Him and to follow Him. He makes us worthy and qualifies us!

None of us qualify to be good enough for Jesus. Not to be saved. Not to be His disciples. That’s why the Cross was necessary. That’s why the Resurrection is revolutionary. When we believe, we die with Jesus; and are raised up to live for Jesus. In Christ, we qualify!

Question 4: What enabled the four to respond immediately to Jesus’ invitation?

Have there been those who have responded immediately to Jesus, without question, without hesitation? Of course. However, in my observation and learning, for many, it is usually a process that leads to this point of deep conviction and total abandonment.

I believe this was also the case for the four young men.

As we have already established, this was not their first encounter with Jesus. They had prior experience with Jesus. From the start, Jesus invited them to “Come and see.” John 1:38-40. They went with Him on short-term missions. They saw miracles and witnessed power encounters. They saw Jesus in action.

More importantly, they had personal experience with Jesus. More than just learning about and seeing the things of the kingdom, they had a relationship with the King. This experience was personal. What is your personal experience with Jesus? I am not asking about your church experience. Or how you have grown up in a Christian sub-culture. You can do church and talk Christian and still miss Jesus.

Even more, they were given a glimpse of a promised experience with Jesus: They would progress from fishermen to fishers of men. They would get to do greater works than Jesus. They would be given the keys to the kingdom of God. They would get to rule and reign with Jesus!

If you had all these and a promise of what’s to come, would you not follow Jesus? If not, what are you believing in?

Having grown up in a Christian environment, I knew how to behave as a church person. That was not enough to keep me from backsliding. In 1994, by the Lord’s grace, He drew me back into a real relationship with Him. As I believed, I followed. Slowly. Step by step.

Six years later, on 8 July 2000, the Lord said to me “Follow Me.” I had already been following Him. But this time, I knew it was an invitation to the next level. With prior experience, founded on personal experience, spurred on with promised experience, I said “yes”, quite immediately.

I know many of you have prior experience with Jesus – you have experienced His grace and faithfulness, you have seen His power at work. I also know that you are aware of the many promised experiences, for these are offered to all without exception. The challenge for many is that their relationship and experience with Jesus is not personal. My prayer is that you will receive a fresh revelation of your Saviour and King today. When that happens, I am certain you will immediately and wholeheartedly follow Him.

Our hearts may be willing but I am also well aware of the struggles and hindrances. As such, we must consider the final question:

Question 5: What holds us back from a deeper commitment following Jesus?

To follow Jesus, the disciples left their nets, boats and father.

Nets represent the entanglements & entrapments of life. In the Parable of the Sower and Soils, Jesus warns about the “cares of the world”, the trappings of this life, as well as the deceitfulness of riches (Matt 13:22). Paul reminds Timothy that a good soldier of Jesus will not be entangled with the “affairs of this life” 2 Tim 2:4. For some, they are held back by fear and doubts, hurts and bitterness, or unforgiveness. For others, when sin is not decisively dealt with, Hebrews 12:1 warns that these will ensnare and hold us back from following Jesus.

Boats represent assets & securities. James & John may have had a thriving family business that they would one day inherit. There is nothing wrong with having assets and securities. The question is: Are we trusting in these or in Jesus? When Elijah asked Elisha to follow him, Elisha promptly slaughtered his yoke of oxen and burnt the equipment – his assets and securities – and followed Elijah. Sadly, too many hold on to their bank accounts and assets and end up not following Jesus.

Father represents relationships & comfort zones. Leaving parents may sound odd or irresponsible to us. But in the days of Jesus, it was not a surprising idea. Parents are happy to have their children follow after a rabbi who requires full commitment. Today, our preference is for our children to study hard, get a good job, just serve a little in church, no need to be so radical. In church circles, many are happy to stay where they are because of friends and family – although they are not learning or growing at all. Church then becomes a social club with great fei-lo-ship.

In Luke 14:26, a difficult verse about hating father and mother, Jesus is not asking us to neglect our relationships. He is asking us to serve Him first, then our loved ones. As disciples of Jesus first, we become better husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons & daughters.

If you are struggling to surrender these, I understand. However, I am also here to tell you, that in my nearly 30 years of following Jesus, He has never let me down. Our needs have always been provided for. Our King and Master is more than faithful! Jesus is totally worth following and the leaving of our “nets, boats and father”.

Before we close, here’s a bonus point about following Jesus for those who are leaders or involved in discipleship initiatives. This is where I believe the intentionality of discipleship is directed at. Even if more are convinced to acknowledge themselves as disciples, what we do not need are more discipleship classes or programmes; we need more discipling.

Then He said to them, “Follow [deute opiso] Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed [akoloutheo] Him.

Matthew 4:19-20

In Matthew 4:19-20, two different words are used for the English word “follow”:

The first ‘follow’ has the notion of “being behind”. Jesus’ invitation was for the disciples to come after Him. We are to follow the lead of Jesus as He goes before us. He is the leader who sets the example and provides the reference.

That’s what disciplers are to do too. Classes and bible studies are good. But leading, setting the example and showing the way is even better. Conducting a class is much easier, of course. But we miss the heart of discipleship if we do not provide the right reference for others to imitate us as we imitate Christ.

The second ‘follow’ has the notion of “accompaniment, to go with a teacher”. Here, the invitation is to come alongside. We are to follow by keeping in step with Jesus. The picture is that of relationship.

Discipleship is primarily about relationship. But relationship takes time; and our greatest struggle is time. That’s why we compromise the process of discipleship.

Reference & Relationship. Notice the progression. We start by observing and learning from behind, then grow to be walking beside, working alongside, in partnership with Jesus and one another. That’s what discipleship looks like.

In closing, let me share a quotation from Bill Hull, the author of “The Complete Book of Discipleship”.

“When the distinction between disciple and Christian disappears, so does the damaging belief in a two-tiered church. A disciple, then, is the normal Christian who follows Christ.”

Bill Hull, The Complete Book of Discipleship, p33

I hope you are convinced that there is no difference between a believer, a follower or a disciple. A believer of Jesus is a follower of Jesus, a disciple of Jesus.

The question to ask is not “Am I a disciple?” but “Am I a faithful or unfaithful disciple?”

I say again: The issue is more fundamental than it is intentional . If believers refuse to acknowledge that they are disciples, then no amount of persuasion will get these to respond. After all, discipleship initiatives are only for disciples and I am not one. I’ll just be a believer, thank you very much. [If that is what you hold to, then to be consistent, I regret to inform you that many of Jesus’ promises and words and assurance do not apply to you. Because these were all directed to disciples.]

Allow me one last attempt to press home the point.

In the New Testament, there are 274 mentions of the word ‘disciple’.

Surprisingly, these are found only in the four gospels and in Acts. Which begs the question: If Jesus’ command was to go and make disciples, and discipleship is so important to the church, why are disciples not mentioned in the epistles and in Revelation?

There are only two possible explanations. One: The apostles messed up big time and never taught anyone about being disciples. Or Two: There was no need to mention disciples because it was understood that all believers were disciples. I don’t believe the apostles messed up. I am convinced that the epistles to the churches were letters and instructions to disciples.

In Antioch, the disciples were called Christians for the very first time (Acts 11:26). They were disciples who were labelled as Christ-ians (those who belonged to the Christ). Today, we call everyone Christians first. Then hope and pray that some will become disciples.

The issue is more fundamental than it is intentional. If we would acknowledge that we are all disciples of Jesus, perhaps we would be more intentional to live as faithful disciples.

Jesus is still inviting all to follow Him. To the next level of commitment. Brothers and sisters in Christ, disciples of Jesus, would you take the next step?

Let us pray …

Lord Jesus, the invitation to disciples to follow You is clear. We are the ones who have complicated things, even rationalized and justified why discipleship is optional, or only for some. Forgive us. Wherever we may be in our walk and relationship with You, enable us by Your Holy Spirit, to take the next step, to move to the next level of commitment to follow You. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

Christmas Blessings from the Lim Tribe

Another year has flown by and we still cannot dine out as a family – thanks to all the safe management measures of this present pandemic we are in. Perhaps that’s why our Christmas photo looks the way it does. We may be arrested and fined for exceeding the number allowed for social groups – haha!

But seriously, in spite of all restrictions and inconveniences, we have much to celebrate and give thanks for. It would be too long to list (yes, even longer than Santa’s naughty list *grin*). As the worship song goes, we have more than 10,000 reasons to praise the Lord for He is so good and ever faithful.

Christmas celebrations may still be toned down this year but that does not stop us from remembering and celebrating the first coming of Jesus in our hearts. Amidst the doom and gloom, the Light of His coming and love shines even more brightly. At the same time, our present challenges remind us of the hope we have, one that points us toward the Day when Jesus will come again. How glorious that would be!

May the love, joy and peace of this Christmas season fill your hearts and homes as we together mark the birth of Jesus, the One who was sent to save us from our sins. This invitation and promise is freely available to all who would believe in Him and all He has done for you that you may receive from Him and all He has prepared for you, entirely by His grace.

From our family to yours… Happy, Merry, Blessed Christmas!

Henson & Serene
with David, Sarah, Aaron, Esther, Ruth, Deborah Hope & Anna Joy

2021: Year in Review

Preaching about Emmanuel (Matt 1:23; Isa 7:14) last week caused my heart to be overwhelmed all over again. Truly, no matter what we may be going through or experiencing, our God is with us. My prayer is that you will experience His Presence afresh in this and every season.

As another year draws to a close, join me to give thanks to the Lord for what He has done this year:

  1. The message of Archippus Awakening continues to be declared. AAA Webinar (Mar) & AWE2021 (May) were the ‘official’ awakening and aligning webinars over Zoom. Beyond these, whenever God opens the door, I will simply open my mouth – Metropolitan YMCA (Feb), Bedok Methodist Church Alignment Seminar (Apr), Chapel of Resurrection Church Camp (May), Bartley Christian Church Alignment Check Seminar (Nov), BBTC AAA Webinar (Dec), etc. Just one message. Yet still so very relevant and appropriate especially in these times.
  2. More marketplace opportunities are opening up too. I spoke and shared at quite a few marketplace platforms – DBS Fellowship, CBD Fellowship, C-Friendz; and just last week, at Harborlight Church’s INFLUENCE Conference on “The Marketplace Christian”. I am also involved in a marketplace initiative called FMMD (Fellowship for Mentoring & Ministry Development) that seeks to train and raise more kingdom practitioners – totally Archippian. Going forward, we are praying how the Lord wants to use Archippus Awakening to awaken, align and assign the saints in this critical Area of Operation.
  3. We are halfway through our six-month aligning initiative – Mentoring Aligning Process (MAP). This run of MAP has been really interesting and exciting for both MAPpers and Mentors, comprising Archippuses from Singapore and the nations (Hongkong, Malaysia, India, UAE, Uganda & Nepal). The Lord is truly expanding the Archippian community, stretching and preparing us for even more up ahead.
  4. Speaking of nations, OPS AAKORN (Operation Archippus Awakening Kingdom Outpost [AAKO] Relational Network) has commenced and is progressing steadily. AAKO Uganda and AAKO Philippines have completed the eight-week Awakening Context training and are now declaring the AA message. AAKO Sandakan (Malaysia) has assembled a team to go through this training in Chinese, starting January 2022. AA has also been introduced in Hong Kong; we are now praying for a core team to be formed for AAKO Hong Kong. India, Nepal & UAE are next to be trained.
  5. KINGDOM101, the expository kingdom teaching series, premiered its final teaching for the year on 15 December. This video platform has extended the reach to many more, in Singapore and beyond. This year also saw the revamp of the teaching website, featuring video, audio and teaching summaries. Share this resource with your friends. Since the first session in March 2015, we are now at Session #122, just crossing over into Matthew 20. Another 12 dates have already been set for 2022.
  6. As we give thanks to the Lord for all the above, we also acknowledge a very key initiative – KINGDOM PRAYER INITIATIVE (KPI). Unknown to many, this was the first initiative of Archippus Awakening before anything else was introduced or implemented. From a small group that rallied around me to pray, KPI has grown into a team of intercessors that provides a prayer covering for Archippus Awakening and every Archippian endeavour. In July-August, we hosted a #fromthegroundup weekly prayer initiative using the Love Singapore’s 40-Day Prayer Guide. Just three weeks ago, we gathered at Changi Cove for a prayer retreat. It was such a meaningful time of fellowship, ministry to one another and receiving fresh direction from the Lord.
  7. Last but not least, in spite of Covid19 measures, book sales of SAY TO ARCHIPPUS & ALIGNMENT CHECK continue to be encouraging. These publications are still awakening and impacting lives for the Lord. A fresh order has been placed for the 6th print of Say to Archippus. Translation work is being finalised for Alignment Check (Chinese) and will  go to print soon. For this season, apply this coupon code: “EMMANUEL to get a 10% storewide discount at archippusawakening.org/shop (valid until 31 Dec 2021). 

Praise God for another full and fulfilling year! Thankful too for those He’s led to work alongside me, for the dedication and co-labour of TEAM ARCHIPPUS. I may have the honour and privilege of being the face and voice of Archippus Awakening. But God knows the sacrifice and effort of the many Archippuses who run with me, sharing the load and operationalising the vision. I give thanks to the Lord for each and every one of these fellow soldiers. In Singapore and the nations. #salute #buildthearc

Thank you for your partnership and support. Your prayers and cheers along the way greatly encourage me and are much appreciated. I apologise for not writing more regularly. To this end, if you ever need to get in touch with me, I am only an email away.

It leaves me to wish you once again – Blessed Christmas and an exciting new year to you and your loved ones! May the truth and reality of Emmanuel hold, sustain, enable and lead you through all He has prepared for you in 2022. And beyond.

In His love and for His glory!

Setting the House in Order

Led to read 1 Peter 4:17 this morning:

“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17

Sensed the burden to release this as an urgent reminder – a word and a warning – from the Lord. The days ahead will not necessarily be easy days for the people of God. It will require faith, genuine faith, to endure every challenge for the sake of Jesus. [Read 1 Peter 4:12-16 for context.]

The challenges we face are God’s instrument of judgment (not wrath); a test of sorts. Will we continue to walk in His ways? Or will we compromise? Note that this judgment will begin with God’s people. First.
This judgment is not of condemnation, for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Rather, it is one of separation; a sifting. This testing by fire reveals the genuineness of faith, that which counts at the revelation of Jesus, resulting in final salvation (1 Peter 1:6-8). Through this, the Lord will know those who are truly His.

This explains why Peter warned that “the righteous one is scarcely saved” (NIV: it is hard for the righteous to be saved; NASB: it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved). No place for presumption here. If this is so, can you imagine how it will be for the ungodly and sinner (1 Peter 4:18)? If you think judgment is tough for believers, you don’t want to be in the place of those “who do not obey the gospel of God.”

I believe this is a word of grace for every believer to check his or her own walk. We who have the gospel of God must live according to the ways of God. The Lord’s greatest indictments against Israel were idolatry and disobedience. God’s standards have not changed because our God is an unchanging God.

Every believer must honestly evaluate: Have I been idolatrous? Have I been disobedient? Have I worshipped and revered the Lord as He is to be honoured and feared? Have I obeyed the Lord, His ways, His will? The house of God – the ekklesia of Jesus Christ – must set the house in order.

At the revelation of Jesus my King, may the faith I profess in Him be found to be genuine faith.

A Psalm A Day: Free Ebook

One year ago, I decided to journey through the book of Psalms. One psalm a day. Over 150 days.

I can’t say it was an instruction from the Lord. Or a kingdom assignment (in Archippus Awakening lingo). It was just a very strong prompting to read and reflect. And then to post and share my thoughts and ramblings.

As with all things, starting was easy. Continuing was not quite as straightforward. This came as a surprise. After all, how difficult can it be to read one psalm a day, right? Which just goes to show that conviction alone is not enough. It must also be coupled with commitment and consistency.

By the Lord’s grace and enablement, I completed the task in just a little over 150 days. If I remember correctly, I missed a couple of days because of ministry engagements. Needless to say, I was richly blessed, provoked at times, but learnt so much.

A Psalm A Day has since been compiled into an e-book (PDF format). To celebrate one year of this project, I would like to share this resource with you.

If you’d like to go through your own A Psalm A Day exercise, drop me an email at brohenson@gmail.com with the subject title “I want A Psalm A Day” and a short note as to why you’d like to do this – this will help you with your own commitment and consistency. I will then send you the e-book via return email (please ensure you check your spam/junk folder, just in case). Please acknowledge when you get it – thanks.

There is no charge for this e-book. All I ask is that you will value this free resource and do your part to walk through the psalms over the next 150 days. You are welcome to check-in with me at any point of your journey. Feel free to share in the comments below too. I am sure your reflections will cheer others on in their own A Psalm A Day journeys.

Most of all, I’d really appreciate a note from you after you complete this exercise. I’d love to hear of how the Lord has spoken to you or directed you through A Psalm A Day. That would greatly encourage me.

In His love

Glory Only in the Lord

Reflecting on the celebrations and events of the past week, this one verse sums it all up.

Especially in our age of social media, others only see the good, the glam, the glitz. Few, if any, see or understand the pain, the plight, the perplexities.

Too easy it is to spew Christianese. Or God forbid, spout kingdomese. But to truly reveal the Christ … ah, that’s a totally different matter, is it not?Similarly, when it comes to assignments, the focus tends to be on abilities, affirmations and accolades. Truth is, one must be equally ready to encounter and embrace the woes, the weariness and the weaknesses. Both in others. And especially in the self.

Which is why 1 Corinthians 1:13 is such an apt reminder (cf Jeremiah 9:24). For good measure, the apostle quotes it again in 2 Corinthians 10:17. For amidst achievements, we are prone to forget all too quickly.

We really have nothing to boast about. When all is said and done, all glory belongs to God.

And yet, this is not to say that no glorying is allowed. We are just not to think that it is a result of our own wisdom, might or riches. We are instead to glory in the Lord: To understand and know God – who He is and what delights Him (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

It’s been a meaningful time of marking milestones this week. I’ve received much encouragement from many. For these, I am very thankful and grateful. In everything, I openly and readily acknowledge that it is entirely by His grace that I can even get to glory in anything; and especially in Him.

To God be the glory! #entirelybyhisgrace