Peter Horrobin

Founder & International Director of Ellel Ministries

May 15, 2017
by Seeds of the Kingdom
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Devotional Message | The Sleep of Peace

Psalm 4:3 & 8
“Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him . . . I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

A godly person is someone who chooses to walk in the ways of the Lord – to pursue righteousness and right living, whatever the circumstance. God sees the heart and rewards those whose hearts are after him with his presence. As our Scripture encourages us today, He has set apart the godly for himself!

In every circumstance of life, we naturally prefer to keep the company of those who think like we do, enjoy similar interests, have similar objectives in life and can be really trusted. We are glad to call such people true friends. Scripture tells us that we are made in the image and likeness of God, so how we feel about relationships is simply a reflection of how God feels about relationship with us.

God enjoys walking with those who think like He does, have similar objectives in life and can be really trusted. Abraham was like that and James tell us that “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, and he was called God’s friend” (James 2:23).

It’s sometimes tempting to look around at the world, see the endless pleasures that seem to be available to the godless and be tempted to be jealous. But in the inner being of their spirit, there can only be loneliness, because they do not have the best companion there could ever be walking with them – the living God! God delights to keep fellowship with those who love Him and choose to walk with Him and delight in His ways. And as a companion you can talk with him and share your heart, knowing that He is utterly trustworthy and will keep your heart secure in the peace of God.

There is no torment in sleep for those who have the peace of God’s presence in their hearts. So, whatever the circumstances of life you may be going through in the ups and downs of life, we can know that we are secure in Him – not just for time, but for eternity as well. And that is something that no earthly pleasure can ever provide! So be encouraged.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for your promise to be with those who choose to walk in Your ways and to hear when they call upon You. Help me, Lord, never to stray into pathways that take me away from Your presence. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

April 30, 2017
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | Fear and Foolishness!

Devotional Message | Fear and Foolishness!

Proverbs 1:7, NIV
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

Who is God? Well, to begin with, He’s the Creator of all things. All power and authority are His. Everything in the universe is a fruit of His creative genius. There’s nothing in the whole of the universe which didn’t begin with God and wasn’t made by Him. He does, therefore, deserve our wonder, awe and respect. It would be an act of gross stupidity not to recognise that He knows more than we do about absolutely everything – not just about the universe that He’s made – but about living life itself.

Then, God is pure love. The Bible doesn’t just say He decided to love us, but that his whole being is LOVE. Love is His very nature! And having created the universe, He completed His creative vision by making mankind in His own image and likeness, because He wanted to share His love with us in relationship. But man used His God-given free will to turn away from the One who made the stars, and the whole Universe. In the words of our scripture for today, mankind despised God’s wisdom and refused to respect the discipline of being obedient.

Throughout Scripture we read about the ‘fear of the Lord’ as being absolutely vital to living a successful and blessed life. It was in ‘holy fear’ that Noah was said to have built the ark (Hebrews 11:7). He desperately wanted to do it right. But the fact is, if we don’t live in the daily reality of holy fear, which means trusting in God more than we trust in ourselves, then we’ll always make our own choices without reference to the God who made us, and often those choices will be foolish ones.

None of us likes to be shown up as having been a fool, but if we choose to live life our own way, without reference to God or His way, then, in the end, we’ll be seen to have been fools. The psalmist tells us that it’s the fool who says in his heart that there’s no God (Psalm 14:1). Choosing to live life, without reference to Him, is an act of massive stupidity.

To come before Him in holy fear, acknowledging Him for who He is, and choosing to submit your life to the authority of the living God and His Word, is the most sensible thing anyone can ever do. As our scripture for today says – it’s the beginning of wisdom.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You cared enough about me to give me Your Word. Forgive me, Lord, for the many times I’ve chosen to trust in my own wisdom instead of Yours. And help me, Lord, to always look to You as the Captain of the ship of my life. I choose to live in holy fear of the only living and loving God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

April 18, 2017
by Blog Moderator
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“Easter People – living in a Good Friday World”

Recent newspapers have been full of the precipitous stand-off in North Korea, and many other harrowing stories of human suffering, including the stabbing to death of an English girl studying at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In the midst of all this, the Editor of the Daily Telegraph chose to fill the whole of his editorial column on Easter Saturday with a remarkable account of the Easter message, focussing on the fact that Jesus “descended into Hell” so that we could have a hope of Heaven. Here’s the link:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2017/04/15/light-let-broken-doors/

It’s well worth reading and realising that not everyone in the media is anti-Chrstian. Indeed, during this past week there have been several  major articles in the Telegraph about the persecution of Christians overseas and the apparent disinterest of politically correct governments in opening their eyes to see that there is a systematic attack of believers going on, especially where radical Islam has a foothold. The ancient Syrian church is all but annihilated and the number of Christians left in Iraq is minimal.

But in the midst of the darkness the light of truth is being shone by the Holy Spirit – especially into the hearts of some Muslims who are sick of what their fellow Muslims are doing in the name of their religion. And many are turning to Jesus. And as we have discovered, there are many who come to Jesus the Healer and then discover that He is also Jesus their Saviour. More former Muslims celebrated Easter this year as devout followers of Jesus than at any other time in human history!

This Easter season has been a poignant time for me as I have meditated on the Sabbath day that divided Easter day from Good Friday. It must have been a day of confusion, uncertainty and fear for the disciples. We can look back with the benefit of hindsight and say to the disciples, “Why were you frightened – didn’t Jesus say He would rise again from the dead?” But if we had been part of that first group of disciples, caught between the tragedy of the day before and promises for the future that had not yet been proven to be true, I’ve no doubt we would have felt just like them.

I was deeply challenged by a comment by Andrew White, the former Vicar of Baghdad, who is now ministering in Jordan. He has on many occasions experienced believers having been tortured and killed for their faith in today’s spiritually hostile world. He is living and working with people who face the possibility of death on a daily basis – people who are trusting that the Jesus who was raised from the dead all those years ago, will be true to His Word and when He comes again and that He will raise them, also, to new life, free at last from the horrors they have experienced in this world.

Andrew’s summary of the world He is living in with believers is that “We are an Easter people, living in a Good Friday world.” This profound statement reflects the very heart of the Gospel – we are Easter people because Jesus was raised from the dead. But we are living in a Good Friday world, where the enemy of souls is still true to his name as a thief and a robber and seeking to cut short the lives of God’s people.

I have been challenged afresh to hold our persecuted brethren across the world in prayer in this their time of hurt, grief, suffering and distress. And through the agency of Ellel Ministries to do as much as we can, with the resources we have, to bring hope and healing to those still suffering, through the deep wounds and scars that mark their journey of faith.

April 15, 2017
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | The Triumph of the Resurrection

Devotional Message | The Triumph of the Resurrection

Matthew 28:2-4, NIV
“There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.”

The attempt by the Romans to secure the tomb by putting a seal on the stone and posting a guard seems laughable! The angels were not at all afraid of breaking a Roman seal (for which the earthly punishment would have been death), or of the guards who were protecting the body of Jesus. The angels had a much higher authority than Rome and all the power in the Universe was at their disposal. No wonder the traumatised soldiers were so shocked by the experience that they were stunned and looked like dead men.

This was the event that transformed history – and like a magnifying glass, which can be used to focus the rays of the sun and set fire to a piece of paper, the magnifying glass of eternity focused the power of the Almighty Creator God on a few square metres of Israeli rock – and the result changed the world for both time and eternity and set the world ablaze!

“Do not be afraid,” the angel said to the two Marys, who had come to look at the tomb, “for I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” I would love to see how today’s TV reporters would have vied with each other to get an exclusive scoop as they interviewed the women, as they returned to tell the disciples the utterly sensational news.

It was news that stunned the small group of heart-broken disciples and the ever-widening circle of people who were discovering what had happened. It was news that under the transforming power of the Holy Spirit was to transform Simon Peter into the evangelist who told the world at Pentecost exactly what had happened. It was news that has transformed the lives of countless millions of believers down the centuries. And it is news that, today, can transform your life and mine with the living Christ in our hearts and lives.

And soon there will be another event which will shake not just a piece of rock in Jerusalem, but the whole of the planet as Jesus, accompanied by a host of angels returns as King to call to himself for eternity all those who have been redeemed through the shedding of his blood at Calvary. In Christ we have nothing to fear – what a day of rejoicing this is as we say Thank You, Lord – and then look forward to the great day that’s yet to come.

Prayer: Thank You, Father God, for raising your Son from the dead. Thank You, Jesus for being willing to die that we might live. Thank you Holy Spirit for setting the church ablaze with the presence and the fire of God. On this Easter Sunday, I choose to worship You with everything I am – bless the Lord, O my soul – everything within me will praise His Holy Name. In the name of Jesus, my Lord. Amen.

April 5, 2017
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | Returning with Joy!

Devotional Message | Returning with Joy!

Psalm 126:1-3
“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”

God’s people had been exiled in a far country, under the control of a harsh regime. It’s no wonder that when they were set free and returned home to Zion, the city of God, Jerusalem, that they came back rejoicing. In their years of captivity they had thought about home, dreamed of being set free and when it actually happened, all their dreams came true!

For people who have suffered greatly in their lives, often through abuse, violence, trauma or misfortune, it has seemed for them that they have been living in a far country, limited by the boundaries of their past and the things they have gone through. Day after day they have looked at other people without such limitations and dreamt of being free themselves. The consequences of their own suffering are daily in front of their eyes and, in time, they begin to lose hope of ever being able to enjoy a normal life.

But in Isaiah 61:1-4, God paints a very different picture. He talks about those who are grieving and in mourning for what they have lost, those with the broken-hearts which typify their condition. Isaiah prophecies about Jesus when he says that He would “proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” When you see a beautiful butterfly emerge from the encrusted exterior of a chrysalis, you marvel at the miracle of God’s creative genius. But in just the same way, when you see God bring healing to those who have suffered greatly, you marvel at the miracle of healing as another prisoner ‘returns to Zion’ and rejoices in their freedom from captivity.

The Lord truly does great things for those who come to Him with open and humble hearts. He longs, like the father of the prodigal son, to put his arms of love around them, help them to forgive those who have hurt them, set them free from the work of the enemy in their lives and give them back their joy. What a testimony it is into a world that has forgotten about God – when they see the fruit of God’s healing and restoring love in the life of one individual who has returned home in joy!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the great things You have done for me – and for the great things You continue to do in setting the captives free to love and serve You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

March 15, 2017
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | How wise are you?

Devotional Message | How wise are you?

Proverbs 9:8 and 9, NIV
“Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning,”

It’s never easy to receive correction, especially when you have been believing that you’re right! But Proverbs 9 warns us that how we receive correction can be an indicator of how wise we are! For every time that we are corrected is an opportunity to learn and become wiser still.

I soon learnt as a teenager that, contrary to the root of pride that we can all have, there were things I had got wrong – and that if I didn’t receive the correction gladly, I would be on a very slippery downhill slope and that soon there would be a price to pay! I never liked receiving correction, for it showed up my own ignorance, but without it I would never have learned some of life’s most important lessons. Students would never grow wiser, if their teachers marked their schoolwork right when it was wrong. Receiving correction is a vital part of the learning and growing process. And in the school of life we never cease to be students!

But when it comes to correcting others in adult life, we first need to be very discerning of their heart attitude. Our Scripture for today reminds us that if the heart of someone is to mock you, they will not only refuse to receive the correction, but they will actually hate you in their hearts. And hatred is a murderous weapon which lies at the root of much evil intent. You can’t reason with someone who is motivated by hatred and, sadly, they usually have to learn life’s lessons the hard way. Wisdom says that sometimes we have to wait until a person is ready to listen before bringing correction.

So, how do we react when we sense the Lord is wanting to correct us? Are we ready to listen? Do we welcome His invitation when He says, as in the words of Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool”. Or do we resist the loving entreaties of the Lord to talk it all through together when our decisions and our conscience are challenged? In verses 19 and 20 of chapter 1, Isaiah goes on to say that “if you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land” but warns us of the serious consequences of rebelling against His word. A wise man will listen to the Lord and choose to walk in His ways.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for both the challenge and the encouragement of Your word. Forgive me, Lord, for those times when I have responded badly to necessary correction. Help me to receive Your correction gladly that I may grow wiser and know more of your blessing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

February 15, 2017
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | Hearing the Lord Speak

Devotional Message | Hearing the Lord Speak

Psalm 25:14, NIV
“The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.”

A snare is a cruel device designed to trap the legs of an animal in a hidden wire, so that it cannot run away. The animal can then easily be caught and killed. The psalmist uses this dramatic picture to describe how the enemy will try and trap us, as we walk through life, into making wrong choices and falling into his hands. Many is the person I have prayed with who has taken the bait of the enemy and finished up hobbling through life, being constantly reminded of his or her past and, as a result, failing to fulfil God’s purposes for their life.

But not only does the psalmist describe the consequences of the enemy’s actions, mercifully he tells us how we can hear the voice of the Lord for ourselves and hear God’s voice showing us how to escape from the snare. We can’t change the fact that we have been in a snare, but God delights to set us free so that once again we can step forward on the journey of life going in the right direction.

The key lies in having a holy fear of the Lord – not the sort of fear that makes us shake with fright, but the sort of fear that directs our choices through love so that our desire is always to please Him. This does not mean that we stop being our own person, but it means that God rejoices in seeing us free to be the person He made us to be – able to be blessed by Him and be a blessing to others. Hebrews 11:7 tells us that it was in holy fear that Noah built the ark – it was vital for Noah to be constantly hearing the Lord’s voice, guiding and directing him in the building of the most important ship that humanity has ever known. It saved the human race!

When our heart is right towards the Lord, then because of His covenant love He will delight to show us the way to go and how to both resist the enemy and be set free from his snares. If there is sin we need to confess it. If there is hurt from others we need to forgive them. If we have walked away from God’s plans for our life we need to tell the Lord we love Him and ask Him to help us get back on track. As we keep our eyes fixed firmly on Him, he will lead and direct your steps. For as the psalmist says in Psalm 119:44-45, “I will walk about in freedom for I have sought out your precepts.”

Prayer: Help me, Lord, to seek out Your precepts and walk in them. I want to hear Your voice and walk in Your ways all the days of my life. Lord, I am listening, please show me how to escape the snares of the enemy and obey You. I love You, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

January 15, 2017
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | My Redeemer Lives!

Devotional Message | My Redeemer Lives!

Job 19:25-27, NIV
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes – I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”

One of the amazing things about the Bible is how different writers at different times in history were all giving the same message in different ways! Here, in what is believed to be one of the oldest books of the Bible, Job is given revelation by the Holy Spirit – not just of the first coming of Jesus – but also that Job will live again and that he will see his Redeemer with his own eyes.

The words “I know that my Redeemer lives” are an extraordinary declaration that God will become the Redeemer of mankind – which is exactly what happened when Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead. The Redeemer was alive again – raised to life and raised to glory.

But then those words that Job will see his Redeemer “with his own eyes” are an amazing prophetic declaration that those who know their Redeemer will also be raised again with him after their earthly body (their skin) has been destroyed.

This is the certain hope of the believer, in a prophetic nutshell written hundreds of years before Jesus came. And as we look around a world in which there are so many dire and desperate situations it’s easy to agree with Job when he says that his “heart yearns within” him for that moment. And those words exactly echo the words of John, at the end of Revelation when he says, “Amen, come Lord Jesus”. For those who know their Redeemer there is nothing to fear in the coming again of the Lord – that will be a glorious moment, when our eyes at last will see Him!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that throughout Scripture the glorious truth of Jesus our Redeemer is proclaimed to all the world. Help me, Lord, never to forget that your return, when we will see you with our own eyes will, for believers, be a glorious moment – one that our hearts long for! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

December 31, 2016
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | Coming Soon!

Devotional Message | Coming Soon!

Revelation 22:12-13, NIV
“Behold I am coming soon! My reward s with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Today is the first day of January – the beginning of a New Year – a whole year of expectation lies before us. But just as each and every year has a beginning and an end, the universe that God created also has a beginning and an end. John 1 tells us that the Living Word (Jesus) was involved in the creation of everything that was made. And Revelation tells us that the One who made the world and everything in it will one day come again in all His glory – not as the babe of Bethlehem, but as the Kings of Kings and the Judge of all the Earth.

For those who have believed in Jesus, His second coming is an event to be looked forward to and anticipated with joy. But for those who do not know Him, Scripture warns us that “it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). As world events escalate and uncertainty on the international front becomes more and more concerning, it’s hard not to wonder how long it will be before the Lord returns. Our only eternal security lies in Him – He, literally, has the whole world in His hands, and if we are secure in Him then we have absolutely nothing to fear.

John Wesley always urged his followers to spend serious time with the Lord on the last day of the old year as a preparation for renewing one’s covenant with God on the first day of every year. You don’t have to be a Methodist to make this valuable spiritual discipline a time of reflection and opportunity – reflection on all that has gone before, and an opportunity to seek the face of God afresh and renew one’s commitment to Him for the year ahead.

None of us knows when the Lord will return, but as was made clear by Jesus in the parable of the wise and the foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), if you wait until He comes to then try and put oil in your lamp, it will be too late – it is only those who are ready when He comes that will be able to enter into the glory of His eternal presence. Be sure of one thing – the Scriptural promises about the first coming of Jesus were all fulfilled – they are evidence to those with ears to hear that the promises about His second Coming will also be fulfilled. May I encourage you, indeed urge you, to be ready at all times. He IS COMING AGAIN!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that the promises of Scripture were so precisely fulfilled when you came to Earth to be our Saviour. Help me always to be ready at all times for Your return, and to live as if You are returning today, with the lamp of my life always filled with the oil of your presence. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

December 15, 2016
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | Which Star is HIS Star?

Devotional Message | Which Star is HIS Star?

Matthew 2:1-2, NIV
“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the East came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star in the East and have come to worship him.”

In this Christmas Season the familiar Christmas stories are read and acted out in countless Nativity Plays. The story of the three visitors from the East (wise men, Kings or Magi) is always a key element in the drama. But as I was thinking about the story, while preparing for the Ellel Carol Service, I was prompted to think once again about which star was ‘His star’. Then I remembered what John had said about Jesus at the beginning of his Gospel:

“Through him all things were made, without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it” (John 1:3-5).

So, in reality, all the stars are His! He made them all. I showed a video at our Carol Service which attempts to illustrate just how big the created universe is. For example, our Sun is only one of several hundred billion stars in our own galaxy, the Milky Way. But then, further afield, there are estimated to be a 100 billion galaxies of stars! And the biggest known star is so big that a jet airliner would take eleven hundred years to just go round it once! And its diameter is about eighteen times the distance between the Earth and the Sun!!

It doesn’t actually matter which star it was that directed the wise men to the stable in Bethlehem – what matters is that we recognise that the Babe of Bethlehem is indeed “the Bright and Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16), bringing eternal light into the darkness of a world that has rejected its Creator and welcomed spiritual darkness.

As, this Christmas, I look up into the Heavens, and wonder at the stars in the Universe, my heart will be turned to the Babe of Bethlehem, and with the wise men and the shepherds I will be kneeling in worship of the Shepherd and the King – the Creator of all things who loved us so much that He came to be the Light, shining a torch of love into the darkness of this world and showing us the way to the Father.

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for Your eternal love and extraordinary obedience in coming into this dark world. I marvel at the wonders of Your creation and rejoice this Christmas to worship You, the Babe of Bethlehem, as the Lord and King of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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