Peter Horrobin

Founder & International Director of Ellel Ministries

August 15, 2016
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | Finding Peace with God

Devotional Message | Finding Peace with God

Isaiah 30:15, NIV
“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”

God’s desire is for each one of us to enjoy the inner peace and joy that comes from being at one with Him. And it is the deepest desire and need of man’s heart as well. Without this we are like goldfish trying to survive in a pool full of sharks! Or, as Peter puts it,

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August 1, 2016
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | Worthless Idols!

Devotional Message | Worthless Idols!

Jonah 2:8
“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”

An idol is anything that we are attached to, devoted to or addicted to that becomes a substitute for a true relationship with the living God. The story of Jonah is one that always captures our attention, but our Scripture for the day is one of the key verses in the whole of this short book.

The heart of the story is whether or not Jonah was willing to be obedient to God. He had been asked by God to go and preach to the evil people of Ninevah, but in his rebellion against the word of the Lord, Jonah set off in the other direction and boarded a ship to Tarshish. When a terrible storm threatened the safety of everyone on board, the crew threw Jonah, the man who was running away from God, overboard.

And in the belly of the fish that swallowed him, Jonah came to his senses and spoke out to God the profound words we are reading today, “those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” A worthless idol is anything which turns our heart from God and makes us run away from Him. Many are the circumstances that people can end up in as a result of disobedience and running away from what people know to be right and true. Even seemingly innocent things can be a deceptive idol if they rob us of the time which we should be spending in coming close to God.

I’m conscious as I write this Seed that there may be many people who are suddenly being convicted of the sin of idolatry – never having seen before how idolatry is not necessarily bowing down to a false image – but filling our thoughts, words and deeds, the sum total of which amounts to running away from the Lord.

The good news of the Jonah story is that in his precarious condition, he quickly repented. The result Was that God gave Jonah a second chance to do what God had asked him to do in the first place. God is a gracious God – He longs to give us a second chance, but sometimes He allows very difficult things to happen in our lives to get our attention, so that we may turn once again to Him.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You helped Jonah to see the truth of his situation and gave Him a second chance. Help me, Lord, to examine my own heart and see if there is anything that I have made an idol of, so that I may, through repentance and a change of heart, experience once again the grace of God. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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July 16, 2016
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | Sharing the Burdens of the Persecuted

Devotional Message | Sharing the Burdens of the Persecuted

Psalm 89:50-51, NIV
“Remember, O Lord, how your servants are mocked and how I bear in my heart the insults of all the many nations, with which your enemies mock, O Lord, with which they mock the footsteps of your anointed.”

This is a season in history unlike any that has gone before. And yet there are elements of today’s political and international scenes that are as old as man. Ever since the Fall, Satan has sought to undermine the work of God’s anointed – both His anointed One, the Messiah Jesus, and those who seek to follow in the Lord’s footsteps and serve Him.

The psalmist here recognises that the opposition they were experiencing was, ultimately, aimed at the God they served – a mocking spirit that had no respect for the living God. It is the same today, the fear of God has departed the nations and the enemy is mocking and opposing those who choose to respect the Word of God and live their lives accordingly.

Right now believers in Russia are suffering a new round of persecution and there are 53 other nations in which persecution of Christians is now a regular occurrence. Jesus warned the disciples that those who follow Him will experience the same things that He suffered.

And as believers, when we hear news of what is happening to our brethren overseas, we bear in our hearts the insults of all the many nations. We stand with them in bearing the insults together. And that also means we should never cease to pray for those who are persecuted for their faith, just as the psalmist is doing in today’s Scripture.

Prayer: Lord, we ask You to remember today all of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering the insults of the enemy through persecution. May they remain faithful under pressure, be encouraged and strengthened through the prayers of the saints around the world. In Jesus’s Name. Amen.

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June 30, 2016
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | The Journey Back

Devotional Message | The Journey Back

Psalm 79:8, NIV
“Do not remember against us our former iniquities; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low.”

When people turn their back on God and walk away from His plan and purposes for their lives, there are consequences. Not because God is vindictive, but because He loves us so much that He wants us to be reminded of who He is and of how much He loves us. Sometimes, when people have deliberately and consistently run away from the place of God’s blessing, they have to come to a place of being ‘very low’ in order for them to come to their spiritual senses and realise what they have done.

In telling the story of the prodigal son, Jesus was using this very human story to teach profound spiritual principles. He was telling the people both what the consequences are of running away from God and then, in stark contrast to how the Pharisees would be thinking, how the Father scans the horizon to lavish love on the son who was lost – not to reward his homecoming with punishment. Being brought very low can sometimes be the essential first step in a long journey of return, forgiveness and eventual restoration to the place of sonship.

This is the heart of God – if we persist in being wilfully rebellious, He does not protect us from being brought very low, because He knows that unless someone is brought face to face with the reality of where they are and what they are doing, they will never turn their hearts once again back to their Father. Sometimes, unless we face how much we have fallen in time, we will eliminate ourselves from the blessings of fellowship with the Father in eternity.

Over the years I have spent thousands of hours with people who have been brought low and have faced the brick wall caused by their own behaviour – but what joy when they have realised that this is the place where they have really met with the heart and character of a loving God, often for the first time. The Father has enveloped them in his loving arms and laid out a feast of love to celebrate their return.

It’s hard, sometimes, to watch people on a path that will inevitably lead to them being brought low. It can be easy to think that this is always the enemy’s doing, and no doubt he rejoices when people hit rock bottom. But man’s desperation is God’s opportunity and whenever that happens we need to be there to help people rediscover how much Father God loves them – that is the heart of healing. No-one is beyond the love and the mercy of God.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that even when people are brought very low, Your love for them never fails. And that You are always scanning the horizon looking for the moment when people turn again to You. Help us, Lord, always to be agents of Your love and mercy to show them Your heart in their time of need. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

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June 24, 2016
by Blog Moderator
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God Has Acted

In my recent Blog about the European referendum, I set out the spiritual reasons why I believed that the UK should leave the European Union. As I write these words on the morning of the 24th June, the nation, the European Union and, indeed, the markets of all the world’s major economies are in utter turmoil!

Contrary to everyone’s expectations, the unthinkable has happened. By a very significant majority the United Kingdom has voted to leave the EU and the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has offered his resignation. It is a totally extraordinary result, way outside the parameters of anyone’s expectations. The Remain camp, which ended the day yesterday confident of victory, is this morning in disarray, completely at a loss to explain what has happened. The victory is reminiscent of some of the victories of David when the Lord acted on his behalf to overcome the Philistines.

Yesterday morning, I settled down to a time of personal prayer for the nation.  My reading for the day happened to be Psalm 75 in which the psalmist declares in verse 7 that “it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.”

Then this morning the daily Seeds of the Kingdom devotional from Ellel Ministries, written by one of our team serving in Europe, happened to be based on the Scripture from Exodus 2:25, which says “He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.” (NLT).  As I read those words they came to me as a strong confirmation that not only was the referendum result extraordinary, but it was indeed a massive answer to prayer. God has acted to set the UK free from the external spiritual control of the European Union. God has not forgotten our history and He has given this nation another opportunity to recover its spiritual destiny.

This is a time to renew our commitment as believers to be intercessors for the nations – both for the UK and for all the other nations of the European Union. From a place of freedom, I believe we will be much better positioned to stand alongside our brothers and sisters in Europe, serving one another in the Body of Christ. Ellel Ministries has centres and operations throughout the whole of Europe and we are trusting that just as God has answered the prayers of His people for the UK, that He will also answer the prayers of believers right across the continent.

I ended my pre-referendum blog with these words:

“On the 23rd of June I will be voting to leave the EU – but I’m already praying for those hidden ‘Jehoshaphats’, ‘Daniels’ and ‘Josephs’ to come to the fore of public life, and start steering our nation back to the godly roots from which it has currently wandered so far.”

This must now be the urgent prayer agenda of God’s people.

June 18, 2016
by Blog Moderator
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The God-Life

Jim Graham has been one of my closest and most precious friends for almost twenty-five years. He has taught at different Ellel Centres and Conferences on many occasions and His fatherly input, encouragement, correction and direction have always been immensely valued.

I knew Jim wasn’t well at the beginning of 2016 as he had cancelled some teaching appointments, because of what he thought must be flu. But on the 19th March 2016 I received an email from him, containing the detailed diagnosis of his condition by his medical consultants.  In this he said: “In reality, Peter, it looks like I am heading to the finishing line. I am content and completely free of anxiety. Please pray that I will finish well! Looks like, too, Peter that my teaching days are over.” My eyes filled with tears as I dwelt on those many years of rich fellowship and the prospect of Jim no longer being part of God’s family on earth.

I will never forget the few hours we were privileged to spend together on the 6th April, mainly talking about the Lord, but it wasn’t until the 25th April that I heard of the existence of Jim’s personal ‘translations’ of Paul’s Epistles. I wrote to him immediately, urging him to consider allowing them to be published. Very graciously, he arranged for a copy of all the letters he had completed to be sent to me, together with a Preface he had just written.

Three times, as a publisher, prior to Ellel Ministries, I was fortunate enough to discover and publish significant books and see them become best-sellers. Moments like those are never forgotten. But when I started to read what Jim had sent, I realized I was holding in my hand something far more precious and valuable than anything I had ever discovered in the secular world. This was a ‘publishing moment’ to exceed all others.

For, as I read the text of The God-Life, I realized I was standing on holy ground! From time to time I had heard Jim illustrate his teaching with profoundly impacting readings, but I had no idea that they were extracts from his personalized translations of most of Paul’s Epistles. In his email Jim had said “my teaching days are over”. But what I was reading was so profound that I sensed the very opposite would be the case – Jim’s wider teaching ministry to the whole Body of Christ was only just beginning!

When Jim wrote these personalized translations of Paul’s letters he was doing it in obedience to a personal Word from the Lord, but largely, as he thought, for his own benefit. But now the whole Church, until Jesus comes again, can benefit from Jim Graham’s profound, Holy Spirit inspired, understanding of Paul’s amazing letters.

The God-Life is an absolute gem which deserves to hold a special place alongside the very best of all the modern paraphrases of Scripture. It will be an inspirational blessing to countless other people, as they journey through life to their own finishing line.  It is totally brilliant.

Before publication I sent a copy of the manuscript to various key leaders – and discovered that their response was just like mine:

“this brilliant paraphrase”  George Verwer.  “Nothing short of a spiritual treasure” George Otis Jr.   “A remarkable book” Jill Southern-Jones.  “The God-life is a God-send” Stuart McAlpine. “Brings the Scripture to life” Alistair Petrie!  “This superb interpretation” David Pawson.

And a student proof reader said, “This book absolutely blew my mind! It is so powerful. I can’t wait to buy it and make sure everyone I know reads it.”

Having now got the finished book in my own hands, I can tell you that it’s already become a rich devotional blessing in my own walk with the Lord. If you would like to join me in being blessed by Jim Graham’s ‘legacy’ to the Body of Christ, you can order a copy right away by clicking on this link: https://uk.store.ellel.org/the-god-life.html

June 16, 2016
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | The Divine Carpenter!

Devotional Message | The Divine Carpenter!

Matthew 11:28-30, NIV
“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

There is sometimes a difference between the burdens we choose to carry and the burdens which God equips us to be able to carry! God’s burdens are light, meaning that they fit perfectly with our gifting, our ability, our situation and our destiny. Whereas the things that we choose to carry can sometimes be ones that God has not prepared for us, or, even, ones that the enemy has loaded on our backs! It is these which cause us the greatest personal pressure, stress and distress.

We need to learn not to pick up unnecessary things, maybe because of pride, and how to exercise Holy Spirit discernment to recognise false burdens from the enemy of souls and not accept them as our responsibility. We then need not to be afraid of the things that the Lord does give us to do – for if it is truly He who has given them to us, then we can be sure that He has also equipped us to be able to carry that responsibility effectively.

An ‘easy yoke’ in our Scripture for today is one that perfectly fits the shoulders of the ox for which it was made. Not all oxen are the same and a skilled carpenter would carefully shape the yoke to fit the physique of the ox to which it would be fitted. As a carpenter, Jesus knew what He was talking about and this particular illustration would have been well understood by his hearers. An ox was capable of a massive amount of hard and heavy work – but only if the yoke was ‘easy’, meaning well-fitted. An ill-fitting yoke caused pressure and pain.

In these scriptures Jesus is saying come to Him and let Him decide what you should be carrying – let Him be the Carpenter who has shaped your yoke to fit you and knows exactly what You should be carrying!. There are times in my own life when I have felt excessive stress from the loads I was carrying and I have simply come to the Lord and talked to Him about each one. Invariably, at those times, there were things that I had unnecessarily been carrying and, on occasions, things that were clearly enemy inspired. I needed to do some pruning of the things that were causing the stress, so that I could more effectively carry the loads, even heavy ones, that God had made me to carry.

Prayer: Thank you Jesus that you have made and equipped me to be a carrier of loads that are perfectly fitted to who I am. But help me to recognise those things that You have not asked me to carry so that I can avoid being wrongfully heavy laden. I choose today to come to You that I may rest on who You are and discover afresh what You want me to be and to do. In Jesus’s Name. Amen.

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June 1, 2016
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | When Nothing Else Matters

Devotional Message | When Nothing Else Matters

Psalm 73:24-26, NIV
“You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven, but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.”

It’s been my privilege to minister and pray with quite a few people as they have walked through their last days on earth and approached their moment of eternal destiny, as they ‘cross the river’ which separates time from eternity. When flesh fails, for those who know the Lord, God is all they want! The things of earth have grown ‘strangely dim’ in the ‘light of His glory and grace’ as I have so often sung in the words of the chorus, Turn your eyes upon Jesus’.

But when flesh has failed, as it surely will, we will inevitably leave behind the treasure that has been accumulated on life’s journey. Our material possessions are distributed according to our will for another generation of beneficiaries to use and to enjoy. But there is an inheritance that we leave behind which is never mentioned in the will and yet is the only inheritance that can yet reap blessing and benefit in heaven – the inheritance that has been sown into the world as a result of the lives we have lived.

The spiritual treasure that we leave behind, which cannot be counted by the executors of anyone’s estate, will continue to reap a harvest for years and generations to come. When people think of you after you have gone, what will be their lasting impression? Will they remember the depth and the integrity of your spiritual life and be challenged to walk closer to the Saviour?

When the Apostle Paul was writing his letters in prison he had no idea that what he was writing would one day become part of the New Testament – but what he left behind was powerful evidence of the living reality of his everyday walk with Jesus. Generations have been blessed by the spiritual treasure he left behind. Like Paul, we should all be concerned about whether the spiritual treasure we leave behind will be an eternal blessing to the succeeding generations.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the lives of those who impacted me for good and for God. Thank you for their living testimony. Help me, Lord, to always be aware of the influence my life can have on others as I seek to serve You with all of my heart. In Jesus’s Name. Amen.

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May 16, 2016
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | Sharing Good News

Devotional Message | Sharing Good News

Psalm 66 16, NIV
“Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.”

Reverence and awe are primary constituents of holy fear. It is only those who revere God and who worship Him in awe and wonder, whose ears are truly open to hear the testimony of a redeemed sinner. To those whose ears are shut to the voice of God and whose eyes are closed to the creation of God, testimonies of salvation are as meaningless as the description of how a nuclear reactor works to an old man who never went to school! What would be meat and drink to the nuclear scientist, would be indigestible nonsense to the old man!

Until a person’s understanding is opened up to a knowledge of God and the reality of sin and its consequences, testimonies of salvation are received with obvious embarrassment and usually fall on deaf ears. But to those who have been saved, the stories of how God moved in a person to give them new life, when they were born again and their soul was saved from death and hell, are the source of intense joy and gladness.

So it is those who already know the fear of the Lord who the psalmist calls to come and hear his story. Throughout the psalms you can read about the goodness of the Lord. We read of how God redeemed David after his catastrophic fall and restored him. We hear how God set his feet again upon a rock and as we read these amazing songs of testimony, we are caught up in the joy and thanksgiving of all that God did for David’s soul.

David couldn’t stop telling God how grateful he was for His love and mercy. Psalm 66 ends with David saying (or singing), “Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!” Praise and thanksgiving build up one’s spirit and bless those who fear the Lord. Why not spend a few minutes now, rejoicing in all that God has done for your souls and then sharing your testimony with great thanksgiving.

And then when unbelievers see the fruit of a changed life, they can be prompted by the Spirit of God to ask the right questions. Then you can tell them that what they now see is a fruit of what God did for your soul. Once people start asking the right questions (like the woman at the well did in John 4) we then have the immense privilege of telling them the Good News.

Prayer: I am so grateful, Lord, for saving my soul and for redeeming my life. Help me to always be thankful for Your goodness. And help me also, Lord, to always be willing to share the good news with those who see the fruit of God’s presence in my life and want to know more about Jesus. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

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May 2, 2016
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | Selective Hearing

Devotional Message | Selective Hearing

Proverbs 28:9, NIV
“If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable.”

Just as we can turn a ‘blind eye’ to things we don’t want to see, we are all capable of selective hearing – of only listening to those things that we want to listen to! Most of the time this is a harmless and sensible way of coping with the myriad sounds that try to invade our personal space and get our attention. But on occasions, we can use this capacity to close our ears and act as if we are deaf in a way that is potentially lethal.

 

If, for example, you were driving along the motorway and were starting to pull out into the fast lane, and you suddenly heard a loud car horn blasting you from the rear, you would be extremely unwise to ignore it! The sound of the horn was a warning that you were pulling out in front of another faster-moving vehicle and unless you swung back into your own lane there would be a terrible accident. It would not be sensible to turn a deaf ear to the sound of the horn, carry on with your intention to pull out into the fast lane and at the same time pray that the Lord will keep you safe!

 

The Word of God and the law of God are sometimes like the blast of a horn, warning us of the dangers of what we are thinking of doing. If we turn a deaf ear to what God is saying  and carry on regardless, but still praying for God’s protection and blessing on our lives, it would be as stupid and dangerous as the car driver who ignored the warning blast of a horn from another driver.

 

Our Scripture for today tells us that when we deliberately turn a deaf ear to the things that God has spoken in His law and carry on regardless, but still praying for God’s blessing on what we are doing, then our prayers become detestable to Him. Why should that be? Well, consider for a moment that you are choosing to give in to a temptation to do something sinful, but at the same time you are daily praying for God to bless all the things you are doing, how can it be anything else but detestable to be asking God to bless those things that Jesus died to save us from?

 

Our daily prayer should be:

Lord, open my eyes and open my ears to see what you’re doing and to hear your voice. When you speak, Lord, I choose to listen. I want to walk in obedience to you. I choose to love, serve and obey You with a glad heart today and every day. In Jesus’s Name. Amen.

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