Peter Horrobin

International Director of Ellel Ministries

February 15, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on The Comfort of Heaven

The Comfort of Heaven

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”

1 Corinthians 2:9, NIV

Many people, even many believers, are afraid of dying. Because they don’t know for certain what lies the other side of the grave, they live out their lives in fear of what happens next, instead of in the joy of living for and with God in the here and now!

The problem is one of trust – whether or not you can trust what Jesus said about going to prepare a place for you (John 14:2) or what Paul quoted from the book of Isaiah, which is our Scripture for today?

Trust is the absolute antidote to fear and the purveyor of comfort to the human heart. Even as tiny babies, we instinctively placed our trust in our Mums (and Dads), and received the comfort that came from their love. Their total dependability filled the very core of our beings. It would never have occurred to us to express any doubt by questioning whether or not their provision was good enough for us!

For those who do not know Jesus, their fear is totally understandable. But believers should have no reason to fear if they are trusting Jesus and believing what He said? And if they can’t trust what Jesus said about what is, arguably, the most important question anyone can ever ask, could it be that they are not really trusting Jesus at all?

For not only is He preparing a place for those who know and love Him, but the words of today’s Scripture add a richness and a depth to our vision of eternal life in Heaven’s glory: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”

May I encourage you to come afresh to Father God and put your trust in Him, just as a child puts their trust in Mum and Dad? He will not let you down. Jesus came from Heaven’s glory. He is an eye witness of the Father’s preparations for you and for me!

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that You are preparing a place for each one of us in Heaven. I choose now to trust Your word. Help me, Lord, to reject all sense of fear about what lies beyond the grave for I know You are there and my life is in Your hands. Thank You, Lord. Amen.

January 31, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Tears of Joy!

Tears of Joy!

“They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read . . . all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law . . . This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

From Nehemiah 8:8-10, NIV

The people of God had been in rebellion against God and His Word to them in the Law. As a result they lost their covering and protection and had been carried off as captives to Babylon. But then there came a time when God stirred the heart of one of those prisoners, Nehemiah, to ask the King’s permission to return to Jerusalem and repair the walls and gates of the city. Nehemiah’s book tells the amazing story of how he did it.

Then, after they had completed their task, in spite of a lot of opposition, and all the people had been settled back into their homes, Nehemiah, with Ezra the priest, gathered them all together, in the square before the Water Gate, to hear the Word of God in the Law of the Lord. A high wooden platform was built for the occasion (the first pulpit?!), from which Ezra read to them.

Not only did he read it to them, but he explained what he was reading “making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.” Ezra was not only reading the Word, but preaching the truth. And as he did so the people came under conviction for all they had done which had been in rebellion to the living God. Tears of repentance were flowing down their faces as the Word of God impacted their souls.

Then Nehemiah made a very insightful comment – “for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” He knew this was a very holy day as he sensed that the people’s repentance was bringing joy to the Lord. And that, in turn, the joy that the Lord has, when His children return to Him, becomes the strength that everyone of us needs to rise up as men and women of God to live for Him and do the works of the Kingdom.

Our tears of repentance bring great joy to the Lord as we are restored in Him and are equipped and empowered by His presence. May I encourage you to come to the Word of God with an open heart, being willing to listen to the Lord’s voice. And when the Holy Spirit touches your life and He begins to change you from the inside out, remember that your repentance is bringing joy to the Lord and His strength will fill your life.

Prayer: Help me, Lord, to read Your Word with an open heart, listening to your gentle voice of encouragement and challenge. I’m sorry for the times of rebellion there have been in my life. I pray that You will help me rebuild the gates and the walls of my life, so that I may be strong in You and empowered by the joy of Your presence. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

January 16, 2020
by Blog Moderator
Comments Off on Time to Inspect the Walls

Time to Inspect the Walls

For the past twelve months I have been putting the on-line
teaching of Ellel 365 into book form as Journey to Freedom. Hence the
recent absence of Blog entries! With six volumes already out and only two more
to go, I’m feeling liberated to write again!

In Chapter 2 of his book, Nehemiah describes arriving back
in Jerusalem, after receiving his commission to rebuild the walls and gates of
the city. It was, at first, a secret mission, “I had not told anyone what my
God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem.”

Nehemiah knew that If the city was to be restored as the
city of God’s people, the very first objective had to be the repair of the
gates and the restoration of the walls. Only when the walls and the gates were
secured would it be safe for the people to live there. So, he surveyed the
walls, assessed the damage and made a plan. He then told the leaders what he
had come to do and said, “Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we
will no longer be in disgrace
.”

As I was reading, I sensed the Lord speaking directly to me
about his church and saying, “The walls of my church are broken down and its
gates have been destroyed. My people are no longer living in safety. The time
has come to survey the walls, assess the damage and rebuild.  Only then
will my people be able to live in safety and be protected by walking in my
ways, according to the truth of My Word.”

Nehemiah knew that the work of rebuilding the walls of
Jerusalem would be opposed, as was soon demonstrated by the mocking
intervention of Sanballat and his friends. So, Nehemiah taught the people to
work with a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other, to resist the attacks
of an enemy while continuing to build the wall. And so it was that, with a
carefully orchestrated plan, the walls and the gates of Jerusalem were
restored.  

Nehemiah records that “The work was completed in fifty
two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations
were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realised that this
work had been done with the help of our God.”

I believe that God wants to see the walls and the gates of
His church restored. The popular image of today’s church is largely of an
imploding organisation with little respect and no significant influence on
society or government. But is this surprising when so much of the church itself
has lost respect for the authority of God’s Word and has chosen to tread the
easy road of compromise, instead of the upward path of spiritual
integrity?  The foundations are shaken, the gates have been torn down, the
leaders have lost their fire and the flock has been scattered.

This is a day when, I believe, God is looking for a new
generation of Nehemiahs, people who will carefully survey the walls of His
church, see where they have been broken down and start to rebuild. It is time
for the people of God to regain their confidence in God’s truth and, once
again, for the church to become a place where the people of God will be safe
from the inroads of the enemy. And the gates of the church will become a
doorway of hope for those who are looking for answers, to both the big issues
and the needs of ordinary people who are struggling to make sense of life in a
godless society. Yes, there will be mocking opposition, but since when has
opposition to the truth been a reason for abandoning it!

January 15, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Prayer You Don’t Want – but Desperately Need!

Prayer You Don’t Want – but Desperately Need!

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stone them which are sent to you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not!”

Matthew 23:37, NIV

Jesus wept over Jerusalem, and the religious leaders whose pride made them reject His input into their lives. He longed to gather them together, as a hen gathers her chickens together to care for and protect them. But they would not come to Him.

This one of the most challenging passages in the whole of the Gospels! The words “would not” speak right into the very core of our lives, for they prompt a very penetrating question. Are there things in our lives for which we need prayer and help, but which we steadfastly refuse to bring to the Lord or seek help for? Hidden things, perhaps, which we choose to ignore because the personal cost to us of letting God in to the heart of the situation, whatever it is, is more than we are prepared to pay.

So we struggle on, knowing that there is an issue that we need to face, but refusing to face it. It’s not surprising that James said that we need to confess things one to another in order to be healed – for that deals with the pride which so often stands in the way of facing the truth about ourselves.

Sometimes the issue can have its root way back in our lives. The root can become so well established, beneath the ongoing saga of human life and its issues, that we don’t even know what it is! Sometimes there is pain or sin associated with it and we have chosen to hang on to the problem, rather than face reality. Sometimes we have a love/hate relationship with the problem – this is especially the case with things that have a grip on us such as alcohol, pornography or an ungodly relationship. We desperately need help for the problem, but because we actually like it, we don’t want to even recognise it as being wrong, let alone seek the help we really need!

Whatever such a problem might be, remember that Jesus is not phased by it, or its magnitude. He actually longs to gather you into His arms and help you face it and resolve it. But we have to own it, recognise that we need help and, finally, want the prayer that we have known all along we really need!

Prayer: Thank You Lord that Your love for me is unconditional. I am sorry, Lord, for the times when I have chosen not to face ‘home truths’ about myself and come to You for help, when Your help is what I desperately need. Help me not to be like the Pharisees, whose pride kept them from coming to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

December 31, 2019
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on O God, Our Help, in Ages Past

O God, Our Help, in Ages Past

“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways.”

Isaiah 64:4-5, NIV

The first day of a New Year is a wonderful opportunity to look back across the years and give thanks – not just for the incidental things that have been a blessing in the year that has just ended, but above all to thank God for who He is, His character, His trustworthiness, His mercy and His great love. For, as Isaiah says in our Scripture for today, there is no other God who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.

If you are waiting for God to intervene in your life and answer long-prayed prayers, it can be very tempting to think that all we have to do is wait for it to happen – for isn’t that what the Scripture says? But as with so many of the promises of Scripture there is a condition attached – God promises to act on behalf of those who not only wait for Him, but who also gladly choose to do what is right. It could be, therefore, that God is waiting for us to put some things right in our own life before He is able to answer the deepest cries of our own heart as we wait on Him.

For example, in my little book “Forgiveness, God’s Master Key” I tell many stories of how God transformed people’s lives when they chose to forgive those who had hurt them. They had been waiting for God to act, but nothing had happened. The forgiveness principle is right at the centre of the prayer Jesus taught His disciples where He said, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” And Jesus went on to say that if we don’t forgive those who have hurt us, then God is unable to forgive us (Matthew 6:15). These are strong words. But oh what joy and blessing can flow when we gladly choose to do what is right, as Jesus taught us to do.

Maybe the Lord has been speaking to you about other things in your life – things which have become an obstacle to your Christian growth. Could it be that He is waiting for you to respond to His gentle leading and face up to them, before He can answer the deeper prayers of your heart?

I have always found that the turn of the year is a very special time in my own spiritual journey through life. John Wesley encouraged all is followers to use this time of the year to renew their covenant with the Lord and take time to pray through each area of their lives, as they equip their hearts for the challenges of the year ahead.

So, on this first day of a New Year, may I encourage you to do just that, to spend time with the Lord not just in asking Him to answer your prayers, but in both thanking God for the help He has been in all the years that have gone before, and also reviewing each area of your life as you renew your commitment to Him for the year ahead. He is not only the God who has helped us in ages past, but He is also our hope for the years to come.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for all the ways in which You have been my help in all the years of my life. Thank you for answered prayer, Your provision and care. But help me, also, Lord, to see my life as You see it and on this first day of the New Year to come before You once again in thanksgiving, repentance and commitment as together we look forward to all that You have planned for my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

December 24, 2019
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on This is Love!

This is Love!

“I have loved you with an everlasting love . . . the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Jeremiah 31:3 & John 1:14, NIV

A loving Dad makes plans for his children. I can remember many occasions when we did exciting things as a family. For my brother and I, we just lived in the excitement of the moment when these plans came to fruition. But looking back now I can see that Mum and Dad had been thinking about, talking about, saving up for and preparing for the event weeks and months in advance.

Our heavenly Dad, Father God, never stopped loving mankind because man had sinned. Instead He set in motion a plan which would take centuries to come to fruition – a plan which originated in His everlasting love. The Old Testament is full of prophecies telling the world what God was planning to do, such as Isaiah 7:14 which says “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son.”

The Christmas story is not a made up fable – but the true account of what actually happened all those years ago. Prophecy was fulfilled, all that God had planned came to pass. The glory of God was manifest in Mary’s baby – the baby who had been destined to become not just a man of God, but was God made man, “full of grace and truth”, Father God’s extraordinary gift to mankind – the baby who as a Man would become the sacrifice for the sin of the world, and through whom we can receive eternal life.

John 1:12 tells us that “to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” This is the heart of the Christmas message. Because of His supernatural birth and sinless life, we who have sinned can be born again as children of God, redeemed and restored to fellowship with our Father God who planned it all for us.

What an incredible and amazing gift. I pray that as you share gifts to celebrate the coming of Jesus, you will begin this special day by thanking God for the most amazing gift of all – the gift of Jesus, the gift of Life – everlasting Life, from a Father who loves us with an everlasting Love!

Prayer: Thank You Father God for Your everlasting love. Thank You Jesus that You came in fulfilment of all the Father’s plans. Thank You for being willing to die for me. Thank You for being my Saviour. Help me to always live for You as Lord of my life, alive in You for evermore. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

November 30, 2019
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Not a Vain Hope. A Certainty!

Not a Vain Hope. A Certainty!

“He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen, Come Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.”

Revelation 22:20-21, NIV

The 1st December, this year, is the first Sunday of Advent. A season of the year which is most often associated with preparations for celebrating the Christmas festival and the birth of Jesus. But it is much more than that!

Yes, Advent is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the nativity, but it is also the time of year when, historically, the Christian Church has looked forward to the return of Jesus at the Second Coming. The Latin word adventus, from which we get the word, Advent, is a translation of the Greek word Parousia, which is a reference to the Second Coming of Christ.

For Christians, therefore, the season of Advent is a time of remembrance of the first coming, an anticipation of the Second Coming, but most importantly it is a celebration of the coming of Christ into our hearts when we receive Him as our Saviour. It is only when this has happened that the true joy of the Christmas celebration can be experienced and that we can look forward to the Second Coming fearlessly, with joyful anticipation.

Our verses for today are the last words of the Bible at the end of the book of Revelation. The previous verses are a warning to those who reject the salvation of Christ, add to or take anything away from the truths which the book reveals. But for those who truly know and love the Saviour, there is nothing to fear. We can look forward to the Second Coming with joyful certainty. The first coming was prophesied and happened and the prophets who were right about the first coming also prophesied that He would come again.

What a prospect that is for those who know Him. Let’s celebrate Advent this year in three ways. Looking back on the first coming, looking forward to the second coming and experiencing His presence twenty-four seven in our hearts. And lets tell the Lord how much we are looking forward to His coming again!

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus that You came. Thank You Jesus, that today you come and live in our hearts. And thank You, Jesus, that one day soon You are coming again and that in You I have nothing to fear. Hallelujah! In Your Name, Amen.

November 15, 2019
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Buy Now – Pay Later!

Buy Now – Pay Later!

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”

Romans 6:23, NIV

Christmas is coming. The shops are full of inducements to buy what we want, when we want it, without consideration of the financial consequences of unwise purchasing decisions. The encouragement to ‘Buy NOW – Pay Later’ screams at us from advertisements for all the products which are deemed essential in our consumer driven society. It’s a tactic that commercial interests use – because it works!

But it’s a tactic that Satan has been using since the beginning – for the same reason. It works! Mankind is still paying for the Fall! The words ‘forbidden fruit’ are used to describe the things that carry a hidden price tag. Even though his sin was later forgiven, David spent the rest of his life paying for the consequences of his relationship with Bathsheba. And when you read the stories of the Kings of Israel and Judah you read story after story, telling of the personal and national consequences there were of buying in to Satan’s temptations.

Temptations are always dressed up to be attractive – otherwise we wouldn’t stretch out the hand of our life to take hold of such ‘forbidden fruit’. But there is always a price to pay. And sometimes the cost is very high. Often we have to spend a lot of time on Healing Retreats, helping people to unpack the consequences of wrong choices they have made.

Our Scripture for today not only reminds us that the hidden price of sin is death. But it then goes on to remind us that God’s great gift to sinners is eternal life. Repentance and forgiveness are the doorways to living in the blessing of the eternal life that Jesus won for us on the cross.

So, why would you want to risk having to pay later for Satan’s forbidden fruit? In his first letter, Peter tells his readers, “You have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do . . . but they will have to give an account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead” (from 1 Peter 4:3-5). May I encourage you to use these weeks of preparation for Christmas as a season of heart-searching and turning away from the things for which Satan will exact his price by urging you to Buy Now – Pay Later?!

October 31, 2019
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Nothing Can Separate Us from God’s Love!

Nothing Can Separate Us from God’s Love!

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:35,37-39, NIV

Life can be tough – very tough. And when we are going through difficult times it is tempting to imagine that God must have left us, or doesn’t love us or, even, that He doesn’t exist! When Paul listed out the various difficulties people can experience, such as trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger or the sword, he wasn’t just making up a list of imaginary possibilities, he was casting his mind back to circumstance in his own life, and those of other apostles, when they had literally experienced all of these things, as they suffered for the sake of the Gospel. Had God left them? Not at all. They had simply come face to face with the reality that the god of this world hates the truth about Jesus and will do everything he possibly can to oppose those who follow Him.

The fact also is that we are living in a fallen world – a world that has chosen sin as its preferred option. And bad things can happen, even to Christians. Believers are not exempt from suffering. Ask Job! He experienced a catalogue of personal disasters, but he refused to turn His back on God and in time God gave him back in abundance, far more than he had ever lost during his times of suffering. And that is the reality – whether we enjoy the rewards of God’s blessing in this life or the next, what we can be absolutely sure of is that they are real and certain.

This is what Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven” (Matthew 5:11-12)

What a comfort it is to know that whatever difficulty we may be going through, there is absolutely nothing that can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. I once endured an extreme situation in my business years. I had made a grave mistake and ignored the clear direction of the Lord. The end result was a crisis of my own making which could have ended in my bankruptcy – even my life was threatened! I was deeply repentant and cried out to God for His mercy and deliverance. In Psalm 139:8 the Psalmist says that even if he descended to the depths of hell God would be there to hear his cry. And so I found it to be true.

I cried out to God. And He did deliver me. I discovered first hand the truth of our Scripture for today – that nothing can separate us from the love of God. In the depths of my need He heard my repentance and my cry for help. While I don’t look back on that incident with any sense of pride, I do look back on it with huge thanksgiving. For I know beyond any shadow of doubt that our Scripture for today is true!

Prayer: Thank You for the comfort of knowing that whatever the circumstances of life we have to go through that we can never be separated from Your love. Help me, Lord, to keep on looking to You, even when it seems as though dark clouds are over me and I cannot see the way ahead. I know that Your love will never leave me and I choose to trust You in every circumstance of my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

October 15, 2019
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on The Ultimate Comfort

The Ultimate Comfort

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, ‘ I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’”

Revelation 21:3-4, NIV

There is great comfort in knowing that the Lord will be with each one of us when our time comes to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. But there is even greater comfort in knowing what awaits us on the other side of the valley – when we pass out of time (the old order of things) into the eternal joy and presence of God who is making everything new. I like to call this the ultimate comfort – there can be no greater – no more death, or mourning, or crying or pain.

Isaiah expressed something of the wonder of eternity when he said, “eye hath not seen what he hath prepared for those who wait for him” (Isaiah 64:4). And Jesus told us of the preparations he would be making for those who loved Him (John 14:1-2). Amazingly, these words were addressed to people who were living in a world severely tainted and compromised by the consequences of their sin.

How can this be? For Scripture tells us that there will be nothing in Heaven that can mar the beauty of Heaven or spoil the joys of the Heaven He is preparing for the redeemed. Revelation 3:27 tell us that “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful . . . ” So, how could any of us qualify for entering into Heaven’s glory, knowing that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)? On our own, none of us could ever pass this purity test!

But the end of Revelation 21:27 gives us the key to understanding this extraordinary mystery, when it says “. . . those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” will enter in. The Lamb of God is Jesus. He became the ultimate sacrifice when He died in your place and in mine. And the sin of all those who have believed and received Him as their Saviour and Lord is covered by the righteousness of the holy Son of God. And the names of all those whose sin is covered are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

So, the redeemed of the Lord will enter in – not just for a comfortable experience – but into the eternal comfort and security of His presence, for evermore. This is the glorious Gospel message – no wonder Jesus told John to say “write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus for the extraordinary assurance that those whose sin is forgiven and have been redeemed, can be comforted by what You are preparing for those who love You. Help me, Lord, never to be worried again about what lies beyond the grave. Thank You for the ultimate comfort that comes from knowing You and believing in the truth of Your word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.