Peter Horrobin

International Director of Ellel Ministries

September 15, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
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Stand Firm!

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.”

1 Corinthians 15:58, NIV

We are living in a very uncertain age. Coronavirus has swept the world and everything that was foundational, even to life itself, is being shaken. Children are back at school, but for how long? Jobs are being lost and unemployment is rising. People are no longer going to church services. No-one can go and watch live sport and, in the UK, people are banned from meeting in larger groups than six. It sounds like an episode from a futuristic horror series on TV! But this is the world we are now living in, in circumstances that are likely to prevail for some time to come.

So, how are we, as believers, to react in the face of such extreme and often traumatic events? Our Scripture for today says, “stand firm” and “let nothing move you”. These words are a reminder of where our security really lies. Not in our temporary earthly resources, but in the cast-iron security of eternity, where we know that whatever we do in serving the Lord here will not be in vain – for our reward is not an earthly one, but one that is anchored in heaven’s glory.

It is absolutely vital that those who know and love the Lord should continue to demonstrate His love into this fallen and broken world, so that those who are looking for an answer beyond what they hear on the television news, or read in the papers, will have the opportunity of seeing love in action and hearing the good news of the Gospel.

The enemy’s strategy is to so traumatise people, even believers, that they give up. Paul is challenging us never to give up, but persist in the faith and always be ready for the time that is coming soon, when the Saviour returns. The days may be dark, but into the darkness the Light has come! Let us keep our eyes fixed on Him and press on with all the works of the Kingdom that He has given each one of us to do.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that Your Word is totally trustworthy. Thank You that whatever the circumstances they are never a surprise to You. Help us to always be alert to the move of Your Spirit showing us what to do and to always be ready to speak out the reason in our hearts for the faith and hope that we have. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

August 15, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
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Joy Unlimited

“The joy of the Lord is your strength” and “I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

Nehemiah 8:10 and Habakkuk 3:18, NIV

The experience of real joy is unique to believers in the living God. It is His joy within our hearts that empowers and strengthens us to live God-anointed and blessed lives. This was a lesson that Nehemiah had learned on the job of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and without which he would more than likely have been unable to finish the job in the face of ridicule and opposition from the enemies of God’s people.

How do we get that joy? By truly knowing the Lord and walking in His ways. And how do we keep that joy? By keeping close to the Lord day be day. Listening for His gentle voice of direction and encouragement. Turning steadfastly away from the temptations that the enemy never ceases to put before our paths. And by maintaining an attitude of praise and thanksgiving to Him for both who He is and for all that He has done.

Habakkuk had learned that whatever the circumstances of life that God is to be trusted – and even when things are tough and provision for his needs was in short supply, he knew that the Lord was still his source of inner life and strength, the very root of his salvation. He did not turn away from God or allow a root of anger or bitterness grow up to rob him of his joy.

Joy is an experience that we can have in the inner recesses of our hearts even through hard times, and it is that joy which acts like an inner river of blessing to keep us sustained each and every day of our lives.

Prayer: Thank You Lord for the river of blessing which flows into our hearts from Yours. Thank You that we can be joyful in You, even when going through tough times. Help me never to cease praising You whatever the circumstances of life and for the inner joy which you have promised will be my strength. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

July 15, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
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The Upside Down Kingdom!

“Listen my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised to those who love him?”

James 2:5, NIV

It’s sometimes said that the Kingdom of God is an upside down Kingdom! On many occasions the ways of God seem to run contrary to the ways of the world. For example, God chose a teenager, only armed with some stones and a sling, to defeat Goliath. He told Gideon that he would only win the forthcoming battle if he got rid of most of his troops! Paul explained it this way, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; and He chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:27).

And in our Scripture for today James explains that God has chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world, but rich in faith, to inherit the Kingdom of God! And Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount with very similar words, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for there is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).

The pride, wealth, arrogance and self-importance of people who have made it in the world is sharply contrasted in Scripture with the character and eternal wealth of those who, in their humility, have focussed on serving God instead of serving themselves. The world may look down on them as being foolish, but Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36) and one day, those who have spent all their time and energy storing up for themselves treasure on earth, will be seen to be like the man in Jesus’ parable about the rich man who wanted to build bigger barns to store his wealth. Jesus pointed out that his life was about to come to an end and asked what good would his wealth then be?

We live in a world which has little time for eternal security, but the time is coming when the upside-down-ness of the Kingdom of God will be seen for what it is – the right way up! It is time now to make sure that your primary focus of life is the Kingdom which is not of this world – the place where you are storing up eternal treasure.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for showing us that what the world sees as being foolish is, in fact, wisdom. Help me not to be ashamed of being seemingly foolish, by following You and obeying Your Word. Thank You for the many promises which encourage the poor in spirit to look forward to enjoying the riches of the Kingdom of Heaven. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

June 30, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
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Living Through Loss

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me . . . to comfort all who mourn.”

From Isaiah 61:1-2, NIV

In Isaiah 61 the prophet is describing the work that the Messiah, Jesus, would do, including comforting those who mourn. When Jesus began His ministry, He confirmed that Isaiah had been writing about Himself by saying, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21).

There are many different forms of loss which can cause us grief, but the one that brings the greatest heartache is the loss of a mother or father, husband or wife, brother or sister or, most painfully, a precious child. Losing a much-loved close family relative is the greatest pain of all, even more so if the loss is sudden or tragic, leaving no space or time to grow accustomed to the fact that someone we love is dying.

Life does not stop for those who are left behind, but how do we handle the grief of knowing that the person we loved so much is no longer with us, as we begin the process of adjusting to life without the one who mattered so much to us. It can seem as though we are facing an impossible journey, but a journey that, however hard it seems, we know we have to take.

We know that life will never be the same again, but the pain of facing this reality can seem like a mountain we have no ability or desire to climb. Like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a car, we are immobilised by grief, grief that no-one else can fully understand and no-one else can live for you.

It was into just such a situation that Jesus walked when He came to the home of Mary and Martha, whose beloved brother Lazarus had died. These were all people whom Jesus loved and the sisters were not only in grief about his death, but because Jesus, who they knew had the power to heal, had not been there to heal him before he died. John records that when Jesus saw them weeping he was deeply moved. And then that Jesus wept. Jesus was full of compassion and expressing His own grief that Mary and Martha were feeling their pain so deeply.

Jesus had already told them (John 11:25), “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives, and believes in me, will never die.” The sisters understood this spiritually, but how would everyone else know and understand this amazing truth?

When Jesus raised Lazarus physically from the dead, however, after he had been four days in the tomb, there would be no doubting in anyone’s mind that what Jesus had said about resurrection life for all who believed was true. The evidence of Lazarus walking out of the tomb meant far more than physical life for Lazarus, for it confirmed to all believers, for the whole of time that in Jesus is eternal life, his promises of resurrection life are real and that we will see again all those who die in Him. This is the greatest of all comforts.

Be assured that whatever the personal loss is you have experienced, the Lord is weeping with you. His promise to comfort all who mourn is still current and it includes you. Be assured that, in Christ, is resurrection life and that He is still comforting those who mourn and weeping with those who have suffered loss.
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that You demonstrated Your comfort to Mary and Martha and showed that You have the power of resurrection life by raising Lazarus from the dead. I open my arms afresh to You today and ask that You will wrap your arms of comforting love around me and touch my heart with Your healing, even in the deepest areas of my pain. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

June 15, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
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God’s Comforting Instruction!

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for.”

Isaiah 40:1-2, NIV

God’s people had been in rebellion. As a result they lost their spiritual protection and this led to their being exiled out of Jerusalem. They suffered the consequences of their own sin. But the time came when the Lord had mercy on them and said they had suffered enough. In repentance they returned home to Jerusalem. And it was then that God gave this instruction, to comfort His people.

For, it is a fact that often, when people have had to face reality about themselves and everything that was hidden is brought out into the open, one of the primary emotions that people experience is shame. We talk about people hanging their heads in shame – they don’t want to look at anyone. Shame becomes a controlling factor in their lives. But it’s not one that God wants us to remain controlled by.

When the people returned from Jerusalem, God wanted them to know that their sin was paid for and forgiven, and that He wanted them to know His comfort. For, without experiencing God’s comfort, ongoing shame would dominate their future behaviour and their lives. Shame acts like a cloud on your future destiny and a break on everything that you might want to do for the Lord.

Many times on retreats and courses the Holy Spirit has touched people’s lives. On occasion, I’ve then been in the position of hearing someone pour out all the ungodly things that have contributed to their present situation. For some this can be a very shame-filled moment. But Jesus died that we can be forgiven. The enemy would want us to wallow in the shame, but God wants people to know the comfort that follows forgiveness, as we realise that God has not rejected us because of what we have done. He tells us that the price for our sin has been paid and the last thing God would want us to do is wallow indefinitely in a pit of shame.

So God’s instruction is to bring His comfort to bear in the lives of His people, so that they can not only be forgiven for whatever is in their past, but healed as well. Satan could want to use our past to condemn our future. But the cross stands between us and our sin and God’s comfort flows from there into broken hearts, heals them and equips them as they set out on life once again, comforted, healed and restored into the Lord’ service.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that Your comfort is always available for those who have faced reality about themselves and come back to you Thank You that Your forgiveness is complete. Help me Lord to receive the comfort of Your love and not to allow shame to limit my future. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

May 31, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
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The Comfort of God’s Word

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

Psalm 119:11, NIV

The inner workings of our heart are very personal. The heart of man is a very private place. It’s the place where we hide intimate and personal thoughts that really matter to us. It’s also the place where we can bury things and hide them away like precious treasure.

But it can also be the place where we bury things, not because they are precious or valuable, but because we don’t want anyone else to know that they’re there! Especially things that we might be ashamed of, such as memories of sinful experiences which may still hold an attraction for us; things that we like to go back to from time to time, when tempted to indulge ourselves in the false comfort of sinful thinking, as opposed to dwelling on those things that would bless the heart of God and enrich our lives.

The writer of the Hebrews knew the reality of this when he wrote, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to the dividing of soul and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:12-13).

The thoughts and attitudes of the heart, or intentions of the heart in some translations, clearly matter to God. They are the things that motivate our actions – they are the source of both good things and bad things. No wonder Jeremiah warned us that “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

When man chose to obey and follow Satan, we acquired a new and rebellious character in our inner being – the carnal nature, out of which flows the original sin with which the whole of mankind is tainted. And ever since, the battle for the destiny of our lives has been fought out in these inner reaches of our being. Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

So, with so much stacked against us from within, how can we ever guard our heart and survive the onslaughts of the enemy which strike at the very core of who we are? How can we ever fulfil the rightful destiny that God has prepared in advance for each one of us (Ephesians 2:10). In our Scripture for today we discover the secret remedy that the psalmist had learned through long experience. He had hidden God’s Word, like buried treasure in his heart, where it could act as a plumb-line ranged against every deceptive intention that the enemy may want us to follow.

I am so thankful to the Lord that I was encouraged as a child to read and learn Scriptures and to remember them. When hidden in my heart, they became bastions of truth against which the temptations of the enemy had to be measured. I’m not saying I always made the right choices as a result, for the will can be very strong. But I can say, without question, that without the comfort of knowing that the Word of God is truth, and that God has promised His blessings to those who follow Him, I would have fallen into Satan’s traps on many occasions and missed out on so much of what God had in store for me.

What a comfort it is to know that if we get the Word of God into our hearts, then the Holy Spirit will get it out, to help us in time of need, especially when facing temptation.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that Your Word is truth. Help me to diligently read Your Word so that, hidden in my heart, it will help me to resist temptation and make godly choices throughout my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

May 15, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on How Long is Forever?

How Long is Forever?

“Whom have I in Heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire, besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.”

Psalm 73:25-26, NIV

We all entered this world as a baby, after nine months of protected care in a very sheltered environment. We were then released into the world for a period of time that man measures in years. Three score years and ten is the traditional length of a life, but by God’s grace most people have a few more than seventy, and then life comes to an end. Or does it? Not if you believe what the Bible says!

The message of God’s Word, throughout the Scriptures, is that the end of our life on earth is not the end of life. For, after death we all have to stand before the Lord our Maker. Jesus made it very clear that, for those who choose to follow Him, there is a place in Heaven being prepared. This is the ultimate comfort for the believer. And, as the psalmist says in today’s Scripture, “my heart and my flesh may fail – but God is my strength and my portion” – how long for? “Forever.”

The word ‘forever’ has no limitations. It is in the timelessness of eternity that we will enjoy the Lord’s presence. But what if we choose not to follow Jesus? What if we reject the One who paid the price for sin? The writer of the Hebrews (2:3) poses just that question when he says “how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?”

For, the reality is that the whole of mankind chose to follow Satan, the god of this world. And Jesus said (Matthew 25:41) that hell was ”prepared for the devil and all his angels.” So, if we die still following Satan, that’s where we will inevitably choose to spend the timelessness of eternity – or ‘forever’ – with the one we have followed. And is that what you really want to do?

As I get older, my heart longs more than ever that people will desire the Lord while they are still in the realms of time – for when God satisfies that desire with His presence, when we are alive in time, we can be assured that when we leave this time-dependent world, we will be secure in our Saviour – forever. And that means without limit. But God won’t invade our lives against our will – he needs an invitation!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that when we invite You into our lives we are secure in You not just for our years of time, but for the timelessness of eternity as well. Give me a heart, Lord, for those who do not yet know You, that my life and my words may be a living witness to the truth of Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

April 30, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
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God’s Treasure Chest

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”

Proverbs 14:30, NIV

The book of Proverbs is like a treasure chest of amazing truths. It’s as if God gathered together hundreds of precious messages, threw them into a big box and gave it to His people to pick out treasure after treasure for the enjoyment, instruction and blessing of His children. And sometimes one of these proverbs jumps out of the page of the Bible with extraordinary timeliness and relevance. Such is the Scripture I have chosen for today.

In his letter to the Philippians (4:7), Paul talks about the peace which God brings to the human heart as being something that is beyond human understanding – and he is absolutely right. It is totally beyond human understanding that God would send His only Son, Jesus, to pay the price for our sin on the cross , so that we may be at peace with God (Romans 5:1) – in time and, more importantly, beyond time and into eternity. Knowing that our sin is forgiven and that God’s judgement for our sins will no longer fall upon us, is totally life-giving.

But there is another peace that is also vital for our human well-being – it is to be at peace with ourselves. In his letter to Timothy (6:6), Paul said that “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” I have seen down the years how inner peace impacts every area of our being – even our physical bodies. It is healing, it is life-giving. And where there s no inner peace that it can have a devastating influence on our health and well-being, as today’s Scripture implies.

Many of the people who have had wonderful healing on our Healing Retreats have come for healing of their symptoms, but have discovered that their most important need was for healing of the broken or distressed or angry or jealous or unforgiving heart. They were not at peace with themselves. There may have been sin that needed to be brought to the Lord, other people who needed to be forgiven, relationships that caused them distress and many, many other things. And then, when all these things had been dealt with and the heart was brought to peace, the Lord was able to move upon them in power bringing the deepest healing possible to every area of their lives.

So, today, when so much of the world is not at peace, and is struggling with the anxieties and distresses of the situation, may I encourage you to bring all the things that disturb your peace to the Lord, one by one, and then invite him to not only bring His peace into the situation but to bring His healing to every area of your being.

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for making it possible for me to be at peace God. And thank You that Your salvation also means healing. Show me those areas of my life where I am not at peace so that I can face the issues honestly and then bring each one to You for Your healing. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

April 15, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
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Walking With Jesus!

“Jesus himself came up and walked along with them.”

Luke 24:15, NIV

This Scripture is from one of my favourite stories in the Bible. It tells of when the risen Lord Jesus Christ joined two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They were talking about everything that had happened in Jerusalem over the Passover. All that had taken place on Good Friday and resurrection morning – going over and over and over all the details of what they had experienced, just as any of us would have done.

And as they were walking, a third person joined them along the way. Their eyes of understanding were hidden as to who this mystery person was. And suddenly they were is the middle of the most extraordinary Bible Study of all time, as the Messiah himself, opened up all the prophetic Scriptures to them about the “Christ who would have to suffer these things and then enter glory” (v.25). How I would love to have been on that 7 mile walk to Emmaus with them!

As they neared their destination they invited the stranger to join with them for the night, and it was as Jesus broke the bread at table that their eyes were opened and they recognised Him – and suddenly He was gone. They got up and immediately ran back to Jerusalem and told the disciples how their hearts had burned within them as Jesus had talked with them on the road. I can imagine them shouting out to the eleven, “It’s true! The Lord has risen” (v.34). Jesus had talked with them along the road – they knew He was alive.

Today, we are living in a very confused world, where thousands of people are asking questions about what and why everything is happening. But we need not be afraid, for the same Lord Jesus who walked with those disciples from Jerusalem to Emmaus, will walk with each and everyone of His followers, along whatever road of life we are having to travel. I find this story so encouraging – it’s the reality of what it means to have Jesus with you all day and every day. I pray that the Lord will open your eyes to ‘see’ with the understanding of the Spirit, to listen out for His voice, to feel His comforting presence and to trust Him afresh, now and every day.

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that You revealed yourself to Your disciples before You returned to Heaven. And thank You, Lord, that today you walk with all believers who know You. Help us to trust You every step of the way, knowing that You are with us to guide, encourage and comfort us day by day. In Your Name we pray. Amen.

April 11, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
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One Thing I Know

“I know that my redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand on the earth, And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.”

Job 19:25, NIV

There are many people today across the world who are going through the toughest time of their lives, as Covid-19 wreaks havoc across the nations. Job was going through the toughest time of his life when he spoke the words of our Scripture for today. He had suffered family bereavement, loss of property and tormenting personal disease. He had every reason to look at all his circumstances and think it would be OK to blame God and even, as his wife suggested, “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). Yet, throughout his suffering, he remained “blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 2:3).

It was out of the depths of his pain that Job spoke out these totally extraordinary words of faith and prophecy “I know that my redeemer lives.” He was talking about an event that would take place hundreds of years later, at a place called Calvary and which, today, we celebrate on Easter Sunday. It was the day when Jesus, the Son of God would rise from the dead and become our Redeemer. He died for our sins on Good Friday, but it was when He was raised from the dead on Easter Sunday morning that He became our Redeemer – He was then not only the one who had taken our place on the cross, but the one who was now triumphant over death and hell.

It is the One who has overcome death that invites us to receive Him as our Saviour and make Him Lord of our lives. So, in the midst of personal, national and, even, international trauma and crisis, as believers we have an amazing message to declare to a very hurting world this Easter-time – Jesus Lives. He has conquered death and that whatever difficulties we are having to walk through, Job’s declaration holds good for each of us who know the Lord – for the whole of time and eternity. Our security is in Him – now and for evermore. Hallelujah!

I have always loved the words of Gloria Gaither’s song, but this year they seem especially relevant – they are a message of hope – a message which brings healing to our spirit and takes our eyes off our circumstances to focus on the One whose life we celebrate today with great thanksgiving:

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus

He came to love, heal and forgive

He lived and died to buy my pardon

An empty grave is there to prove my Saviour lives

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow

Because He lives, all fear is gone

Because I know He holds the future

And life is worth the living, just because He lives.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You, our wonderful Redeemer, conquered death and are alive for evermore. Help me today, Lord, whatever the circumstances of my life, to never forget Job’s amazing declaration that You, are my Redeemer and that as Job prophesied, one day we will see You face to face. In Your wonderful Name I pray, Amen.