Peter Horrobin

Founder & International Director of Ellel Ministries

November 15, 2017
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | Detestable Praying!

Devotional Message | Detestable Praying!

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

There are some verses in the Bible that are challenging to the extreme. Our Scripture for today is one of them. Whoever would have thought that God would hate anyone’s prayers? But the psalmist had already written on this very topic when he said, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” (Psalm 66:18). And then again in the New Testament Jesus was scathing about the prayers of the Pharisees because of their hypocrisy. When Scripture reinforces itself so strongly, with similar teaching from different books of the Bible, you can be sure that what is being said is of special importance and significance.

So why would God find someone’s prayers detestable? This Scripture explains very simply and clearly. God has given us His Word. The commandments and everything we need to know about what is right and what is wrong is contained within God’s law. So when people deliberately and knowingly choose to rewrite God’s laws, so that what God has really said is put on one side in favour of what they would have preferred the Bible to say, they are treading on very dangerous ground. And it’s an even more serious sin to teach others, either by example or by your words, to disobey God’s law.

To presume that you know better than God and deliberately flout the teaching of God’s Word is not only a serious sin, but it makes our prayers detestable to God. It’s no use people saying, “Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?” if, at the same time they are choosing to live their lives outside the parameters of spiritual safety that are provided by the teaching of the Bible. When we choose to turn away from God like this and walk in the opposite direction, it’s as if God goes deaf!

If you’ve been walking away from God in some area of your life and have been wondering why your prayers have not been answered, may I encourage you to change direction (that’s what repentance means), confess your sin to God and seek His face afresh. You will be very surprised to discover that not only does He love to hear your prayers, but He also delights to answer them. Daniel was able to say to King Darius “My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me because I was found innocent in his sight” (Daniel 6:22). What an amazing testimony to the power of prayer from a man who chose to live according to God’s law.

Prayer: Father God, I pray that You will forgive me for all the times that I have wanted You to hear and answer my prayers at the same time as I have been knowingly disobeying Your law. I ask You to show me all the areas of my life where I need to change so that Godly order may be restored in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

November 7, 2017
by Blog Moderator
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View from a Distant Hill

When you are young the hills of time merge into the outline of a distant horizon. I used to look at my grandparents, who were younger then than I am now, and try to imagine what it must be like to be so old! They were standing on a distant hill and enjoyed telling me what their view of life and history was like from their elevated perspective.

The years have now passed and I, in turn, am standing on one of those distant hills. I have been looking back over the 73 years that God has so far granted to me, over 30 of which have been spent on pioneering and developing, with the Ellel team, the work that became known as Ellel Ministries. What God has done in that time is beyond human comprehension. I have been privileged to see Him work miracle after miracle – both in terms of the life-transforming work of His Spirit, in the lives of thousands of people, and in meeting the practical needs of the ministry.

The Psalmist encourages us to make a record of what God has done (Psalm 102:18), so that future generations will be able to praise and thank the Lord for what He has done. So, over the past few years I have been doing just that — writing the story, both of the years of preparation which preceded Ellel Ministries, and the step-by-step journey of faith that has seen the work established now in over thirty countries.

At long last the book, Strands of Destiny, is finished and about to be published. It is with considerable nervous anticipation that I await seeing the book for the first time. I have used the phrase View from a Distant Hill as the title of the Epilogue. For that is exactly what the book is — a view from the distant hill of my own life, looking back on seven decades of God’s faithfulness through many ups and down and often extraordinary experiences.

I find myself saying a very loud Amen to all that is expressed in Psalm 34 in which we find those simple words of testimony “O taste and see that the Lord is good” (v8). The poetry of Nicholas Brady and Nahum Tate perfectly encapsulates the words of the Psalm, and expresses for me my own thanksgiving to the Lord as I look back from my own distant hill. For He has miraculously woven the many different strands of my own life into His destiny purposes – hence the title of the book, Strands of Destiny.

Through all the changing scenes of life,
In trouble and in joy,
The praises of my God shall still
My heart and tongue employ. 

 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
With me exalt His name;
When in distress to Him I called,
He to my rescue came.

 The hosts of God encamp around
The dwellings of the just;
Deliverance He affords to all
Who on His succour trust.

Oh, make but trial of His love,
Experience will decide
How blest they are, and only they,
Who in His truth confide.

Fear Him, ye saints, and you will then
Have nothing else to fear;
Make you His service your delight,
Your wants shall be His care.

(Strands of Destiny will be published by Sovereign World at the end of November.

Over 400 pages of text, and 48 pages of photographs.)

October 31, 2017
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | God’s Amazing Gift!

Devotional Message | God’s Amazing Gift!

Isaiah 26:3, NIV
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

The peace that is beyond human understanding is not peace in the world between nations or in families between relations, but between God and man. We may rejoice when opposing forces choose to be at peace with each other, but we should marvel in utter amazement that a holy God can choose to be at peace with his rebellious children, who have deliberately turned their backs on him.

For most of us that would be, as the wartime film declares it “A Bridge too Far”! But God so loved His children that the price for sin was willingly paid by His Son and the bridge of eternal truth was built between God and man. For those who believe there is no longer any need to despair when our days on earth are coming to an end. And in the midst of all the pressures of life we can still have peace in our hearts, whatever the prevailing circumstances, because our peace does not depend on our ability to fix anything, but on the fact that Jesus has already prepared for us the way of salvation.

When our thoughts are steadfastly focussed on God and His love, we will not find ourselves straying into activities that would disturb our peace. What we think about is always the precursor to what we actually do and when our thoughts are pleasing to God, then our consequential actions will never disturb our peace. This is a divine law!

Learning to trust in God is the antidote to fear, serving Him is the answer to all our uncertainties. And in trusting and serving Him we will be at peace in our hearts both in time and, when the day comes for us to pass from time to eternity, our hearts will not need to fear – for we will already have eternal life within the limitations of time. Christian peace is utterly priceless – it can’t be bought because Jesus has already paid the price!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your peace – peace which transcends all circumstances of life and enables us to face death with the anticipation of faith, knowing that You, Jesus, have already gone ahead to prepare a place for us. Help me, Lord, to keep my thinking focussed on You so that all my actions will be pleasing to You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

October 17, 2017
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | Feeling Foolish!

Devotional Message | Feeling Foolish!

Psalm 14:1, NIV
“The fool says in his heart that there is no God”

Right now, I’m feeling very foolish. I’m writing this Seed of the Kingdom in Manchester Airport. We were half-way to the airport, when Fiona and I suddenly realised that we had left our passports at home! It was too late to go back and out of nowhere we were suddenly in a major crisis. The others in the taxi would need to check-in for the flight and we would have to wait at the check-in desk, praying that our son Paul would be able to go to our house immediately, find the passports and make it to the airport in time for the flight!

We both felt incredibly foolish. This had never happened in our thirty years of travelling for Ellel Ministries! Neither of us could understand how we missed that vital ‘passport check’ in our, usually smooth, packing procedure.

But, as we sat castigating ourselves for our stupidity, I was suddenly overwhelmed with a sense of how people must feel who have left home (died) and then realised that they were about to face the God, whom they’d ignored all their lives, without a ‘spiritual passport’. At that moment, they would be feeling more than foolish – utterly bereft, stupid and totally heart-broken for having put off, or ignored, the call of God to respond to His love and accept His salvation, all the years of their life. There could be no possibility of sending a message back home for somebody to bring your ‘passport’ – just the awful, indeed dreadful, realisation of how foolish you had been.

When the psalmist wrote the words of our text for today, he was no doubt aware of the gulf that lies between time and eternity – a gulf which Jesus referred to when He told the parable of the man who had died, discovered the awful truth, and wanted to go back and warn his friends. But it was too late. And when Jesus told of the successful man who wanted to build bigger barns to store his wealth, he warned that at any moment his soul could be summoned from time to eternity to meet his Maker.

These are awesome, yes dreadful, passages of Scripture – but they are there for a reason. I pray that as you read these words today you will be challenged to consider your own position before God and, warn those you know and love before they stand at the departure gate from life, spiritually naked, and without a passport!!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You loved us so much that You sent Your Son to pay the price for our sin and show us the way of salvation – and provide a ‘passport’ for each one of us from time to eternity. Forgive me, Lord, if I have turned my back on You and Your call on my life. Help me, Lord, to do business with You now and always be alert to the fact that there will come a day when we strand at the departure gate from time to eternity. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

September 15, 2017
by Seeds of the Kingdom
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Devotional Message | The Harvest of Work!

Proverbs 12:11, NIV
“He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment”

This proverb comes from the days when each and every family worked their own land in order to grow crops, food that would sustain them throughout the year. Land does not produce an abundant harvest unless time and effort has been spent on first preparing the ground by ploughing and then adding nourishment – manure or fertiliser. It then has to be carefully prepared for sowing the seed and followed by regular watering.

All of this represents hard work – but the rewards at harvest-time are great. A farmer who just sowed the seed on unploughed ground, hoping for a good crop, would have very little to harvest at the end of the growing season. His laziness would result in his family going hungry.

Most of us are not able to work land in order to feed our families, but there is still a profound lesson for each and every one of us in today’s Scripture. God has given us all gifts and abilities – gifts and abilities which we can use to meet the needs of other people and thereby earn a living. It’s no use praying for God to meet our needs if, at the same time, we are failing to “work the land of our lives”.

But there is a different kind of harvest about which Jesus was very concerned. We can certainly pray for those in our community who don‘t know the Lord, but if we do nothing to ‘plough and nourish the land’ by building relationship with them, our prayers will be limited in their effectiveness. It was when Jesus met and talked with the woman at the well and shared with her about the water of life that her life was changed for ever.

We need to ‘work the land of our lives’ and be always alert to the potential of every personal encounter, so that we can build bridges into the lives of those who are in need of salvation. Or, as Haggai expressed it “work, for I am with you, says the Lord of Hosts” (Haggai 2:4).

Prayer: Help me, Lord, to always use the gifts You have given me to earn the bread that we need for nourishment. But help us, too, Lord, to farm the land of our community and seek to produce a harvest for Your Kingdom of lives that have been changed by Your presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

September 14, 2017
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | Are You Not Worth Much More?

Devotional Message | Are You Not Worth Much More?

Matthew 6:25, KJV
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye

shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”

As I lay outside in the spring sun, I saw hundreds of little flies flying freely and enjoying the space and warmth. Spring brings everything to life; the birds, the butterflies, nicely trimmed grass, the flowers and trees, all of different colours and designs. As if in obedience to one voice, everything springs into beauty and colour.

This might make you and I wonder about the wisdom and creativity of our Creator, Father God.

Yet as I look into all this beauty, the scripture comes to life in me when Jesus told His followers, “Are ye not much better than they?” (Matthew 6:26). You and I are more important than the birds, the flowers or anything else. We are made in His image and He knows your every single need before you ask Him.

Our Father owns everything. He does not live far away from us but is omnipresent and only a prayer away. He withholds no good thing from those who love Him. The world worries about physical and material needs. We don’t need to join in the world’s worry and strife, but trust in Him. He will fulfil what we need because He is our Father.

Prayer: Father, thank You for creating me and rejoicing over me. Forgive me for worrying about my needs and help me to trust in Your provision. Now I give You all my needs and desires. Thank You Lord. Amen.

September 2, 2017
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | Pure or Polluted?

Devotional Message | Pure or Polluted?

Proverbs 25:26, NIV
“Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked”

Springs and wells are sources of pure water – water which quenches the thirst, satisfies the taste and is life-giving to all who drink. But if that life-giving water has become polluted or muddied, then it becomes undrinkable. It is no longer life-giving, but could even be life-threatening. When a river becomes polluted with, for example, industrial effluent, the fish in the river die. All the water is still there, but it’s what’s been added to the water that causes the problem.

In just the same way someone may have lived a righteous life and be known as a true believer, but if the stream of truth that comes from their mouth, or is evident in their life, has become polluted with deceptive beliefs, practices or ungodly living, then their life has become poison to those who ‘drink’ from that stream. They will be influenced by the pollutants and led astray into the same or similar sins. It only takes a small amount of poison in the water to do massive amounts of damage. In just the same way it only takes a small amount of deception to have the potential for leading many people astray.

No wonder Paul was so urgent in teaching his young disciple Timothy. He told him: “Watch your life and your doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16). The implication is that if we allow pollutants to affect our beliefs and our way of life, then the damage could be fatal – to us individually, and to all those who listen to the music of our lives and are tempted to follow our example!

The fact that we may even have years of godly living behind us, does not mean that we are incapable of being led astray. The enemy will work extra hard to pollute the life stream of those who are in a position to influence others. How important it is that we guard our hearts and are very careful about where we put down our feet on the road of life – only going where the Lord is leading and only doing those things that please Him.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the warnings that You have placed in Your Word. Thank You that you have put them there to help us stay on the right path throughout our days. I pray that You will cleanse me from my sins, Lord, and help me to keep the water of my life free from pollutants, so that it will always be fresh and life-giving to all with whom I relate or influence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

September 2, 2017
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | Pure or Polluted?

Devotional Message | Pure or Polluted?

Proverbs 25:26, NIV
“Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked”

Springs and wells are sources of pure water – water which quenches the thirst, satisfies the taste and is life-giving to all who drink. But if that life-giving water has become polluted or muddied, then it becomes undrinkable. It is no longer life-giving, but could even be life-threatening. When a river becomes polluted with, for example, industrial effluent, the fish in the river die. All the water is still there, but it’s what’s been added to the water that causes the problem.

In just the same way someone may have lived a righteous life and be known as a true believer, but if the stream of truth that comes from their mouth, or is evident in their life, has become polluted with deceptive beliefs, practices or ungodly living, then their life has become poison to those who ‘drink’ from that stream. They will be influenced by the pollutants and led astray into the same or similar sins. It only takes a small amount of poison in the water to do massive amounts of damage. In just the same way it only takes a small amount of deception to have the potential for leading many people astray.

No wonder Paul was so urgent in teaching his young disciple Timothy. He told him: “Watch your life and your doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16). The implication is that if we allow pollutants to affect our beliefs and our way of life, then the damage could be fatal – to us individually, and to all those who listen to the music of our lives and are tempted to follow our example!

The fact that we may even have years of godly living behind us, does not mean that we are incapable of being led astray. The enemy will work extra hard to pollute the life stream of those who are in a position to influence others. How important it is that we guard our hearts and are very careful about where we put down our feet on the road of life – only going where the Lord is leading and only doing those things that please Him.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the warnings that You have placed in Your Word. Thank You that you have put them there to help us stay on the right path throughout our days. I pray that You will cleanse me from my sins, Lord, and help me to keep the water of my life free from pollutants, so that it will always be fresh and life-giving to all with whom I relate or influence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

August 14, 2017
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | Living Longer!

Devotional Message | Living Longer!

Proverbs 9:10-11, NIV
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.”

Living longer is the dream of most men and women, but few there be who discover one of the most precious keys to a long life, which is found in our Scripture for today! And the reason they don’t find it is because they are ignorant of what God says in His Word. Holy fear of a holy God is the first pillar of truth from these verses, which is critical for life. If we live in awe and reverence for the God, who loves us so much, then we are living in holy fear and we will not want to do those things that grieve Him or step off His pathway for our life.

But the second pillar – knowledge of the Holy One – is equally important. Knowing everything we can discover from His Word about His nature and character will give us an understanding of God and His ways which will help us fulfil His purposes for our life.

Because the leaders of our Ellel centres know me well, they understand how I think and what I would do in many different circumstances. As a result I have complete confidence and trust in them and the way they run their Centres. If they didn’t know me they wouldn’t know what to do and would either constantly have to get in touch with me to ask for an opinion or they would make many mistakes, because they would be acting without an understanding of my heart. In just the same way we need to get to know the heart of God – and once we have His heart and He has ours, we can move forward in faith and trust confident that He will lead us.

And when we are doing those things that please Him, we can be confident also that we won’t be doing those things that could have the effect of shortening our lives. This is easy to understand when you see the medical statistics about the shortened life expectancy, for example, of those who drink too much, or are addicted to drugs, or catch sexually transmitted diseases through promiscuous sexual relationships.

Living a holy life in the fear of God is not living a dull life – and God promises to add years to our life when we understand and walk in His ways!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the promises in Your Word. Help me to get to know You better and I ask that the Holy Spirit will fill me day by day with His power to strengthen me against temptation and be a blessing to You and to others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

August 14, 2017
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Devotional Message | Living Longer!

Devotional Message | Living Longer!

Proverbs 9:10-11, NIV
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.”

Living longer is the dream of most men and women, but few there be who discover one of the most precious keys to a long life, which is found in our Scripture for today! And the reason they don’t find it is because they are ignorant of what God says in His Word. Holy fear of a holy God is the first pillar of truth from these verses, which is critical for life. If we live in awe and reverence for the God, who loves us so much, then we are living in holy fear and we will not want to do those things that grieve Him or step off His pathway for our life.

But the second pillar – knowledge of the Holy One – is equally important. Knowing everything we can discover from His Word about His nature and character will give us an understanding of God and His ways which will help us fulfil His purposes for our life.

Because the leaders of our Ellel centres know me well, they understand how I think and what I would do in many different circumstances. As a result I have complete confidence and trust in them and the way they run their Centres. If they didn’t know me they wouldn’t know what to do and would either constantly have to get in touch with me to ask for an opinion or they would make many mistakes, because they would be acting without an understanding of my heart. In just the same way we need to get to know the heart of God – and once we have His heart and He has ours, we can move forward in faith and trust confident that He will lead us.

And when we are doing those things that please Him, we can be confident also that we won’t be doing those things that could have the effect of shortening our lives. This is easy to understand when you see the medical statistics about the shortened life expectancy, for example, of those who drink too much, or are addicted to drugs, or catch sexually transmitted diseases through promiscuous sexual relationships.

Living a holy life in the fear of God is not living a dull life – and God promises to add years to our life when we understand and walk in His ways!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the promises in Your Word. Help me to get to know You better and I ask that the Holy Spirit will fill me day by day with His power to strengthen me against temptation and be a blessing to You and to others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.