Peter Horrobin

International Director of Ellel Ministries

April 15, 2018
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on I was about to fall, but God . . . !

I was about to fall, but God . . . !

“I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.”

Psalm 118:13-14, NIV

Many is the time when God’s people have been in a situation where only God could help them! And in this psalm, the psalmist recounts the times when he was beyond human help and, were it not for God’s intervention, he would have been overwhelmed and overcome, have fallen and been defeated.

There are times in all our lives when God allows us to get in a situation which is beyond our human capacity to fix. We have done everything we can, but there seems no way forward or out. The pressures are more than we can stand. The psalmist remembers how “all the nations surrounded” him. How they “swarmed like bees” around him; and how he was “pushed back and about to fall.”

Then he says, “But God . . . ! “ Time and again when he was in this sort of situation he had learned that there is only one thing to do – and that is trust God and discover yet again, “But the Lord helped me . . . The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!” There are many times in the history of Ellel Ministries when God has intervened in situations when there was absolutely nothing we could do.

May I encourage you to stop whatever else you are doing right now and read the whole of Psalm 118 out loud. Proclaim the blessings of the God who heard and answered the cries of His people. And then spend a few minutes recounting with thanksgiving the times in your own life when God intervened. Praise encourages the spirit and lifts the soul. And then, in the words that conclude the psalm, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures for ever.”

Prayer: My heart is full of gratitude to You, Lord, for Your love and faithfulness. For the ways Your hand does mighty things for Your people. Help me, Lord, to trust You even more when all around seems to be falling apart, knowing that You are able to do over and above anything that we can think or dream of! Thank You, Lord. Amen.

March 31, 2018
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on He’s Alive!

He’s Alive!

“While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead?’”

Luke 24:4-5, NIV

When, suddenly, two angels, gleaming like lightning, appeared in the tomb of Jesus, no-one can blame the women for being frightened! Their only agenda at that moment was, in their grief, to place spices on the body of Jesus. They were already traumatised for a different reason – the body of Jesus had gone! And it was then, in the midst of their utter confusion, that two angels appeared before them and asked a question which still rings down the centuries with extraordinary significance, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

While most of today’s world has reduced the resurrection of Jesus to the level of a really nice religious myth, the events of that extraordinary Sunday morning stand unchallenged as one of the most well attested facts of history. Jesus is not a dead religious leader whose tomb is venerated like an idol. He is not only alive for evermore, but is preparing to come again – not as a babe in Bethlehem, but as the King of Kings.

Next time it won’t be the women at an empty tomb who will be frightened, but all those who have knowingly rejected the risen Lord Jesus will be in anguish over their eternal stupidity. Notwithstanding the facts of history, the world has treated Jesus as if he was still dead, totally ignoring the significance of his life, his teaching and his ministry, and the personal consequences of ignoring the only One whose life transforms the gates of death into the doorway to life. For in Him, and in Him alone, is there hope beyond the grave as evidenced by the facts of resurrection morning.

The simple facts of this resurrection morning, stand in time and eternity as the moment when God intervened to change the destiny of all those who choose to follow Him. On this resurrection day, may I encourage you to kneel in awe and wonder before the empty cross and worship the living God. He is not dead – HE IS RISEN! Hallelujah.

Prayer: On this day, Jesus, when we celebrate Your resurrection from the dead, I come in humble adoration and great thanksgiving. Help me, Lord Jesus, in every area of my life to bear testimony to You, my risen Lord, who gave everything for me. I love You, Lord. Thank You. Amen.

March 20, 2018
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Truth Revealed

Truth Revealed

“You are a king then!”, said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying that I am a King. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

John 18:37, NIV

Truth is ultimately defined by who God is. When faced with Pilate’s questions Jesus said, “I came into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (John18:37). This statement poses a very important question “Are you willing to listen to Jesus and believe in Him?” Pilate side-stepped this question by retorting “What is truth?”

The history of science is simply a search after truth – that which is proven to be true about every possible aspect of the Universe, of which the Earth is a part. But when it comes to the origin of the Universe, however, twenty-first century atheistic scientists have no time to consider the existence of a Creator God. They are, therefore, ultimately devoted to proving how the Universe could have come into existence without the involvement of a Creator, notwithstanding the fact that the spontaneous creation of matter out of absolutely nothing, defies every known scientific law about the nature and interactions of matter!

Within the heart of man, however, there has always been an instinctive belief that there must be something or someone ‘out there somewhere’! Throughout recorded history, there are people in every known people group who have believed in something and have sought after that unknown god. God answered this cry of the human heart by sending His Son who declared to the world in John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth and the life.” His words can be trusted.

And John’s Gospel begins with declaring the truth that John heard from Jesus Himself, “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3). I don’t know how God did it, but I am willing to trust the man who stood before Pilate, received the punishment of death that all of us deserved, and demonstrated the absolute authority of God over all things, by being raised again from the dead. He IS truth – and we can trust Him.

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for demonstrating that You are, indeed, the way, the truth and the life. I choose today to trust You in all things. I put my hand afresh in Yours and ask that You will lead and direct my steps so that I will not be deceived by any false beliefs. I believe that You are the Son of God. I pray this to Father God in Your Name. Amen.

February 24, 2018
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Born Again

Born Again

“Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no-one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, You must be born again.”

John 3:5-7, NIV

Many tears will have been shed these past few days when the news broke that Billy Graham had died, aged 99. Billy Graham was probably the most well-known evangelist ever. He certainly preached to more people than anyone else in history. But much more significantly there are countless millions alive in God today because they were born again by the Spirit of God after listening to Billy Graham preach the timeless Gospel message from today’s Scripture, “You must be born again.”

I was ten years of age when I first heard Billy Graham preach at the Harringay Arena in London. Even though I had already given my life to the Lord, I was hugely impacted by both his message and the number of people who went forward at the end of the meeting to do business with God. I know many people today who were born again under Billy’s ministry and have gone on to live outstanding Christian lives.

Philip Doddridge, the eighteenth century poet, described that moment of being born again as the happiest day of his life and he put his experience into the words of the hymn:

“O happy day that fixed my choice
On Thee, my Saviour and my God!”

And in the second verse of the hymn he explained why:

“ ’Tis done—the great transaction’s done;
I am my Lord’s, and He is mine;”.

Every one of us needs to have our lives transformed by the living presence of our Saviour and be born again by the Spirit of God. In John Chapter 3 Jesus explains to Nicodemus that no-one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again. And this was the message that God gave Billy Graham to preach and he faithfully preached it throughout his life – simply because it is the most important message in the universe, and everyone needs to hear it.

February 21, 2018
by Blog Moderator
Comments Off on What a man! But what a Saviour!

What a man! But what a Saviour!

I was just settling down to write a blog about Strands of Destiny, when breaking news came through on my computer that the veteran evangelist, Billy Graham, had died, aged 99. Billy Graham was not just “one of the most influential preachers of the twentieth century” as he was described by the BBC, but he was, arguably, one of the most influential of all men and women of the twentieth century.

There are hundreds of millions of men and women, probably from all the countries of the world, who owe the fact that their lives were redeemed and put back on a God-honouring course by meeting their Saviour through the ministry of Billy Graham. No-one will ever be able to calculate the extent of the blessing he has been to all those people and the consequences there have been down the generation lines to children, children’s children and beyond.

I was ten years of age when I went with my Dad to hear Billy Graham at Harringay Arena in London. I was mightily impacted and will never forget how one particular man came to the Lord there through Billy’s ministry. I tell his story in Strands of Destiny. Then, many years later in 1984, I was privileged to be the originator of Mission England Praise (now Mission Praise), the song book for Billy Graham’s Mission England, and be involved in organising the meetings at Liverpool Football Club’s, Anfield Stadium. Those never to be forgotten days were part of my own personal journey of seeing faith in action.

Meeting Billy Graham, and his almost equally well-known song-leader, Cliff Barrows, was an inspirational moment that touched my life. Even though for over thirty years now I have been involved in the healing ministry, I have never forgotten that the primary calling of a Christian is introduce those who don’t know Jesus, to their Saviour.

This will be a day of great thanksgiving in the hearts of countless people, including my own. There will be hundreds of millions of strands of destiny woven into a tapestry of thanksgiving as Billy meets His Saviour face to face.

I was going to write this blog about reactions to my book, Strands of Destiny, but that will have to wait for another time. Today is a day to thank God for a man who walked in his destiny throughout his days. His obedience to his calling has produced a harvest of extraordinary fruit.

Thanks be to God for the man – but even greater be to God for Billy’s Saviour, who called Billy to Himself when only a teenager and has now called him Home on the brink of his hundredth birthday. What a man – but, Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

February 18, 2018
by info@seedsofthekingdom.org
Comments Off on Faith

Faith

Hebrews 10:22-23, NIV
“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water … for he who promised is faithful.”

The disciples were crossing the lake in their boat, with Jesus asleep in the bows. A furious storm blew up and the disciples were terrified. They cried out to Jesus to save them. ‘He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm’ (Matthew 8:26).

Fear and faith don’t go together. We’re either afraid something might happen, or we have confidence that it won’t. It may be that we hope something will happen and it doesn’t, even after much prayer. Does this mean we don’t have enough faith?

Jesus said, ‘if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there, and it will move”’ (Matthew 17:20). Most of us would readily confess that we don’t have that kind of faith. ‘Whatever you ask in prayer you will receive, if you have faith’ (Matthew 21:22). The Bible seems to suggest this is possible. But is it?

When we ask anything of the Lord in prayer we’re submitting it to the King. Far be it from us to try to tell God what to do. We’re laying our petitions before Him and trusting Him with them. A bible dictionary defines faith as ‘confidence in and commitment to God and Jesus Christ.’ So, our confidence is in Him, not in us. Having made our requests to Him we must then let go. We’ve handed them over and they’re no longer our responsibility. ‘Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need’ (Hebrews 4:16)

We need to ‘draw near to God with full assurance of faith’ (Hebrews 10:22). This is not faith that comes from a desperate hope that certain things will happen, but faith in the One who can do all things.

Faith must not be what we can generate in ourselves, hoping that He will recognise our need and do something about it. No, faith is in the person of Jesus Christ. We must align our will to that of the Holy Spirit and determine His way in the situation. ‘If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it’ (John 14:14).

‘In His name’ is through His identity living in us by the Spirit. It is by faith, taking Jesus at His word in complete confidence that He will never let us down (Hebrews 13:5b). When Jesus said, “you of little faith” He was really saying “don’t you trust me to look after you?” By putting our faith in Him we’re relying upon His love towards us, knowing that it’s His pleasure to ‘graciously give us all things’ (Romans 8:32).

It’s not about ourselves and how much faith we can muster. It’s about trusting and depending on Jesus and His faithfulness towards us.

Prayer: Lord, help me to take my faith as a mustard seed and plant it in You; to know Your faithfulness and love towards me, and acknowledge that Your ways are not always my ways, but Your ways are best. Let my faith be always in You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

February 17, 2018
by info@seedsofthekingdom.org
Comments Off on Stand on the Rock

Stand on the Rock

Exodus 33:21, NIV
“Then the Lord said, “There is a place near Me where you may stand on a rock””.

One of the special characteristics of God to me personally is the fact that He’s referred to in the Bible as our rock: ‘He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God Who does no wrong, upright and just is He’ (Deuteronomy 32:4). One of my life-scriptures that I often quote and go back to in difficult seasons is Psalm 18:1-2: ‘I love You, LORD, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold’.

As I read Exodus 33 in my quiet time recently, I felt such a wonderful peace fill my heart. Moses was having a face-to-face conversation with God after the Israelites had sinned against God by worshipping the Golden Calf. Moses was desperate for God’s Presence not to abandon them. He asked God to show His glory to him (Exodus 33:18). But verse 21 is so beautiful, because the Lord invites Moses to stand near Him on a rock. Some translations of verse 21 say, ‘there is a place beside me’.

Whenever God invites us closer we can be certain that the place near Him – beside Him – is a firm, secure and solid place. It is a rock. Even when everything around us or inside us feels insecure, shaky and uncertain, His presence – being near Him – brings an inner peace and stability that silences the lies of the enemy and the shouts of the world. It restores crooked perspectives and renders all the unanswered questions insignificant, because the great I AM, the One who holds the stars in place, stills the doubts and fears with His comforting presence. Our strength is found in intimacy with Him.

Looking towards the future may cause a variety of emotions inside us – from anxiety to great expectation and hope. Knowing that we have a secure place that we can escape to, draw strength from and find refuge in, should fill our hearts with peace. I’m encouraged to stay close to God and to take Him up on His invitation to stand on that rock, that firm and safe place near Him.

Prayer: Father, thank You that You’re my Rock, my Fortress and my Deliverer – my secure place for whatever I may face in the year ahead. Thank You that You invite me to be near to You, and that You make the crooked places straight. I choose to rest in You. Amen.

February 16, 2018
by info@seedsofthekingdom.org
Comments Off on Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound

Psalm 84:3, NLT
“Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!”

I remember standing in the kitchen of our previous home one summer evening. It was near sunset, and, as I looked out of the window, across my line of vision, I saw a solitary bird high in the sky, flying very purposefully. As I watched that lone bird, probably flying to the place where it would roost that night, I was deeply moved, sensing the Lord’s presence there in the kitchen with me. I told Him how wonderful the sight of that bird was to me. It knew how to find its way home that night. The Lord’s put the need for a home in every creature He’s made, including us human beings, who are created in His own image. I realised the Lord was touching something deep in my heart that evening – my own sense of being on a journey through life to my true home in heaven with Him.

I felt this again recently, as we heard the cries of migrating swans and geese in the sky above our home in the northwest of England. I looked up in wonder at the V-shaped formations of birds, honking and calling to each other, as if encouraging each other to keep going on their long journey to a warmer climate.

For all of us, who know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, the reality is that this world isn’t our home. We’ve been born again from heaven above, and that’s where we make our pilgrimage to through this world. Eventually we’ll see Him face to face. It doesn’t mean we’re ‘too heavenly minded to be of any earthly use’, as some people disparagingly say. No! Psalm 84:6 says of those who’ve set their hearts on such a pilgrimage, ‘When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings’.

The apostle Paul longed to be at ‘home with the Lord’, although he was willing to stay longer in the world for the sake of the Gospel, and his fellow believers. Charles Spurgeon, the famous Victorian preacher wrote, ‘Christian, meditate much on heaven. It will help thee to press on, and to forget the toil of the way. This vale of tears is but the pathway to the better country: this world of woe is but the stepping stone to a world of bliss.’

‘This world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through

My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue.

The angels beckon me, from heaven’s open door

And I can’t feel at home, in this world anymore.’

(Albert Edward Brumley)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your promise that one day You’ll come to take me home to be with You forever. Help me to point others to You so they too might know You and have that same hope. In your name I pray. Amen.

February 15, 2018
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Hated for the Right Reasons

Hated for the Right Reasons

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as one of its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

John 15:18-19, NIV

When I was growing up in the UK, in the nineteen-fifties and sixties, Pastors and Ministers of the Church were generally well respected. Even if people didn’t believe for themselves, they recognised that foundational Christian teaching was central to what it means to be living a good and godly life. When people were in trouble, even unbelievers would turn to a Christian leader for help. I will never forget being with my Dad at the doors of Maidstone Prison at 6.00am one morning, to welcome back into the world a young man who had got into wrong company, broken the law and had served his time behind bars. Dad became his pastoral bridge back into society.

But the world in which we are now living is radically different to what it was like in those far more innocent times. We have just seen how a volunteer Christian Prison Chaplain, of twenty years exemplary standing, has been dismissed from his role in a UK prison. For all those years he had worked unpaid, using his day off, every week, to spend time with prisoners, helping them with life’s issues and sharing with them the good news of the Gospel. But because he has been introducing prisoners, who voluntarily asked for more information about being a Christian, to the Alpha Course, he was considered an extremist and denied any further access to the prison as a volunteer Chaplain.

There are many instances today of Christians being marginalised or losing their jobs because of their beliefs. This is no surprise to God. When Jesus spoke the words of our text to the disciples, He was spelling out a present reality for His own life, but also declaring for the rest of time that when Christian beliefs and practice are at enmity with the world’s standards, respect for Christians will quickly fly out of the window and be replaced by the hatred of those who sense that the truth of God and His Word is in opposition to the way of the world.

Hatred of believers and subsequent persecution for holding to Christian beliefs has been part of Christian history. When we are hated for Christ’s sake we are part of an unbroken line of believers that stretches right back to the days when Jesus walked this Earth with His disciples.

So how are we to respond when we experience personal hatred and antagonism to our faith? Jesus only gave us one thing we can do – pray for our accusers and bless them! In Matthew 5:44 Jesus said, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven.”

This is how Jesus, the Son of God responded and when we follow in His steps we are true sons of our Father in Heaven. This is the only way that those who hate us can ever respond to the Gospel for themselves. Unless they experience God’s love first hand, they will never know that there is a Father in Heaven who loves them, who had a Son who died for them.

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that You showed us how to respond to those who hate us because of You. Help me to remember to pray for those who would oppose the truth and for people such as this Prison Chaplain who are at the forefront of being hated for Christ’s sake. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

February 14, 2018
by info@seedsofthekingdom.org
Comments Off on God Watches Over You

God Watches Over You

2 Chronicles 16:9, NIV
“The eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

One of our younger grandsons has his second birthday this month. It’s an age of rapid development, and he’s been learning new things, increasing his vocabulary almost daily, and learning to string words together, which is very endearing. However, he’s too young to understand what might be dangerous for him, so his parents (or his Granny if she’s around!) need to keep careful watch over him. They’re watching to protect him, to correct him if need be, to encourage him, to comfort him and to teach him. It’s also fun to be together, so it is a time of joy (mostly!) for all concerned.

Thinking about this reminded me of today’s verse, which describes how God is constantly watching over us. He’s not doing this in order to be critical, or to catch us out. He’s a loving Father who wants to keep His children from harm, and to protect us. He knows what’s best for us, and wants to teach us His ways. He also wants to provide for us, giving us everything we need, including strength, peace and comfort in every situation.

He also delights in us (Zephaniah 3:17), as parents delight in their children. I used to love watching our sons when they were younger, taking part in sport, acting in plays, and doing many other things. I would notice the other children who were taking part, but my eyes tended to be fixed on my own sons. I was watching them because I delighted in them, and also because I wanted to provide some support and encouragement to them. That seems to be what today’s verse is saying – that God’s particularly watching over His own children, to be there for them as a source of strength and encouragement.

In 2 Chronicles 16, we read that, even though the Lord was there for King Asa, King Asa hadn’t been relying on Him. He’d taken matters into his own hands and had made a treaty with his enemies. It was in response to this that Hanani, the seer, spoke the words in today’s verse. He reminded Asa that, when he’d looked to the Lord, his enemies had been defeated, but, because he hadn’t done so in this situation, he would continue to be at war.

God is watching over you and me today, to strengthen us and to provide what we need in each situation. However, we need to look to Him and trust in Him, not trying to fix things for ourselves.

Prayer: Lord, thank You that You’re watching over me to provide the strength and comfort I need in each situation. I’m sorry for the times I’ve tried to do things in my own strength. I look to You today and put my trust in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.