Peter Horrobin

Founder & International Director of Ellel Ministries

February 10, 2018
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But the Greatest of These is Love

1 Corinthians 13:1, AMP
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction].”

Every year, on my birthday, I ask the Lord for a special verse to take with me into the new year. This time, He gave 1 Corinthians 13. For many of us this is such a familiar chapter in the Bible, and we sometimes tend to skip it, or we think we know it already.

I took the time to read this special chapter in different versions of the Bible – trying to make each verse relevant to my life and asking myself: “Am I actually living this Word of God to the world around me?”. In verse 1 and 2 in the Amplified version, love for others (and that means all people) is described as growing out of God’s love for me, and reaching out to others. It’s not the same feeling I have towards my loved ones, but a God-inspired love and understanding for people. It’s a mindset of asking God to help us see the unlovable as He sees them. It’s His heart to see beyond the hurt they cause by asking the Lord where they’re coming from. What hurt and pain are they carrying?

Verse 4 and 5 refers to our reactions and attitudes: patience, kindness and being thoughtful. Love is not envious, jealous, not rude or self-seeking, not over sensitive and easily angered. Love does not take into account a wrong we endured. The list goes on.

When I stop to ask myself if this is me, I can only bow my head and humble myself before the Lord, because I fall short in so many ways. How can I ever ‘get this right’? But then the Lord comes with love and gentleness and reminds me that this whole chapter is Him. It’s His heart towards me and every other person He created.

If I allow the Lord’s love to sink into every part of my being, I become more and more rooted in Him, and more and more rooted in who I am in Him. It’s about being positioned in the Lord, and knowing where my worth and security comes from. When I look at life and people from this place of safety, I begin to understand that 1 Corinthians 13 is not about me falling short. It’s about Him living in me and through me.

‘May He grant you out of the riches of His glory, to be strengthened and spiritually energized with power through His Spirit in your inner self, [indwelling your innermost being and personality], so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through your faith. And may you, having been [deeply] rooted and [securely] grounded in love (Ephesians 3:16-17). I can only live God’s love when I have accepted it as my own. Then I can read 1 Corinthians 13 by focussing on Him, and allowing Him to show me how to love as He does.

Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for this beautiful truth in Your Word, and for showing me more of Your character. Lord, I ask You today to reveal more and more of Yourself to me and to fill every fibre of my being – my body, soul and spirit. My desire is to be securely rooted in You, and to show others who You are; to bear up under all things, to believe the best of others and to have hope that never gives up. Amen.

February 9, 2018
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Turn the Page

Philippians 3:13-14, NIV
“But one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

This advice from God’s word in our scripture for today has stood the test of time. The past is just that … the past.

God’s sent Jesus to us so we don’t have to live our lives imprisoned by our past. We’ve all made wrong decisions, and said, and done, wrong things. Maybe we’ve failed in relationships, failed our parents, or failed ourselves. This scripture is encouraging us today to not allow ourselves to get bogged down by our past failures.

We may have to say sorry to the Lord and to others, but we shouldn’t dwell on our past in such a way that it stops us moving forward into the future God has for us. Many of us spend our adult lives trying to come to terms with what happened in the past. We can have an emotional ‘limp’ from our past hurts, or broken hearts. We need to get the healing of Jesus for our inner pain and make sure that our past hurts don’t become our identity.

Dwelling on our past can hold us back from spiritual growth and walking fully in our healing and destiny. Today we can rise to the challenge of this scripture and say to ourselves “With God’s help, I’m going to move on from my past. I’m going to stop torturing myself about what I did or didn’t do”. This is a good day to stop being chained to my past failures. God doesn’t want us to go through life branding ourselves as failures. On the cross Jesus died so we could be fully forgiven, forgive ourselves and forget our failures.

God says ‘I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake and remembers your sins no more’ (Isaiah 43:25). Do you need to apply the truth of this scripture in your own life today? Accept the forgiveness of Jesus for the very worst thing that you’ve ever done. Forgive yourself, and all those who’ve hurt you in the past, and, with God’s help, turn the page once and for all. Move on in the freedom and blessing God has for you.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the finished work of Calvary. Help me today to forget what is behind me and press on to take hold of my future in You. Hep me to truly turn the page. Amen.

February 8, 2018
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Fellow Citizens

Ephesians 2:19, NIV
“You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.”

I wonder if you’ve been on an international flight recently, and had the experience of being offered the option of going through the special passport control line reserved for citizens of your own country or continent? Often the citizens’ queue seems longer than the general one. The benefits appear to be for the sake of passport control, rather than the passengers. Yet citizenship is supposed to bring positive things for its citizens.

Those of us who are citizens of a country can expect protection and support from our government, according to one dictionary definition. So, we get very upset when our hopes are dashed, and our expectations are crushed. God, however, warns us in Hebrews 12:26 that He will ‘shake not only the earth but the heavens’, and perhaps the current worldwide political and economic climate is an indication that the shaking has begun.

What do we mean when we call ourselves citizens of the Kingdom of God? Firstly, we’re saying that we’re outside the constraints of worldly political order. We’re to be in the world, but not of it. When God shakes this world, He will exclude his own domain, although our humanity may still lead us into a degree of suffering. This isn’t promoting anarchy, but it’s encouraging us to pray for God’s mercy on our governments.

Secondly, we’re not hopeless, but hopeful. Our foundation stone is Jesus Christ, not a political system. Indeed, the old order will be swept away at the coming of Christ, and we’ll have the privilege of being fellow citizens with the countless millions around the throne of God. We’ll benefit from the fullness of God’s promises. What a destiny!

Thirdly, there’s no differentiation between the citizens of God’s Kingdom. There won’t be rich and poor, slave and free, Jew and Gentile in God’s household. We’re all fellow-citizens in Christ. Perhaps we need to start getting used to this, for example, by sharing the bounty that God gives us with those less fortunate, by seeing Jesus in those who come from a different culture or background to ours, and by not putting our hope in political systems and their ambassadors, but rather trusting in the Lord to accomplish His purposes through each of us, as His Spirit works in us.

We won’t see a separate passport queue here on earth for the citizens of heaven, but, one day, we’ll enter into the presence of the Father through that special gateway reserved for those who are sons and daughters of the King, co-heirs with Jesus. Something to look forward to!

Prayer: We thank You, Lord, for those who’ve been appointed to lead our countries and communities, and we pray for Your blessing and guidance in their lives. Thank You that You have made us citizens together in Your greater Kingdom, which won’t be shaken by the events of earth, but will endure for ever. We look forward in hope to that day when we shall be with You in heaven, beyond the shaking of this world. Amen.

February 7, 2018
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Psalm 91: 9 & 10, NIV
“If you make the Most High your dwelling – even the Lord, who is my refuge – then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.”

As I was walking near the canal which runs not far from Ellel Grange, I heard a rustling in the trees above me and, looking up, I saw a squirrel – sadly not a native red one, which are now quite rare in this country, but the grey ones are still fun to watch. This particular one was going right to the very ends of the slender branches of a beech tree, reaching for the beech mast which still hung there. At one time he let go with his front legs and swung head down feasting on his finds. There was no fear as he swung around the tree-tops, he trusted completely that he would be safe.

For many of us there are times when we feel we are being taken right to the ends of the “branches” in our lives. We feel as though we are being stretched to the very limits of what we believe is possible for us to achieve, but if we have put our trust in God and are walking in His will, He will never let us go. Unlike the squirrel which has to depend on its own ability and agility to scamper about the trees, we have our Father to depend on.

At Ellel Grange there is a clay model of a pair of hands holding a small child. It is a powerful reminder that we are always being held in God’s hands, unless we wilfully walk away from Him, and He will keep us safe in and through (though not necessarily from) all circumstances.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You so much that You are my strength and shield. Thank You that You have given Your angels command concerning me to guard me in all my ways. (Psalm 91: 11) May I always be aware of this as You ask me to step out in faith beyond my comfort zone. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

February 6, 2018
by Seeds of the Kingdom
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Don’t Give Up!

“Tell Archippus: See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.”

Colossians 4:18, NIV

Some of the seemingly insignificant little verses in Scripture contain profound truths and lessons for life. Today’s Scripture is one of them. We know very little about Archippus, although his name means ‘trainer of horses’. But we do know that he was called to do a specific work for the Lord – and the implication of Paul’s comment is that he was in danger of not completing the task.

When God speaks vision into a person’s life and gives them a calling, it is undoubtedly easier to start the work than to complete the journey of faith. The simple fact is that obedience to the Lord attracts the attention of the enemy of souls. And when he sees that we are serious about doing God’s work then he begins to take note of what we are doing and plans to oppose it in every possible way.

Paul was very much aware of the activities of Satan and his Kingdom and encouraged believers to wear spiritual armour so that they would be able to stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:11). A real work of God will require persistence and endurance and, also, a willingness to keep pressing on, even when the opposition and difficulties mount. A partially completed work is never enough.

By way of example, a local authority may go 95% of the way towards building and equipping a new hospital. But if they have no money to recruit any doctors or nurses to run it, it is a redundant building which, even though it may have cost a lot of money, has no value whatsoever to the community. It is that final 5% which makes the whole project worth doing.

It was the final act of Jesus’s life, his sacrifice on the cross, which made sense of the whole of His life. Hebrews describes Jesus as “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Because Jesus finished the task that Father God had given Him to do His destiny was fulfilled. Jesus was the most amazing example of a completer-finisher. Hebrews urges us to look to Jesus, follow His example and walk in his steps.

So, if there is something that you know God has given you to do, keep going. Persevere and complete the task. It is that final stage of the journey which will result in the greatest blessing and fruit.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You love us enough to share with us your visions for our lives. Forgive me, Lord, for times when I have given up because the going has seemed too tough. Help me, Lord, to persevere so that You will be blessed by the completion of the things you have given me to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

February 5, 2018
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It is for Freedom that Christ Has Set Us Free

Galatians‬ ‭5:1,‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬‬‬‬‬
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

What does freedom mean to you? To define something is to make its purpose, function or meaning clear. Freedom is all about flexibility and privilege.

When my daughter was a little girl she was quite fascinated with fire. She always wanted to touch it. The word we used to dissuade her from this dangerous attraction was “Hot!” That word however, had no meaning to her, as she had never experienced being burned.

In the garden, God’s command, “Do not touch”, was a source of protection within the boundaries of Adam and Eve’s freedom. Sadly, Eve was vulnerable to temptation, much like my daughter, because her understanding of death was limited. Therefore, the crafty serpent was able to bring confusion and doubt, engaging her attention and ultimately leading her to move beyond the boundaries of the freedom that she had in the garden.

The pleasing and desirable fruit, and all that it offered, took her eyes off God, His command and His boundary. The tempted became the tempter as Eve gave some to Adam, and they both experienced first-hand what God meant when He said, ‘but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die’ (Genesis 2:17).


One afternoon my daughter approached a lit candle with her finger out and a big smile on her face saying, “hot, hot!” To her, hot was something pretty and exciting and appealing. She reached out and put her little finger over the flame and discovered very quickly that hot, although pretty, was not appealing at all. The definition of “hot” became clear to her little mind and finger that day. My love for my daughter and concern for her safety was such that I put boundaries around the freedom that she had in our home.

Perhaps God has been speaking to you about something He does not want you to touch, and you are experiencing the doubt that sometimes follows a directive from the Lord. There is freedom within the freedom that Christ purchased for us, but there are also boundaries put in place to keep us safe. Galatians 5:1 goes on to say, ‘Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery’. Slavery is the opposite of freedom. The end of the story for Adam and Eve was separation from God, their source of life. Death, shame and fear entered the picture.

Can I encourage you today to learn from their mistake and turn your eyes and attention from anything God has asked you not to touch to Jesus’ finished work at the cross. You may not hear an answer to your question of why, but you may come to understand that only a good Father warns His children not to touch in order to keep them safe.

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for Your unconditional love that keeps me safe when I listen. I do want the freedom You bought for me on the cross, as opposed to the freedom the world offers. Help me to see what You are revealing to me today. I pray and ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

February 4, 2018
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Talk Is Cheap

Mark 14:29, Amplified
But Peter said to Him, “Even if they all fall away and are caused to stumble and distrust and desert You, yet I will not [do so]!”

Have you noticed how easy it is to declare your unconditional love and surrender to the Lord, and yet not consider the true meaning of this? Often, we’re really sincere when we say that we’re willing to take up our cross and follow the Lord wherever He leads. But have you ever found yourself in that place where the Lord asks you to let go of your perfect picture of how this will look in practice?

I’m reminded of how zealous Simon Peter was, and how sure he was that he would never stumble and desert Jesus. He proclaimed Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:16). He was bold enough to step out of the boat on to the water at the word of Jesus, even if he did end up sinking when he saw the waves (Matthew 14:30). He was the one who rebuked Jesus for speaking of His death and crucifixion, all because it didn’t fit his own idea of how things should be when the Messiah was finally on the scene (Matthew 16:21-23). To summarise, Peter was the one who was very sure of his absolute trust and unwavering devotion to Jesus, but ended up denying his association with the Lord Jesus.

When you’ve been walking with the Lord for a while, you’ll be tested on what you proclaim you believe and stand for. For most of my life as a child of God I’ve sincerely believed, and even told the Lord, that I wanted my life to count for His Kingdom. I’d do whatever the Lord asked of me, and I’d do so willingly and joyfully. Every time I sang ‘I surrender all’, I meant it with all my heart. But I’ve discovered that, even though, like Peter, I really meant it every time, it was much more difficult to put this into practice when God tested me on that which I’d confessed with my lips.

Surrendering, taking up one’s cross, and truly walking by faith daily won’t be a comfortable exercise. It will always cost you in some way. But I’ve discovered that the peace of God which becomes your constant companion when you obey, and make a choice to do it joyfully, is so worth it. The Lord is always faithful to His word to us. He never says something and then changes His mind. Number 23:19 says, ‘God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfil?’

With God, talk isn’t cheap. He always keeps His promises, even when we’re faithless, and fail Him. 2 Timothy 2:13 says, ‘if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown himself’. It’s comforting to know that God sees our hearts, and that He knows our determination and sincere intentions to ‘obey at all cost’, but also our failure to do so at times, when we get overwhelmed by the true meaning of it. Let’s be encouraged to continue taking up our cross daily, walking by faith, and not to allowing past failures to become our focus.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You’re always faithful, true to Your Word and unwavering. Thank You that You never go back on Your promises to me and that You lavish Your grace upon me when I fail to obey You as I should. Thank You that You see my heart, and for Your amazing grace. I love You, Lord. Amen.

February 3, 2018
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The Purposes of God

Genesis 28:15, NIV
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

Jacob was a deceiver. Perhaps not the man we would have expected God to choose to be one of the patriarchs. He stole his brothers’ birth right. He deceptively took his brothers’ special blessing from his father to receive prosperity, abundance, and be one who would be served and honoured. Maybe we can identify in some ways with his tenacious character and self-centred determination and scheming.

However, we can take encouragement from the fact that, despite his natural bent, which wasn’t godly, God’s purposes would be fulfilled in his life. In Jacob, God was building His chosen nation through which all peoples will be blessed (Genesis 28:13-15.) Yes, God wasn’t to be diverted from His great purpose and plan. How great to know He also has a purpose and plan for our lives, which is always for our good, and for blessing!

It was Jacob’s encounters with the Lord that impacted his life. He experienced the presence of God at Bethel. After being in the house of God (the meaning of Bethel), his life took a new direction. Committing his way to the Lord and trusting Him for protection and provision, his desire and decision was now to enthrone the Lord as his God. This was a pivotal moment for Jacob. It will be for us too, if we commit our lives to the Lord in this way.

Jacob was later touched by God as he wrestled with Him. His walk was forever changed. At that time Jacob’s great desire was expressed: “Oh that You would bless me!” And God always delights to bless His people.

God called Jacob to return to Bethel, to live in His presence. Jacob’s obedience to God was rewarded, as God reiterated His blessing, purpose and plan for His chosen people and land. Jacob received a new identity – the one God always intended – and he was now to be called ‘Israel.’ Changed from ‘the deceiver’, ‘the one who clung to his brother’s heel’, to be ‘one who wrestles with God – who clings firmly to God.’

If we desire God’s blessing, let’s meet with Him too, and dwell in His presence. Then we can come to realise our true identity and the purpose of God for our lives.

Prayer: Lord, my desire is to know You, submit to You and meet with You. O Lord, please bless me and bring me to know my true identity in You, so I can know Your great purpose and plan for my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

February 2, 2018
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Our God is Able

Psalm 91:2, NIV
“I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust”.”

I was recently asked what scripture I would choose to be framed as a picture, because it currently meant something special to me. My reply was immediate, because God had intimately spoken to me through the above text. When it duly appeared in a small frame, I was delighted. To know that God is a refuge and a fortress is one thing, but to know that He is my refuge and my fortress is another. One is knowledge; the other is experience.

Refuge and fortress are words that speak of shelter, protection, safety and trust. When life is unpredictable we may have our own hiding places, which can come in the shape of people, relationships or material things that we think will bring some peace, order, relief or happiness into our present confusion. But there’s only one true refuge and fortress – the one true God who’s unchanging and steadfast, and who will never fail.

The Bible tells us several times that our God is able. He’s omnipotent, so He has unlimited power; omniscient, so He knows everything; omnipresent, so He’s present everywhere at the same time. We have an amazing God who works everything for His own glory and chooses to include us in His plans and purposes.

‘He is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us’ (Ephesians 3:20). This means He works beyond our prayers and dreams by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because there are mysteries between God’s sovereign will and our prayers, our heart’s cry and the words of our lips should always be, “Your will be done. Lord, today, in my life and through my life, work Your own eternal purposes to Your own glory.”

‘He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them’ (Hebrews 7:25). Jesus saves completely, because Jesus is alive. He continually offers forgiveness, restoration, redemption and intimacy with His Father, to whom He intercedes on behalf of His children. If you’re saved you’re saved completely and you belong to Him forever. One day we’ll see Him and be like Him, for we will see Him as He is. In the meantime, isn’t it wonderful to know that Jesus, who’s at the right hand of the Father, never ceases to pray for us.

‘He is able to keep you from falling and present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy’ (Jude v 24). Life’s road can sometimes be quite rough and hard, but we’re never alone. We don’t have an onlooker, but a faithful Saviour, who never leaves us. He walks beside us with comfort and compassion, giving us all the strength we could ever need, and He’ll never ever leave us. It’s very releasing to realise that, in your own strength, you don’t have the resources for the uphill road, or, indeed, for anything that will truly please the Lord. It’s also comforting to know that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness, and He alone can keep us from falling.

Prayer: Father, thank You that You’re a rock and a fortress, and You’re, also, One who’s filled with compassion, tender love and keeping power. In my weakness, I turn to You today for your strength to be made perfect in my weakness. In the power of Your Holy Spirit, please use me today for Your glory. I pray in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

February 1, 2018
Comments Off on Shine as Lights in the World

Shine as Lights in the World

Philippians‬ ‭2:14-16‬ ‭ESV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labour in vain.”

I live in the UK, where the winter time is a time of cold and physical darkness. People feel much more cheerful to see any light which comes from the sun on the occasional bright days. But, as a Christian, I also have to experience much spiritual darkness in this country, as many seem to have turned away from God, and even publicly attack the Christian faith.

The words of the apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians bring me great encouragement. He tells the Christian believers to be children of God and shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life. He says they are living in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation (Philippians 2:14-16). He could be describing the environment I live in today.

He has much to say about heart attitudes which should be loving, kind and humble. In the previous chapter he says, ‘And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment’ (‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:9‬). He wants them to be in spiritual unity as they follow Jesus. And here, in Chapter 2, he highlights grumbling and disputing as things they must avoid doing.‬ ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

And earlier in Chapter 2, Paul gives the greatest of all proclamations into the entire universe about who Jesus is, the Lord of all, ‘Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father’ (‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:9-11‬). ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

This is ‘the word of life’ that we are to ‘hold fast to’. This is our confession of faith, our creed. This is about our Lord and Saviour. This is about Jesus, who said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John‬ ‭8:12‬). ‬

‭I recently acquired an old CD album called ‘Celebrating 25 years of Spring Harvest 1979-2003’ and I really love the tract called ‘Hallelujah, hosanna’, sung with a lively rhythm that you can dance to. The words are ‘Hallelujah, hosanna’ (repeated seven times), and then ‘God has exalted Jesus to the highest place. And given Him the name that is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord’. It’s a good song to have running through your head day and night. ‬‬‬‬‬

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me to shine as a light in the world and cling to the ‘word of life’, the ‘word that proceeds from the mouth of God’. I bow my knee to Jesus and confess that He’s my Lord. Amen.