Finding Unauthorized Faith in Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone (Page 3) eBook online read

business while working full time and leading a ministry. No matter what time you can give to your dream at this moment, it is enough. Commit to doing what God has placed in your heart to do.

  Don’t die a Dursley, live like a Potter!

  Verse: “God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful: wise counsel, clear understanding, simple trust, healing the sick, miraculous acts, proclamation, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues. All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.” – 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (MSG)

  Prayer: Lord, Please reveal your mission for me. Show me what you want me to do with my life. Show me your purpose. Give me a calling, bless me with a spiritual gift, and I will pursue your purpose for my life with all my heart. I will not give up. I will push forward through the trials that come my way. Lord, please give me a purpose so I can live for you through that purpose. I love you, Lord. Amen.

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  The Wrong Sort

  “You’ll soon find out that some wizarding families are much better than others, Potter. You don’t want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there.”

  “I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks,” he [Harry] said.

  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (p. 108)

  ...

  Harry gripped the edges of the stool and thought, Not Slytherin, not Slytherin.

  “Not Slytherin, eh?” said the small voice. “Are you sure? You could be great, you know, it’s all here in your head, and Slytherin will help you on the way to greatness, no doubt about that — no? Well, if you’re sure — better be GRYFFINDOR!”

  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (p. 121)

  It is our choices in life that define us. Harry chose friendship over popularity. He chose the course that required bravery and courage rather than the one that promised greatness handed to him. He chose the hard road over the easy road. Had Harry chosen Draco as a friend or Slytherin as his house, his story would be entirely different.

  Jesus chose the life he lived. He chose fishermen and shepherds, those looked down upon in the community, to become his followers instead of the priests and Pharisees. He chose from among the least instead of the greatest. And he chose to give his life so that all his friends, all of us who follow him, may live.

  Harry stood against Slytherin and Malfoy because of their evil ways, just as Jesus stood against the religious leaders because of their corruption. Harry stood up for those who, according to wizarding royalty, were unworthy to attend Hogwarts; just as Jesus stood up for those who, according to the priests, were too far from God to be of worth.

  Harry’s followers were made up of the misfits of the class—Hermione the muggle born, Ron the pure-blood pauper, Neville the near-squib, Luna the loopy girl with a crazy father, Dobby the slave—just as Jesus’ followers were not made up of men who would bring him “greatness” or prestige for being in their company, but men who would help him bring truth to the world despite their shortcomings.

  Like Jesus, Harry knew that his choices defined who he was and he knew that in choosing the right path he was also choosing the hardest route. But, he chose it anyway.

  1 Timothy 4:16 (NLT) says, “Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.”

  Question: What choices have you made? Have you chosen the easy course or the right course? Do your choices align with the world’s standards or with God’s word? Have you taken the well-beaten path or the road less traveled?

  Challenge: Pick three defining choices you have made. Reflect on what your options were, and why you chose what you chose. Do you believe you made the right choice or the wrong choice? How did your choice define you as a person?

  Now, what choice or choices are you facing presently? What are your options? How do you want to be defined after you make your choice? What choice will lead to that definition? What choice do you think will make God proud of you?

  Be the light to the world that God created you to be. Show the world Jesus’ love in every action you take, and every word you speak. Stay true to what is right and far away from what is easy.

  Don’t try to change the world, be the change you want to see in the world and let the world look on at your example.

  Verse: “The people will all see you mature right before their eyes! Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation.” – Timothy 4:16 (MSG)

  Prayer: Father, Guide my choices. Show me your will for my life. Lead me not into temptation, but keep me from evil. Show me what you want me to do right now, in this moment. Help me to be the change you want to see in the world. Help me shine brightly for you, for all to see you. I love you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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  Becoming a Friend

  “It’s no wonder no one can stand her,” he [Ron] said to Harry as they pushed their way into the crowded corridor, “she’s a nightmare, honestly.”

  Someone knocked into Harry as they hurried past him. It was Hermione. Harry caught a glimpse of her face — and was startled to see that she was in tears.

  “I think she heard you.”

  “So?” said Ron, but he looked a bit uncomfortable. “She must’ve noticed she’s got no friends.”

  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (p. 172)

  ...

  Hermione hung her head. Harry was speechless. Hermione was the last person to do anything against the rules, and here she was, pretending she had, to get them out of trouble. It was as if Snape had started handing out sweets.

  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (p. 178)

  ...

  But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.

  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (p. 179)

  Hermione, greatly hurt by Ron’s comments, hides in the girls’ bathroom, crying her eyes dry. When a troll is set loose during the Halloween feast, and Hermione is nowhere to be found, Harry and Ron set off to find her. However, they find the troll first and lock him in the girls’ bathroom. When they realize Hermione is in there with the troll, they run to her rescue. The trio, having taken down the troll, are caught outside of their dormitory by Professor McGonagall. Instead of letting Ron and Harry take the rightful blame for disobeying school rules, Hermione takes on the scorn herself. Hermione sacrifices her own good for the good of two boys who hurt her deeply.

  John 15:13 says the greatest love we can have for our friends is to give our life for them. Though Hermione did not physically die for Ron and Harry she did give up what she valued greatly: her reputation with her teachers. In this way she sacrificed her life for two people who caused her pain and were the reason she was put in danger by the troll, but who came back to save her. Hermione “died” for her enemies and gained two friends just as Jesus died for everyone, even those who whipped him and nailed him to the cross, and gained millions of friends.

  Question: In what ways have you “died” for the sake of another? In what ways are you willing to “die” for those you love? How about for those you don’t like so much? What are some ways others have “died” for you?

  My mother is one person who has died for me over and over. She has given up buying new clothes for herself to make sure
my closet is more than packed. She has worked longer and harder than she had to, to pay my way through college, send me on study abroad, and do for me what she could have done for herself instead.

  My husband dies for me on a daily basis. He so believed in my writing dream, he took on being the sole provider so I could pursue writing full time.

  My dad died for me by putting me through private school, spending his afternoons on the soccer field, and fixing my closet twice in one week when all the clothes my mom had bought me tore the hanging bar off the wall. All this he did while I was going through my rebellious teen years and being really mean to him. He loved me even though I was his “enemy” at the time, and now we are as close as can be. My dad loved me back into loving him.

  Their love for me helps me be a more loving, generous person to others—although I am not perfect and can be very selfish. Their sacrifice helps me to let others in front of me in traffic even though I’m in a hurry. Their sacrifice helps me to get up and cook for my husband when he gets home late from the office,

  0even though I want to sleep. Their sacrifice inspires me to give more and take less. They have made me a better person by “dying” for me.

  Who died for you, and how has that changed you?

  Challenge: Recognize Jesus who died for you before you loved him, and how that love has
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