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Doubting Thomas

“Thomas called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’

Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.’ Thomas answered and said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.’”

In the Gospel reading on Sunday, we heard the story of Doubting Thomas. Thomas was not with the other disciples when the resurrected Jesus visited them and he doubted what the other disciples were telling him. We usually think that Thomas doubted that Jesus rose from the dead but a close reading of this passage indicates that Thomas doubted the witness of his community. When Jesus does appear to him, Thomas does not put his finger into the nail marks or touch the wound on Jesus’ side. Instead, he knows it is Jesus and exclaims “My Lord and my God.”

How many times have we heard something about Jesus from our friends and like Thomas we do not believe them? Maybe they encouraged you to pray the rosary every day and you just don’t seem to have enough time to do it. Maybe they gave you a book to read that just sits on your shelf but you never open it.

Maybe they invited you to take a Compass Catholic Ministries Bible study and you doubted that you need it. After all, you know all about money, right? WRONG – unless you have learned everything you know about money from the Bible you really don’t know much about the Compass studies.

Try googling “Wealth Management” and you will get 65,600,000 results in 0.63 seconds. It’s is sad that so many people follow the advice of strangers who are writing books, magazine articles, blogs, Facebook posts and Pinterest boards instead of listening to the still quiet voice of God from the Bible.

When we think of people who are skilled in financial decision making, we often think of experts or those who are educated in financial matters. And even though many of these experts sound so very confident in their predictions, they are just making an educated guess based on historical data…which isn’t such a bad idea, but how does it apply to today’s economic world…a world like no one has ever seen before?

When we talk about Manage Your Money God’s Way, we are not throwing all of the conventional wisdom out the window, but conventional wisdom comes in a distant second place to using the Word of God as the basis for how to manage your money.
There are 2,500 verses in the bible dealing with money and possessions. This source of financial advice is never wrong. For thousands of years, it’s never been wrong since the truths in the Bible are timeless. It’s a living book that communicates God’s word to all generations. And the reason Compass Catholic Ministries exists is to teach people what the Bible says about handling money.

Some areas where the Bible gives us direction are:

God owns everything: 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 “Everything in the heaven and earth are yours and you are king, supreme ruler over all. All riches and honor come from you.” Too many times we think we are in control of our money and possessions and do not realize these are truly gifts from God to be used for his honor and glory. Just look at the first book of Genesis. Who created the universe? Who created the world? Who created men and women? How can we even think that we have any ownership?

The Bible calls us to be content no matter how much or how little we have. In Philippians 4:11-13 we read, “For I have learned to be content in any and all circumstances. I have learned the secret of being filled or going hungry, living in abundance and want. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

It is hard to be content in modern day America where we have so many influences on our lifestyle. We hear and see commercials telling us we have to buy certain things in order to be happy successful and fulfilled.

Saving to get rich is not a Godly goal: Luke 12:34 “Where your treasure is, there also your heart will be.” If we are focused on getting rich, we are not focused on God.

Whatever job we have, we are really working to use the talents God has given us and we really serve him in our work. Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever your task, work heartily as for the Lord and not men…You are serving the Lord Christ.

We are called to be generous. In Acts 20:35 we read, “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Too many times we keep our ‘first fruits’ and give God what is left over.

Our possessions do not help us get to heaven as defined in Mark 8:36, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” No amount of stuff or money will get us to heaven.

Debt is not good: “The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is slave of the lender.” Proverbs 22:7. If you don’t think debt is slavery, try missing a few payments!

And most importantly, how we manage money and possessions impacts our life in eternity as pointed out in Luke 16:11, “If therefore you have not been faithful in handling worldly wealth who will entrust true riches to you?”
No doubt about it!

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