West Side Church of Christ

Our Sunday Morning Bible Classes Are Canceled

Happy Thanksgiving

West Side Church of Christ

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Read the Proverbs through in a month,
one chapter per day.
Read the Psalms through in a month,
five Psalms per day.

See today's reading schedule & excerpts from the Psalms & Proverbs at the bottom of this page

A Non-denominational Church

Our congregation is dedicated to worshipping God in spirit and in truth as closely as we can ascertain from the New Testament. We search the scriptures for guidance and authority on how we ought to live our lives in order to be pleasing to God.

To learn more about us, or to get in touch with us — stop by in person or send us an email at:

wscoc@wschurchofchrist.org .
Or Call (216) 671-1759.

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Sunday AM Sermon

Title: Nicodemus, Part 1

Sermon from Feb 18, 2024
Speaker: Jim Lokenbauer

Sunday PM Sermon

Title: Nicodemus, Part 2

Sermon from Feb 18, 2024
Speaker: Jim Lokenbauer

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Sunday Morning Article
Jay Launius, Maud church of Christ, Maud, TX

The Walking Stick

A few weeks ago, a dear old friend asked if I would make him a walking stick. I went to the barn and found a maple stick that I’ve had drying for several years. Taking it to the workshop, I peeled the bark away, sawed off the knots, and sanded it down smooth. Several coats of finish were then added along with a paracord wrap for a handle. I even took the wood burner and put his initials near the top. I believe it will be a good walking staff and serve him well.

The walking stick is a great tool for the walker and can lend great assistance. The use of a walking stick or staff has been around for a long, long time. Early in the bible record, Jacob said that he used his staff to assist him in crossing over Jordan (Gen. 32:10). In many ways, the use of a staff can be compared to the bible, God’s word.

The shepherd’s staff provided protection and comfort to the flock (Ps 23:4), God’s word gives us comfort as well with His promises of love, forgiveness, and eternal life. The walking stick can prevent the traveler from stumbling and falling. Developing the godly characteristics described in the bible will also prevent us from spiritual stumbling (2 Peter 1:2-10). The staff can also be used as a weapon to ward off danger. Having God’s word in our minds and hearts will help us defeat the devil when he tries to destroy our faith (1 Peter 5:8). A good, strong walking stick can serve you for many years. The inspired Scriptures, once learned and applied, can and will take us through our lives and into eternity (2 Tim. 3:15).

From Jay Launius, 2023, Maud coC, Maud, Texas

Who Did You Pray For?

As you look at the contents most church bulletins, you'll find a list of people who need prayer. Most of the time these folks are sick, battling a serious disease, they are shut-in and unable to leave home or in nursing facilities. Some may need prayers of encouragement as they go through a difficult time. The prayer list can be quite long, with some names staying on the list for many months. Sadly, we may become accustomed to the list after seeing the names reappear each week and don't give it much thought. Even worse, we may not look at it at all.

New Testament Christians are instructed by the scriptures to pray and pray often. Jesus said we are to pray to our Father in heaven (Matthew 6:9) and thank Him for the blessings of life (Colossians 4:2). We are to come boldly before God with our request (Hebrews 4:16), yet with an attitude of humility (James 4:10). Christians are to pray for each other and also pray for the sick and unfortunate. "The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." (James 5:15-16)

What a great privilege is to be able to go to God firsthand and pray on another's behalf. So who did you pray for today? Remember, our prayer life is to be constant and consistent, so let us all "pray without ceasing." (1 Thess. 5:17)

From Jay Launius, 2023, Maud coC, Maud, Texas

Jesus Yes, Church No?

There is a current trend among believing Americans in which they claim to be followers of Christ but have no desire to have a relationship with the church. In 2014, a YouTube video entitled "Why I Hate Religion But I Love Jesus" received some 30 million views. In this man’s attempt to call out false teaching, people have misunderstood the intended message and begun to say, "I can follow Jesus without the church. Why would I want to be a part of an institution that requires me to attend its services, give my money to support its preachers? Why would I want to be part of a group of hypocritical and judgmental people? I can still love Jesus, accept God’s grace, have a private personal relationship with Him and be His disciple on my own terms with no strings attached."

Perhaps many of these folks have had a bad experience with other Christians, been treated with a mean spirit, or ignored by the church when they were in need. Maybe the idea of "Jesus Yes, Church No" comes from ignorance of what the bible has to say about the church. A recent survey said that only 3 out of 10 believing Americans attend at least one church service a week. That’s over 80 million people who say they believe in God but make no attempt to worship Him.

Jesus Christ purchased the church with His own blood (Acts 20:28) and He is the Savior of the body, the church (Ephesians 5:23). Therefore any attempt to separate Christ and His church is to promote false teaching. Rather we should all say,"Jesus, Yes! His Church, Yes!"

From Jay Launius, 2023, Maud coC, Maud, Texas

A Sympathizing Savior

As the old hymn begins, “The Great Physician now is near, the sympathizing Jesus.” There’s no doubt when William Hunter penned the lyrics to “The Great Physician”, that he had the following passage in mind.

Hebrews 4:14–16
  • “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

It has been said that sympathy is one of the most important emotions because from it comes understanding, help, and support to those in need. Sympathy is certainly easier to extend when we ourselves have firsthand knowledge of the situation. Hebrews 4:15 explains that Jesus Christ, our High Priest, can sympathize with us when we are faced with temptation. Not only does He have knowledge of those challenges, but has empathy, having experienced all temptation Himself. With such an inclusive statement, we have to conclude that Jesus faced temptation from all aspects of the world. Yes, that means Jesus was tempted to be dishonest, immoral, and to neglect His service to God. As a young boy, He resisted the temptation to disobey His parents, as a teenager He turned down opportunities to run with the crowd into mischief. As He grew into adulthood, He was tempted to be lazy, break His promises and follow popular culture. He faced it all yet without sin. Jesus was the human that the Lord God created us all to be, but because sin entered the world long ago, we’re unable to live up to that faultless design and that is why we need a sympathizing Savior.

From Jay Launius, 2023, Maud coC, Maud, Texas

You Don't Need a Miracle

(John 4:39-42)
I've heard it said, "If only we could work miracles today, imagine how many would believe and follow Christ." However, think of the many people who actually saw Jesus perform miraculous works but still did not believe that He was the promised Messiah. Many folks use the word "miracle" to describe an unusual occurrence that has a positive outcome, like someone who recovers from a serious disease. But the thought conveyed in the opening statement of this article describes the type of event that defies the laws of nature (like bringing the dead back to life).

The truth is you don't need a miracle to bring others to Christ, because we have the blessing of His written word. In John chapter 4, we have the story of the Samaritan woman who Jesus meets at Jacob's well. As most Christians, I know the story well, but as I read it again today, I discovered an interesting end to the events described in John's account. Beginning at verse 39, we see that many believed in Jesus because of the testimony of the woman who said, "He told me all that I ever did." After meeting Jesus, the Samaritans urged Him to stay with them and He stayed there for two days. During His stay, John does not describe an occurrence of any miracles, instead he states that "many more believed because of His own word." (John 4:41). So here we have the proof by Jesus Himself, you don't need a miracle to make disciples. Later in John's gospel, Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life." (John 5:24) We ought never sell short the power of God's word because as the Hebrew writer states, "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword..." (Hebrews 4:12). No, we don't need a miracle, but we do need to be skilled in the use of the sword of the Lord and as skilled workers we can win many disciples to Christ.

From Jay Launius, 2023, Maud coC, Maud, Texas

It's Your Responsibility

Do you remember the first time that you were given responsibility by your parents? If you were like me, it may have been to clean your room, make your bed, or put away your clothes. If you had a pet, it may have been your responsibility to be sure the animal was fed and watered. As we got to our teenage years, we were given more and more responsibility. When I got a car, it was up to me to check the coolant, oil, and air in the tires. I remember my first job as a cook at a popular chicken restaurant, in which I was responsible for keeping up with my schedule and getting to work on time. This childhood training taught us that we are accountable for ourselves, therefore we learned to take responsibility for our successes as well as our failures.

Just as in life, Christians have spiritual responsibilities and we are accountable for our spiritual success or failure. As members of the body (church) of Christ, we have certain responsibilities according to abilities we have been blessed with, such as the story of the talents told by Jesus in Matthew 25:14-30. The Lord does not expect us to do something that we are incapable of doing, however we are expected to serve within our capacities. "So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.' " (Luke 17:10). So then men, if you are responsible to teach, serve in worship, or care for church facilities, it is your duty to accomplish that calling. If you are unable to do so, it is your responsibility to assure that someone will take your place. Ladies, if it is your responsibility to teach a class, prepare communion, or provide benevolence, then you, just as the men, must assure the work is complete. God's people are not lazy nor irresponsible, but are diligent and enthusiastic in spirit, serving the Lord. (Romans 12:11)

From Jay Launius, 2023, Maud coC, Maud, Texas

A New Beginning

As we begin a new year, we typically make resolutions and set goals to accomplish during the coming 12 months. They tell us that goal setting is important for us and helps us maintain forward mobility in our lives. No one ever improves while sitting still. Christians should set spiritual goals for themselves in order to continue the journey of spiritual maturity which is, by the way, a journey of a lifetime. Here are a few suggestions for our spiritual goals:

  • Daily Prayer and Bible Reading
    Pray without ceasing... (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
    Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
    (1 Timothy 4:13)
  • Continue to Develop the Fruits of the Spirit
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
    (Galatians 5:22–23)
  • Increase My Love, Benevolence and Care for Others
    But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13:16)
  • Improve My Attendance & Time Spent with the Church
    And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42)
  • Increase My Involvement in Evangelism
    How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? (Romans 10:14)

From Jay Launius, 2023, Maud coC, Maud, Texas

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Another Article
Jay Launius, Maud church of Christ, Maud, TX

Consider This - Jacob's Ladder

Jacob's Vision, Genesis 28
Genesis 28:10-13

    Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! 13 And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, “I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring...”

Jesus identifies Himself as the ladder, John 1
John 1:47-51

    Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Consider This

John 4:24

    "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."

John 8:32

    "and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

John 14:6

    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

John 14:15-17

    "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you."

John 16:13

    "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come."

Consider This

Psalm 14:1

    The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
    there is none who does good.

Proverbs 1:22

    “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
    How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
    and fools hate knowledge?

Proverbs 21:24

    “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
    who acts with arrogant pride.

Proverbs 22:10

    Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,
    and quarreling and abuse will cease.

Proverbs 29:8

    Scoffers set a city aflame,
    but the wise turn away wrath.

Consider This

1 Corinthians 1:18-21 (WEB)

    For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

    "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, I will bring the discernment of the discerning to nothing."

    20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Hasn't God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For seeing that in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom didn't know God, it was God's good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save those who believe.

1 Corinthians 2:6-9 (WEB)

    We speak wisdom, however, among those who are full grown; yet a wisdom not of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom that has been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this world has known. For had they known it, they wouldn't have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written,

    "Things which an eye didn't see, and an ear didn't hear, Which didn't enter into the heart of man, These God has prepared for those who love him."

Consider This

Galatians 5:22,23

    ...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Romans 4:15

    For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

Romans 5:13

    for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.

Romans 7:1,4-6

    Or do you not know, brothers... that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?
    4 ...my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

Consider This

How Can We Know What God Thinks?
Only if His Spirit tells us:

1 Corinthians 2:10-13
    For to us God revealed [His thoughts] through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words

Consider This

Proverbs 17:26
... [T]o punish the righteous
is not good,
Nor to flog officials
for their integrity.

Proverbs 21:15
When justice is done,
it is a joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.

Consider This

Proverbs 24:23-25
... Partiality in judging is not good.
24 Whoever says to the wicked,
"You are in the right,"
will be cursed by peoples,
abhorred by nations,
25 but those who rebuke the wicked
will have delight,
and a good blessing
will come upon them.

Consider This

Proverbs 8:1,6-8
Does not wisdom call?
Does not understanding raise her voice?

6 Hear, for I will speak noble things,
and from my lips will come what is right,
7 for my mouth will utter truth;
wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous;
there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.

Consider This

Proverbs 3:25,26
Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the Lord will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being snared.

Proverbs 14:32
When calamity comes,
the wicked are brought down,
but even in death
the righteous have a refuge.

Consider This

Proverbs 11:3
The integrity of the upright
guides them,
but the unfaithful are destroyed
by their duplicity.

Proverbs 16:30
Whoever winks with their eye
is plotting perversity;
whoever purses their lips
is bent on evil.

Consider This

Proverbs 17:15
He who justifies the wicked,
and he who condemns the righteous,
Both of them alike
are an abomination to Yahweh.

Proverbs 18:5
To be partial to the faces
of the wicked is not good,
Nor to deprive
the innocent of justice.

Consider This

Proverbs 15:8,9
The sacrifice made by the wicked
is an abomination to Yahweh,
But the prayer of the upright
is his delight.
9The way of the wicked
is an abomination to Yahweh,
But he loves him
who follows after righteousness.

Consider This

Proverbs 30:5,6
Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who
take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you
and you be found a liar.

Consider This

Proverbs 14:13
Even in laughter the heart may ache,
and joy may end in grief.

Proverbs 17:22
A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 18:14
A man's spirit sustains him in sickness,
but a crushed spirit who can bear?

Consider This

(Jesus praying to God, His Father)
The glory which You have given Me
I have given to them, that they may
be one, just as We are one;
23 I in them and You in Me, that
they may be perfected in unity, so
that the world may know that You
sent Me, and loved them, even as
You have loved Me.

John 17:22,23 (see also Ephesians 4:11-13)

Consider This

...and may your spirit and soul and body
be preserved complete, without blame
at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:23

The Lord God formed man from the
dust of the ground, and breathed
into his nostrils the breath (spirit) of life;
and man became a living soul.
Genesis 2:7 (see also Genesis 7:22)

Consider This

No one can be established
through wickedness,
but the righteous
cannot be uprooted.
Proverbs 12:3

The plans of the righteous
are just,
but the advice of the wicked
is deceitful.
Proverbs 12:5

Consider This

Don't be conformed to this world, but be
transformed by the renewing of your mind,
so that you may prove what is the good,
well-pleasing, and perfect will of God
Romans 12:2

For you were once darkness, but
are now light in the Lord. Walk as
children of light,…​ 10 discerning
what is well-pleasing to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:8,10

Consider This

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly,
I say to you, unless one is born again
he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 3:3

since you have been born again,
not of perishable seed but of imperishable,
through the living and abiding word of God;
1 Peter 1:23

Consider This

Anxiety in the heart of man
weighs it down,
But a kind word makes it glad.
Proverbs 12:25

There should be no division in the body,
but that the members should have
the same care for one another.
1 Corinthians 12:25

Consider This

The eyes of YHWH are everywhere,
Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
Proverbs 15:3

The eyes of YHWH watch over knowledge;
But he frustrates the words
of the unfaithful.
Proverbs 22:12

Consider This

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean
on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5

In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:6

Consider This

A gracious woman obtains honor
But violent men obtain [only] riches.
Proverbs 11:16

A man who is kind benefits himself,
but a cruel man hurts himself.
Proverbs 11:17

Consider This

Many men claim to be men
of unfailing love,
But who can find a faithful man?
Proverbs 20:6

Confidence in someone unfaithful
in time of trouble
Is like a bad tooth, or a lame foot.
Proverbs 25:19

Consider This

It is a trap to dedicate something rashly
and only later to consider one's vows.
Proverbs 20:25

Do you see someone
who speaks in haste?
There is more hope for a fool
than for them
Proverbs 29:20

Consider This

A [scripture] in the mouth of a fool,
Is like a thornbush
in the hand of a drunkard.
Proverbs 26:9

A [scripture] in the mouth of a fool,
Is like the legs of a lame man
that hang loose.

Proverbs 26:7

Consider This

One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor,
yet has great wealth.
Proverbs 13:7

The LORD detests all the proud of heart.
Be sure of this:
They will not go unpunished.

Proverbs 16:5

Consider This

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but whoever hates correction is stupid.
Proverbs 12:1

Whoever ignores discipline
comes to poverty and shame,
but whoever heeds correction is honored.

Proverbs 13:18

Consider This

Where there is no wise guidance,
the nation falls,
But with many counselors
there is victory.

Proverbs 11:14

Consider This

Gray hair is a crown of glory.
It is attained by a life of righteousness.
Proverbs 16:31

The glory of young men is their strength.
The splendor of old men is their gray hair.

Proverbs 28:26

Consider This

Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Proverbs 26:12

He who trusts in himself is a fool,
But he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

Proverbs 28:26

Consider This

The Lord works out everything
for His own ends -
Even the wicked
for a day of disaster.

Proverbs 16:4

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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Excerpts from Proverbs 21 and Psalms 101, 102, 103, 104, 105

Read the Proverbs through in a month,
one chapter per day.
Read the Psalms through in a month,
five Psalms per day.

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    Proverbs 21:7-12
    (World English Bible)

    • The First Collection
      • of Solomonic Proverbs
        • continued
      • Proverbs 10:1 - 22:16
    • 7) The violence of the wicked will drive them away,
      • Because they refuse to do what is right.
    • 8) The way of the guilty is devious,
      • But the conduct of the innocent is upright.
    • 9) It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop,
      • Than to share a house with a contentious woman.
    • 10) The soul of the wicked desires evil;
      • His neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
    • 11) When the mocker is punished, the simple gains wisdom;
      • When the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.
    • 12) The Righteous One considers the house of the wicked,
      • And brings the wicked to ruin.

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    Psalm 102:21-28
    Book 4 (Psalms 90-106)
    (World English Bible)

    • A Prayer of the afflicted,
      • when he is overwhelmed
        • and pours out his complaint before Yahweh.
    • 21) That men may declare the name of Yahweh in Zion,
      • And his praise in Jerusalem;
    • 22) When the peoples are gathered together,
      • The kingdoms, to serve Yahweh.
    • 23) He weakened my strength along the course.
      • He shortened my days.
    • 24) I said,
      • "My God, don't take me away in the midst of my days.
        • Your years are throughout all generations.
      • 25) Of old, you laid the foundation of the earth.
        • The heavens are the work of your hands.
      • 26) They will perish, but you will endure.
        • Yes, all of them will wear out like a garment.
      • You will change them like a cloak,
        • and they will be changed.
      • 27) But you are the same.
        • Your years will have no end.
      • 28) The children of your servants will continue.
        • Their seed will be established before you."

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