James 3 – A MISTAKE which is made by many brethren and sisters is to value one meeting above another. There is certainly some degree of difference between them, but it should not affect our response to them. What does need emphasising is that each meeting is a particular function of the household or family of God.

On a Sunday morning the family recalls the sacrifice of its Lord; a sacrifice which he lovingly suffered for it. On a Sunday evening the family joins to witness to the power of his Name and kingdom; and on a week-night it pursues its study of God’s ways and purposes as revealed in His word. In fact, the Bible class, especially in the case of young brethren and sisters, fulfils their need. Each meeting, then, should not be an individual choice, but a family pursuit which increases and enlivens the spirit of fellowship.

The fact that the largest attendance is on a Sunday morning and the lowest is at mid-week Bible Class shows shocking partiality in our response to what should be a happy spiritual family expression of love and devotion to God’s will and to one another. Paul urged young Timothy to “do nothing by partiality” and James wrote that the wisdom that is from above is “without partiality” and we all need to think very seriously not only about our attitude to another, but to our meetings.

JOHN MARSHALL, The New Life, pages 53,54.


3My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.