Personal intimacy with the Lord Jesus
(J.C. Ryle, "Growth in Grace" 1879)
Regular and habitual communion with the Lord Jesus, is absolutely essential to growth in grace! I mean that daily habit of communion between the believer and his Savior, which can only be carried on by faith, prayer and meditation.
It is a habit, I fear, of which many believers know little. It is possible to have "union" with Christ — and yet to have little "communion" with Him. Communion . . .
between the Bridegroom — and His bride,
between the Head — and His members,
between the Physician — and His patients,
between the Advocate — and His clients,
between the Shepherd — and His sheep,
between the Master — and His scholars.
Communion implies a habit of daily application for things needed, and of daily pouring out and unburdening our hearts and minds. It is getting close to Him and laying hold on Him with confidence — as a loving, personal Friend.
Now I believe that no man will ever grow in grace, who does not know something experimentally of the habit of communion. We must seek to have personal intimacy with the Lord Jesus, and to deal with Him as a man deals with a loving friend. We must realize what it is . . .
to turn to Him first in every need,
to talk to Him about every difficulty,
to consult Him about every step,
to spread before Him all our sorrows,
to get Him to share in all our joys,
to do all as in His sight, and
to go through every day leaning on, and looking to Him!