To those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy . . . Grace and peace to you. (1 Cor. 1:2–3)

RECEIVING A “LONG-DISTANCE” phone call was a big deal in my childhood home. If I were fortunate enough to answer when my brother called from college and asked for our dad, I would put my hand over the receiver before I gave it to him and whisper loudly, “It’s Steve . . . long-distance!” My dad would jump up from the couch and hurry to take the phone. (We didn’t have cordless phones then.) Any time a call came in long distance, it meant the person was paying more for the call and likely had something important to say. And if the call came during business hours, it was exceptionally expensive and often involved an emergency of some sort.

Those days are gone, of course, but as believers we have all received a call even more urgent and vital than a midafternoon, long-distance telephone call: God’s call to holiness. This call, too, was expensive. Jesus Christ paid for it with His blood when He died on the cross to cleanse us from our sin.

We can choose every day whether to answer this life-changing invitation from God. He calls us to holiness because He loves us and He knows holy living is the best way to please Him and inhabit His joy.

Hello? God is on the line . . . long-distance! Will you pick up?

Recommit yourself to living your call to holiness.

Mary Blackford is a full-time student and freelance editor. She and her husband, Rick, live in Erie, Pennsylvania, with their three dogs.