And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.
Christians! There are many places in the world today where people who call themselves Christians are in grave danger. To be known as a Christian may indeed lead to their death or imprisonment or some other punishment. There are three places in the New Testament where the name Christian is used and it is worth taking a look at each of these places.
The first one was a very happy use of the word — the people who had become believers in Antioch were the first to be called Christians. Believing in Jesus Christ marked them out as being different.
The second time the word Christian was used it seems it was used as a deliberately offensive word. The King, Agrippa, said to Paul, "In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?" (Acts 26:28). He thought that would be beneath his dignity.
The third time the word Christian was used, it was used by Peter as he warned believers in Jesus of the suffering they might be subjected to: "If anyone suffers as a Christian let him not be ashamed..." (1 Peter 4:16). It may well be that you will be insulted or rejected because you are a Christian. Our Lord Jesus himself suffered greatly — so he could save us. As a Christian you are identified with him and that is glorious in itself.
Dear Lord, may I say or do nothing that will dishonour your name. Amen.