READ: Matthew 27:1-26
THINK: Most of the time when our decisions and actions get us into trouble or cause problems, we never expected or intended the consequences. In fact, had we known what would happen, we may have handled the situation much differently. But seldom can we undo the wrongs that result from foolish and regretful choices. Sadly, much pain and regret stems from instances when we give in to our own selfish desires or the pressure to please others. If you are unwilling to endure the pressure of doing what's right, you will have to endure the consequences of doing what's wrong.
RESPOND: Why did Judas seem to have regrets after Jesus was condemned? (See 27:3 note.) What could you learn from Judas' actions about doing things for the wrong motives, even when you may not intend the consequences? Why did Jesus offer no reply to the false testimonies, and why was Pilate so amazed by this? Why would the crowd want a notorious criminal like Barabbas released while calling for Jesus' execution? Did the people really know what they were doing? Why or why not? Why was Pilate willing to compromise what he knew was right and turn Jesus over for execution? (See 27:24 note.) In what does this resemble how people often respond to pressure from others?
PRAY: Ask God for the wisdom and strength to always do what's right, regardless of the pressure, the cost or what anyone else thinks.
ACT: Be conscious of the decisions you make today and why. Try not to do anything out of selfish motives or because you feel pressured by others or because you want to impress someone. Do the right things for the right reasons in the right ways.
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