Title: Seize Beauty!

Focus: Since our Lord is pleased with thoughtful, beautiful acts for others, we ought to seize opportunities to do thoughtful, beautiful acts for others

Function: To motivate the hearers to do beautiful things for each other

Text: Mark 14:1-11

1.  Beauty product company collecting letters from people about beautiful women
	a.  Wanted to seize on a story they could use
	b.  Wanted to promote their beauty products
2.  If you had opportunity to really be beautiful, would you take it?
3.  Opportunities not come around all the time
4.  Anatomy of an opportunity
	a.  Desire or need
		- Opportunity not be an opportunity without it
		- No desire render opportunity meaningless
	b.  Presence - The situation to fulfill the desire
5.  This morning’s text all about opportunity
	a.  An opportunity could be good or bad
	b.  Depends on what your desire is
6.  Mk 14:1-11 - Three kinds of opportunists

I.  The selfish opportunists
	A.  (v.1-2) - Looking for opportunity to fulfill their desire
		1.  Jesus threat to their selfish ambition
		2.  Looking for opportunity to destroy him
	B.  Previous text at end of chap 12 show what they like
		1.  Used “beauty” products to look good
		2.  When opportunity to further their desire, they took it
			a.  What was their desire?
			b.  Admiration of others, wanted to look good
		3.  Is anything wrong with their desire?
			a.  Mt 6:16 - They have reward in full already
			b.  Did not gain God’s admiration
			c.  Hypocrisy (acting) repulsive to God
	C.  ILL:  The Lewises came to church every Sunday
		1.  Every morning at home was yelling, fighting
		2.  Come through church doors, instant transformation
		3.  Jack noticed, and asked why pretending
		4.  He not suggesting act that way at church, but suggest that
		     way at home be consistent with way at church
	D.  Cheif priests and scribes not have problem going to church
		1.  Their problem:  Daily life not consistent with church
		2.  Why:  Selfish ambition, all mattered was looking good
		3.  Many of us not have problem going to church
			a.  I used to think attendance good gauge of spiritual health
			b.  It probably the poorest gauge
		4.  Life between Sundays is the real gauge
			a.  It shows if focus is on self, or on Christ
			b.  It show if focus on self or others
			c.  Selfish focus cause all kinds of problems

II.  The Greedy Opportunist
	A.  Judas betrayed Jesus for money
	B.  Why would he do such a thing?
		1.  Mark is very restrained in giving details
			a.  Not tell us what Judas thinking
			b.  Mark not even tell how much money
			c.  Merely tells us he betrays Jesus for money
		2.  Greed can blind you to truth and common sense
			a.  Judas witnessed miracles of Jesus
			b.  Judas witnessed signs he was the Messiah
			c.  Yet, his greed blinded him to all that
			d.  Could have been “rich” with Jesus
		3.  (1 Tim 6:5-11)
			a.  Godliness a means of great “gain”
			b.  Wanting riches fall into temptation (v.9)
	C.  ILL:  Do you like fatty portions of steak or meat
		1.  Tastes sooo good, but it is bad for you
		2.  I stopped eating lots of fatty and fried foods
		3.  Now I get sick when eat it, not so good anymore
		4.  I have re-trained my tastes
	D.  If we have appetite for riches, need to re-train our taste
		1.  Greed part of old man to put off
		2.  If not, it will lead us into temptation
		3.  If Judas, one of the 12 who with Jesus tempted, what about us?
		4.  How can you train your tastes?  Next point . . .

III.  The Selfless Opportunist (v.3-9)
	A.  She dominates this section
	B.  How can we tell she is a selfless opportunist?
		1.  Used pure nard
			a.  Was rare and expensive
				- Cost nearly a years wages
				- Like pouring out $20k on somones head
			b.  Wasn’t it wasteful?
		2.  Jesus’s Response
			a.  Leave her alone, she has done what she could
			b.  She has done a “good” deed for me?
				- Grk:  Not agathos, but kalos
				- Means “beautiful, lovely”
		3.  Difference between doing something good or lovely
			a.  Feeding poor, that is good
			b.  Making Jesus smell good, that was lovely
			c.  Beautiful, lovely acts make big impact
				- Fill benevolence request = good
				- Put in toys and candy = beautiful
			d.  Doesn’t always take years wages to do lovely things
		4.  She selfless opportunist - “seized opportunity” to do lovely
			a.  To bury dead a good act of mercy
			b.  She did something lovely BEFORE his death
			c.  She seized the opportunity
	C.  ILL  Learned about opportunity at Harding
		1.  Supposed to get together witha long-time friend we discovered there
		2.  Let many opportunities pass by, they all gone
		3.  Opportunity like a timed lock on a safe door
			a.  If wait, door locks
			b.  If wait, miss the treasure inside
	D.  What made this opportunist different that the others?
		1.  Her desire was to do something lovely, not selfish
		2.  Her appetite was trained for selflessness

1.  Jesus said her lovely act would be remembered
	a.  All this loveliness without cosmetics
	b.  Beauty about what is inside
2.  That’s what the cosmetic company learned
	a.  Letter from a little boy about a beautiful woman down the street
		-  Said she most beautiful woman in world
		- She would speak to him, play with him, make him feel special
	b.  President wanted to see the picture
	c.  Saw a toothless woman with sparse hair in wheelchair
	d.  Can’t use this, it would make people believe that they do not need our 
	     products to be beautiful?
3.  Indeed, beauty comes from beautiful acts toward others
	a.  While in WIlliford - Turkey and money for holidays
	b.  Flew down with presents for boys at Christmans
	c.  Cards from ____________, phone calls
4.  Opportunties to share the loveliness of Christ abound
	a.  If you had opportunity for true beauty, would you take it?
	b.  Must seize them, or they are gone forever
	c.  Challenge you to look for them this week