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Summary: What is the secret of success? It all depends on whom you ask. Hollywood would say, "A pretty face is the secret.” In D.C. they might say, “Knowing the right people is the keys. On Wall Street they would say, it takes “Financial clout and leverage.” Is th

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“Open Heart Surgery”

1 Samuel 16:7; Acts 13:22

What is the secret of success? It all depends on whom you ask. Hollywood would say, "A pretty face is the secret.” In D.C. they might say, “Knowing the right people is the keys. On Wall Street they would say, it takes “Financial clout and leverage.” Is this true success, what is God’s idea of success? How do we determine if we are successful in God’s eyes? 1 Samuel 16:7 Character is the bottom line. It's not your circumstances, it's your character that matters. If you want to make your life count, if you want to be successful in God’s eyes, it's a matter of the heart. Today we're going to look at David, one of the greatest men who ever lived.

• He was a king, a shepherd, a poet, and a general.

• He wrote the most of the Psalms we have recorded for us in the Bible

• He united the kingdoms – He was a giant killer – He had an incredible line up of achievements – But God wasn't impressed with any of those things.

What impressed God about David was his heart.

Acts 13:22

There are four life tests to determine if you need heart surgery: sin, stress, service, success. Today we're going to compare how David handled these things with how we handle them.

I. Test 1 Sin:

A. A Repentant Heart

1. This warrior, this man of men, this leader of a nation, had a tender, repentant heart.

B. When David blew it, he admitted it –

1. He didn't hide it –

2. He didn't deny it –

3. He didn't make excuses for it –

4. He didn't rationalize it.

C. Psalms 51:1-3

1. This is David's prayer of confession after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba - He lays all the cards on the table – “I blew it. It was wrong.”

2. He is honest to God and that's the first characteristic of a heart after God.

3. David proves you don't have to be perfect to have a heart after God.

D. He was a great sinner but he was also great at repenting.

You don't have to be perfect to have a heart after God, you just have to be great at repenting.

The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God,

you will not despise. – Psalms 51:17

David believed in a forgiving God.

He learned to focus more on God's forgiveness than he did on his own failure and that's why God says, "He's a man after my own heart."

Satan has conned many of you into thinking, "Because of my past God can never use me. Because of my past, I'll never amount to anything great in the kingdom of God."

But you're wrong! If God can use David, He can use anybody.

You don't have to be perfect, you just have to sincerely repent and admit it when you're wrong.

Evaluate your heart – Compare it to David's.

How do I react when I sin? Do I deny it?Excuse it? Rationalize it? Give yourself 1 Do I repent immediately? Give yourself a 10

Do you instantly repent or let it pile up? God says when it comes to sin, a person after My own heart has a repentant heart.

2. The Stress Test: David Had A Trusting Heart

We have a stress epidemic going on in our culture – According to the Harvard Business Review 60-90% of all doctor visits are stress-related.]

Few people experienced more stress than David.

- In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and rescued me. The LORD is for me, so I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? – Psalms 118:5-6

- Very few people have had stress as intense as David’s.

He had constant war with his neighboring nations – He had to fight giants, run from Saul and hide in caves for years.

He had incredible family problems – I mean, his family was an absolute mess.

He had one son rape his daughter and another son kill that brother.

He had another son rebel against him and overtook the throne and took over his place and then was killed – Lots of tragedy and stress in his life.

David said, I pray, I trust, and I keep moving.

In fact he wrote the following words under a time of great stress:

I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. – Psalms 62:5-8

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