Rejoice Always and Forevermore
Speaker(s): Pastor Steve Scibelli
11:00 AM on 11/3/2019
P. Scibelli –
1 Thessalonians. 5:16, Philippians 4:4, I didn’t realize it was an hour difference. Didn’t matter any way. I was here early. Did we get an extra hour? I don’t pay attention to those daylight savings things. There was a prison we
went to visit in Romania. I was in a prison where Richard Wurmbrandt was. That’s what they say.
He was there 17 years. He tells a story of a man in that prison and that man’s son came to see
him. Could you tell me what my daddy was like? He said your daddy was a hero of the faith. His
name was Floria.
He said tell me a little bit about him. He said, well the prisoners at times were
given food that was horrifying food with unwashed intestines in the soup. It was a very bad
scene. A cold damp prison and the prisoners would murmur and be complaining. Foria kept
listening to it. They had beaten him so severely he was unable to move legs and arms. He’d just
lie there. There was no movement. Paralyzed in his legs and arms. He called all the prisoners to
him and said when your outlook is bad, try your up look. That really struck me. I read that years
ago. I think P. Tom Stewart first showed me that little story about him.
I remember one time being in a Yugoslavian prison cell. My wife was there. That was fun. At least you have your wife with you. I was with P. Stewart and P. Hogarth. In the interrogation, P. Hogarth, they
interrogated us both at the same time, and he could not stop laughing. He used to have this
pterodactyl. He had the interrogators in stitches. They came to a conclusion if I was with him he
was insane and that’s where I was too.
They let us go because they figured we were not a threat to their country in any way. We were just like imbalanced people, which is close to what it is! I never claimed to be mentally stable. I love this portion of Scripture because both of these stories I told have to do with that which is in a person, and that is joy. I’ve been thinking a lot
about this since Thursday.
So often we can have these outward things going on in our lives, but
God is doing something on the inside. I know one thing that Satan comes to steal, to kill, and to
destroy. Can I say this, of course I can! I have the mic. We don’t wrestle against flesh and
blood. I don’t ever want to look at a person and think I am fighting them. Are you with me? We
wrestle not against flesh and blood.
Yes, there is flesh and blood in the warfare, but it’s not flesh and blood we are warring against. That’s a lesson for me sometimes is hard learned. You get into a place where you begin to think along those lines, but the Bible says we what? Could you say that with me? We wrestle not against flesh and blood. That’s interesting. But against
principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. Our warfare is not against
people no matter what the situation is.
Certainly people sin and can go in the wrong direction.
Isn’t God sovereign? Cannot God handle – I think when I put things in my hand, God says I really
love you but you took it out of my hand and so you handle it. You took it out of my hand, so you
handle it. I won’t even make a move. Putting things in the hands of God in situations that go on
in our lives.
If the devil comes to steal in relationship to what I want to talk about, kill off the
influence of the H.S. and destroy my rewards, – steal, kill, and destroy – but I have come that
you might have life and have it more what? Abundantly. God wants us to experience abundant
life even in the midst of trials and tests. How could Peter say this. The trial of your faith is more
precious than gold. Is that in the Bible?
I guess it’s for me to believe it. It’s more precious than gold. He’s talking about in these two verses and I love it, John. 11:35 and rejoice evermore are two of the shortest verses in the Bible. Because Jesus wept, and was broken and suffered and died on a cross, we can have this incredible life with God in joy. When we heard P. Eugene mentioned it, for the joy set before him he endured the cross not despising the shame of that
but is sat down at the right hand of the Father.
Jesus could go through – I don’t know if we understand it totally. We probably never could. Every sin that has ever been committed is on you. He who knew no sin became sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
All sin is upon him. All evil at the cross. The devil and the demons were at the cross. All evil is
against you and then you’re all alone. All sin on you, all evil against you and nobody is with you.
For the joy set before him he endured the cross.
What is the joy set before him? My salvation and your salvation. When there is this inward joy, there is nothing happening outward that looks good. To be crucified what a horrible death. Here’s the spotless, pure Son of God. To take all the sin and have all evil against you and all alone, yet something overruled all of that. What
was it? The joy set before him. He was able to withstand all of that because of the joy set
In my Christian life, if I receive joy from the person of the Holy Spirit and the life of Christ
things will come my way, difficult things, trials, tribulations but there is an inward joy that can never be taken. How often are you supposed to rejoice? Evermore and always. Rejoice evermore and rejoice in the Lord
always. If you didn’t get it the first time, again I say rejoice. There has to be repetition. I looked
up the simple word “again” and it means something that is continuable.
Rejoice in the Lord
always and again I say rejoice. My joy is found in God not in my ability or my own life or my
successes. My joy is not found in anything. It’s found in the Lord. Rejoice in the Lord always. It’s
in God and this joy found in Jesus Christ cannot be taken. I was thinking of that joy in John 15:13,
John 16:24, John 17:11-13, it’s talking about if you have his joy your joy is full. The fullness of joy. If I
have the joy of circumstances going my way, that’s not his joy.
Those three verses along with Philippians. 3:1 and 4:1 rejoice in the Lord always. The joy is found in the life of Christ. The joy is found in the Holy Spirit. And if I am looking for joy outside of that, I could be simply disappointed. I
could be disappointed. Because I am looking for joy in how you treat me. I’m looking for joy in
how I treat you. I’m looking for joy based on how my family, my marriage, my job, my health,
My wife asks me what is all the noise in the room in the morning? It’s me going
through torture putting on my sock! Is it that painful? Forget about it. I don’t find joy in being
able to perform physically that way. Who cares. That’s not going to rob my joy. I got up this
morning and went outside and my wife says okay I go down a little later than you. I got in the
car and turned the thing and nothing.
My hood on my car weighs like 300 pounds. There is a
thing that comes up to hold the hood on and I put it on the wrong one and it whacked me in
the top of my head! I’m sitting there and the car doesn’t start, and my head is hurting. There’s
white stuff around the cables, the terminals. It’s something coke a cola is good for. It takes the
rust off of those things. And it’s dead.
I said Halleluiah! When are you going to church? I need a
ride with you. It’s so easy for something to take place that can affect my thinking and rob my
joy. Why did Paul use the word “joy” or “rejoice” 17 times in Philippians. It comes from the
word “grace.” It’s from CHARIS. CHARA is joy and CHARIO is the word for thanksgiving. He’s
talking about joy. He’s exuding joy.
You’re in prison and you’re trying to make them receive initiations that will give them joy. I used to love to do prison ministry. I did it for 12 years. I would go in there and these guys would build me up. These guys were praising the Lord and having a great time with God and not thinking they are never getting out. Some of the
prisoners, they were lifers. They have this inward joy and there is nothing to be joyful about.
Here is Paul in jail writing to a Philippian church that has nothing but trouble.
There is nothing but trouble there. It’s all over the place. Two women are trying to divide the church in Philippians 4.
The Greek philosophy is attacking the church and how it’s teaching. The dogs of the concision
are attacking the church. They are a Roman government colony. They are controlled by Rome.
Are you with me? There is false preaching and teaching in Philippians 1:16-18. It’s incredible. He talks
about enemies of the cross in 3:18.
It seems like I counted 15 things happening in Philippians. And he says what? Rejoice? 17 times? Rejoice. What’s he saying? I know these things are happening, but our joy is to be in God through the person of the Holy Spirit. My joy is in God himself. To have the joy of J.C. is this possible for you and me? Philippe Serradji, is it possible? He said so in the Scriptures. If you have my joy, it will be fullness of joy and your joy will be full. Having his
joy. This is incredible.
I was thinking of the joy of the person of Christ. Everything he went through and you couldn’t take his joy. He’s going to call Peter “Satan.” That could take your joy. He has to deal with 11 people and one of them is the devil. And he got the other 11 always asking questions. They can’t figure out what is going on thinking he’s the Jewish Messiah and
not knowing that he is God. You’re not going to take his joy. Are you with me? He’s rejected by
the religious hierarchy and you can’t steal his joy.
He doesn’t even have a coin to pay the tax. He has to get a coin from the fishes mouth. He has no money. But he’s got joy. Are you with me? He can get weary in John 4, but weariness should not take away his joy. Are you listening? He was called a blasphemer by religious people but it’s not going to take his joy. He’s called the son
of fornication. Not going to take his joy. Say what you want about me, about Christians, about
Christianity, about the church but if the church has the joy of the Lord, it cannot be taken away.
You can say whatever you want. I can care less. You can write about me. I’ve had many
newspaper articles written about me even before I was saved! Who cares! I don’t care. It
doesn’t matter. Joy. The joy of the Lord. This is interesting. Things can get difficult. You can get
older. “I used to have joy when I was younger.” I think there is great joy in older age. Some of
you youngsters over there you will find out some day. You’re coming too. Guess what, every
day is day closer to being 70 or 80.
I never thought I’d get to be over 70 years old. This is a miracle. I never thought I’d get passed 40. I thought 40 would be my limit. Even my mother said I don’t know if I can take you longer than that. Mom, I’m your first born? Don’t you love me? Joy based on age. How about your health. “The doctor said.” All that means is I get to see Jesus
quicker. Isn’t it interesting how a bill can come. What did Pastor Love say this morning about
some kind of bill someone had?
A water bill. How much was it? $10,000. They didn’t pay it for 20 years. They got a water bill for $10,000. That could take my joy for a minute! Ever get one of those mail that’s fees. Not junk mail. Scam mail. Scam mail. You’re going to get all this money. It comes from Nigeria sometimes, a lot of it. You did something and a million dollars waiting for
you. All you have to do is sign here and put your credit card and bank account. Wow! I won a
million dollars! No you didn’t. You are on the verge of losing money if you entertain that thing at all. Rejoice in God. Rejoicing in the Lord. These things are going to happen.
Good days and not. A good day, bad day, God day. Everything is a God day. Joy. I was expecting to be married
by now. Did that rob your joy? If you married the person you wanted to, I can tell you what you
would be going through now. Interesting. You have to forget your outlook and do your uplook.
The joy of being single, the joy of being married, the joy of having children, the joy of not having
A lot less to clean up. Joy. One day I had my granddaughter and the two Arman girls at
my house. They came for overnight. I said to my wife, why did I ever say “overnight?” I can tell
you within three hours I was ready to be admitted to a hospital for exhaustion. They were
running all over the place having a good time and I lost my joy. When are they going home?
That’s one great thing about grandkids, they go home at night!
Halleluiah for them. We love them but at night they go home. Joy! Coach, I know you can have joy when you lose a game. Inward. I hate losing. I’m serious. But I learned something. I ‘ve learned to be content in
whatever state I’m in. Can you have joy when you win and joy when you lose too? Joy when
you spike the ball and make a point and joy when someone spikes it in your face, and you go
Joy in the purpose of God. God has a purpose for our life and wants us to
experience himself. The Holy Spirit is giving us fruit and what is the fruit of the Spirit? Love
what? Joy! The fruit of the Spirit. When I haven’t got joy, maybe I’m not Spirit filled. I say God,
help me to name the area that is sin or disobedience or a bad attitude and let me be filled with
the Holy Spirit. Where the filling of the Spirit is, there is going to be joy. If I’m filled with me,
every time something goes wrong, joy is gone.
P. Steve Paragello had joyed this morning. The choir was great this morning. They were anointed and better than great. They were anointed. P. Steve even has joy when I call him Perlogollo. Steve Perlogollo. Instead of his real name, Paragello. I like to provoke him. Is it okay? It still ends in an O. Joy. I can say I almost lose my joy
when I go to a certain Italian restaurant on Belair Road that claims they can cook Italian and I
eat it and look inside the kitchen and there are Chinese and Indian people cooking! My
mother’s cooking gives me joy but she is in heaven.
I have to wait until heaven to get another meal like that. I told her when you go to heaven, you better prepare because I’m coming. I don’t want angel food. I want lasagna cooked by my mother. That might be too much to ask.
Joy in God. I can learn to love the Bible if I have joy in the Scriptures. How do you approach the
Bible. Jeremiah. 15:16, I ate the Bible. It was my joy. Love the word. Maybe I’m going in this direction
or that direction and I take the Bible in and all of a sudden I’m changed.
I’m changed. My wife said to me how many phone calls do you think you are involved in every week? I said 500 to 550 every week. Some of them would like to take away my joy. Not going to happen. There are
trials and difficulties but if I don’t have joy, how can I help someone in their difficulty? If I have
joy and you have joy and you go to work and there are people around you going through all
kinds of crazy things, they say why would I want to be saved and have the face you have? Take
a good look at us.
I know I used to be like that. Sometimes still am. You want me to know Jesus?
Am I going to become like you? You walk around and all it is are complaints. It’s one complaint
after another. One issue after another. It’s like sewer mouth. No, God give me your joy. It’s your
purpose for me to have joy. I find joy in the word, joy in the Spirit, joy in the church. Are you
listening? Joy in the church.
Read the book of Acts. It’s amazing. Acts 8, Acts 4 and 5 rejoicing in prison. Acts 8 Phillip is bringing great joy in the 8 th verse to the whole city. Acts 15:3, in 16 in prison. Praising the Lord. Acts 20:24, finish my course with joy. Paul is saying at the end. I know I’m going to Rome and I’m going to be in prison, but you are not going to steal my joy. Not
going to let the enemy take my joy. I’m not going to let circumstances take my joy. I’m not
going to let other people take my joy. I’m not going to let my past take my joy. I’m not going to
let my decisions, even if they are wrong, take my joy.
Not going to happen because it’s given to me by the person of the Holy Spirit. and that Holy Spirit is in me forever so I can rejoice forevermore. That’s incredible. We got a gospel of what? What does EULOGIZEO mean? Good News. A message to cheer the hearer. That’s the message we got. We don’t have a condemnation
message. We don’t have I’ll beat you up Jesus message. We don’t have a legalistic message. We
don’t have a message elevating human beings. We have a message called the gospel. Jesus
Christ paid for all of my sins.
There’s redemption. There’s propitiation. There is reconciliation. I am free and that’s our message. It’s good news. The rest of the garbage out there is not so good in regard to news. “You got to be real. These things are really going on.” They’re going on in your world. I’m not giving a place to it. Joy. Joy. Things aren’t always going to go exactly like
we would like them to go. Anyone ever disappoint you in life? P. Jason? You always have joy.
I’ve never seen you one time sad.
Don’t say anything, his wife. He’s got joy. He’s got amazing joy. Sickness, yes it can happen but it’s not going to steal my joy. Even if sickness leads to me going home to be with the Lord, what a joyful event that will be. Halleluiah. What does the Bible say three score and ten? Wow. I was talking to someone who is 97 years old. This is
ridiculous. What could be troubling you? You’re 26 years beyond the ultimate blessing. “I want
to live longer.” Okay. I’ll pray for that.
Joy. Joy with God. We will have events that take place this week and things will happen. It can be projections from the devil or reflections from the old sin nature and they will try to take your joy. Teaching in a Christian school. Who laughed? You don’t teach, do you? I tried to teach mathematics one time at GGCA. I think I gave up after one class. I couldn’t do it. You have to have the gift of God to teach. Don’t let students rob your joy, amen.
I’m not going to let bad grades – as an engineering student, my first semester I got five F’s. I
said whatever. F means future! There is a future for me. Somewhere. Maybe it’s not in this. My
father said to me, I lost my joy. All the money I spent on you the first semester went down the
drain! I said that’s not a bad drain. It’s okay with me. I don’t want to be an engineer. I want to
be a teacher. Little did I know.
Listen, you got the joy of the Lord. Amen. Amen. Realize it. It cannot be taken. Don’t let situations, people, circumstances, a trial, problem, a past, a future, an anxiety, a fear, a doubt – don’t let it take that joy away. No! I got guards at my heart. When the enemy comes in, he’s going to be rejected, refused, and rebel and repelled and out you go. I got the joy of the lord. 17 times he says it. Joseph rejected by his brothers and sold into
slavery, but you couldn’t take his joy.
You couldn’t take Jeremiah’s joy. He was also in prison and put in a cistern. Couldn’t take his joy. Habbakuk. 3:17-19 all these things about the fig tree not blossoming. He names six things. Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord. He named six conditions that would knock anybody out. The last thing he said is, yet I will rejoice in the Lord and joy in the
God of my salvation. Joy in Christ and joy you are saved and in him and it can never be
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.