An Open Table where Love knows no borders

Riches in Heaven and Light in the Body

A sermon on Matthew 6: 19-23 by the Revd Peter Mugabi,
General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Uganda
(Our church is departing from the Revised Common Lectionary for one year to hear mostly readings that are not included in it)
A video recording of the whole service, including this sermon, is available here.

Below are the preacher’s outline and notes. There is no full written version of this sermon. You can listen to to the recording, but unfortunately the internet was patchy at the Australian end tonight (mostly affecting the one computer that was making the recording!), and the sound quality of the recording is patchy. The video of the preacher is equally patchy, and if fact the image of the preacher is mostly frozen, but it has the advantage of showing the photos and biblical texts that were shown during the sermon.


Starter: My shift from House for reroofing and the valuables to keep

Reflection: Jesus in this sermon on the mountain talks to the disciples about eternal investments. In earlier chapter he was talking about relationship and now ties it up to treasure which go closely together 

He talks about the concept of stewardship and surrender

V19 Do not store up for yourself Treasures on earth 

V20 But store up for yourself Treasures in Heaven, where moth vernine 

A Covid 19 experience on how Ugandan and the world were taken unaware of the unprecedented pandemic. To Ugandan one had to survive by the investment one had or was left in an circumstance of death due to hunger. The total lock down of the country left people hanging on thin lines for survival with their big families. An ordinary Ugandan family has between 5-14 members. Survival, security was the issue here! You must have had something in the store!!!!!

Eternal investment (Secure storage) is in the Lord Vs 21 ..“Where your treasure is there your heart will be”   

What does this mean?

Here Jesus condemns “Greed” and hoarding of wealth. The things we have we must hold with open hands that’s “Stewardship”. Store up…. Focus on storing things where Moth and Rust (Agents and process of destruction cannot affect). The House in the middle east were known at that during that time not to be secure, Jesus understood their anxious triggers as disciples and followers. They had abandoned their careers to follow him, so these were the critical issues their hearts were grappling with.

A treasure in this context is Anything done in this life that has eternal value will be rewarded by God.

A Heart is a: Center of ones being including: Mind, will and Emotion

                    : Center of Human spirit from which spring Emotion, thoughts, motivation, courage

When Jesus was teaching in another situation, he quotes the same statement in Lk 12:34

Solomon writes in Proverbs 4:23…Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Where is your heart?

V22: He turns to drive the lesson home

The ‘good eyes’ and the ‘bad eyes’! The ‘good’, Healthy or referred to as the ‘Generous eye’

It recognizes the folly of storing up wealth.

The ‘Bad’ unhealthy eye is stingy! It is blind to the deceitfulness of wealth, and thus stinginess in nature.

Our response this week:

Solomon in Ecclesiastes 11: 1 “Cast your bread upon the waters; for you shall find it after many days.

a) Surrender your life to God

b) Share with those that the ‘good eye’ lead you to (Your time, talent finances and ideas).

c) You have the choice to make choice to invest in Heaven where it is secure.

Jim Elliot said “He’s no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose”

Jim Carter said “I have one life and one chance to make it count for something. My faith demands that I do whatever I can, Whenever I can, for as long as I can, with whatever I have to try to make a difference.

That is now storing up a treasure! Stewardship and total surrender of one’s life.

And Finally, may I read as benediction Paul’s word to the Philippians in Chapter 3:7-11

……………. Amen and God bless you…………


  1. Thanks for sharing your time and words with us Peter, and Rose! It’s always worth asking the question about where our treasure is, what we are truly valuing and paying attention to and trying to protect. Not only ourselves as individuals, but collectively as the church, for example. And I like the image of a ‘generous eye’.

  2. Thank you so much for this, Peter. It was great to have you with us. Your sermon was clear, thoughtful and well illustrated in ways that really connected. But even more than your sermon, you brought us the gift of “presence”, yourself and Rose. It was a delight to have you with us, and you were very generous with your time after the service, chatting with everyone and warmly and patiently answering everyone’s questions about life in Uganda. I’m sure your visit will be warmly remembered for a long time.

  3. I found tonight’s sermon a timely reminder that we make choices about what we value and work on. The photos gave a memorable context, and reminded me that the day we replaced our roof Melbourne had flash floods. (that day I came home to a very soggy pantry! 25 kg of wet flour!) Some things do not go according to plan!
    Chat time after is particularly important now with our immediate future not what we planned. Thank you to you both for staying after and interacting with us , contextualising your words in a caring presence.

  4. Today I reread your sermon notes on a passage that I remember from my childhood – I loved it then, as I do now, because it was so clear and the words straight forward – and a child’s mind “got” it. I loved your story about taking from the house that which you really treasured – and as I sort through things that I have stored over the years, I am leaving only that which I treasure for what ever reason. As Nathan said “Your sermon was clear, thoughtful and well illustrated in ways that really connected.” Also another memory from my younger days was Ecclesiastes 11 v1 – my mother would often quote this verse and I heard her voice saying it and she has been dead over 20 years, I guess these are the words and actions that sink deep into ones inner being and often unknowingly form ones actions. How I am thankful for my godly mother. I also like the idea of sharing with those who your “good eye’ – (I had a typing error that I have just corrected – I had “god eye” which I guess it is) – leads you who ever they may be, as one does not know what such a sharing will “return to you after many days” – but this is not the reason why you”cast”
    Also again as both Liz and Nathan have said – You and Rose gave is your gift of Presence – you cast it upon our waters and we feel that we know you – a gift indeed – Thank you Sylvia

  5. Loved seeing you and Rose on Sunday . Appreciated your clear words and a timely reminder to me of things to take stock of in my own life and circumstance.
    Many thanks for being available to share with us.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.