Summary: "Green Eggs and Ham" may be a Children’s book, but it’s main character has a lot to say about effective witnessing for Christ.
OPEN: Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham is a long repetitious children’s poem that ends this way:
For about the 20th time Sam-I-Am asks:
“You do not like green eggs and ham?”
To which his friend replies:
“I do not like them, Sam-I-am.”
Sam-I-am: “Could you, would you, with a goat?"
Friend: “I would not, could not. with a goat!"
Sam-I-am: “Would you, could you, on a boat?”
And in frustration the friend continues:
“I could not, would not, on a boat. I will not, will not, with a goat.
I will not eat them in the rain. I will not eat them on a train.
Not in the dark! Not in a tree! Not in a car! You let me be!
I do not like them in a box. I do not like them with a fox.
I will not eat them in a house. I do not like them with a mouse.
I do not like them here or there. I do not like them ANYWHERE!
I do not like green eggs and ham!
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.”
Sam-I-am: “You do not like them. SO you say. Try them! Try them! And you may. Try them and you may I say."
Friend: “Sam! If you will let me be, I will try them. You will see.
Say! I like green eggs and ham! I do!! I like them, Sam-I-am!
And I would eat them in a boat! And I would eat them with a goat...
And I will eat them in the rain. And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And in a tree. They are so good so good you see!
So I will eat them in a box. And I will eat them with a fox.
And I will eat them in a house. And I will eat them with a mouse.
And I will eat them here and there. Say! I will eat them ANYWHERE!
I do so like green eggs and ham! Thank you! Thank you, Sam-I-am.”
APPLY: As a parent, I’ve read that story many times to my kids. They never seemed to grow tired of it as they grew up.
But I did!
It was always a fairly boring story. Over and over and over again Sam-I-Am repeated the same phrase again and again. The only difference in his appeals was that he would change one or two words each time he tried to convince his friend to try “green eggs and ham.”
Now, hold that thought.
In II Timothy 4, Paul is writing to his protégé – Timothy – who’s a preacher in Ephesus. Paul is in Prison and will soon be executed for his preaching. And he’s willing to die this way because - as he reminds Timothy – their message is critical for the world. There’s going to come a day when Jesus will come again and when He comes, He “will judge the living and the dead.” 2 Timothy 4:1
Timothy’s job was essential, because the fate of 100’s of people depended on his faithfulness. People would either go to heaven or hell, depending on how faithfully Timothy did his job - and Paul was commanding Timothy to stand in the gap.
ILLUS: An atheist once told William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army)
"If I believed what you Christians say you believe about a coming judgment - and that impenitent rejecters of Christ will be lost - I would crawl on my bare knees on crushed glass all over London, warning men, night and day, to flee for refuge from the coming day of wrath!"
Timothy’s job – and our job – is to realize how critical our message about Jesus is. Jesus is coming again… and only those who belong to Him are promised heaven.
Everyone else faces an eternity of regret.
And we hold within our hands, the mission to use every method we can think of to talk our friends and relatives into coming to Jesus. But how can we talk to them about Christ? What can we do that will make us capable of getting them to come to Christ?
Well, we could learn a few things from – Sam-I-Am.
While “Green Eggs and Ham” is a children’s book, Sam-I-Am uses many of the same principles we can use to convince people to “try” our Jesus.
1st – realize that you’re going to encounter rejection.
There are going to be times – no matter what you do – the people you care about will just say no! But why?
Why wouldn’t Sam-I-Am’s friend taste the green eggs and ham?
(The Eggs are GREEN)
Had he ever really tasted Green eggs and Ham? NO
But they couldn’t be normal!
They were Green… they couldn’t possibly taste good!