Summary: Live The Future Identity In The Now
Identity Check – Part 2
We're going to continue this morning in part two of Identity Check. If you have your Bible, I want you to open with me first to the book of Galatians, chapter 3. In Galatians 3:13, it reads like this. "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.'" Christ became a curse for you. He became a curse for me. The cross was the pivotal point in history, and because he did that, when we are found in him, we are free. We are free to become everything God said we can become. We truly have found a new identity in Christ.
There is a statistic that boggles my mind that I wanted to share with you this morning. It kind of haunts me. It weighs me down real heavy. Children who are 17 and younger, just in the United States, over 800,000 reports of missing children come in in the United States in one year. That's staggering. That doesn't mean they're all lost. Some of them show back up, but 800,000 reports come in a year. That's a daily average of about 2,185 reports of missing children that come in.
I came across that statistic this week, and it blew me away, because as parents, if you're a parent in here, you know we live in a day and age when we're always watching our kids, right? We have to be careful. My children are a little older now. I have a 17-year-old and a 14-year-old, but you better believe I keep my eye on them as best I can everywhere they go, because I can't imagine, I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to lose one of my children, if someone to come by and kidnap my child, my daughter, my son, and the horror and everything I would experience and go through. Even the very thought of it is disturbing to me on a lot of different levels.
It's no doubt that when we turn on the news, almost every day, there's a mom or a dad or a set of parents and family who say, "My daughter and my son were kidnapped. They were taken." We are immediately sucked into the story, and we can relate to the horror and how bad that really is. If you're a parent, you know that. You know what that feels like. You know what would happen if your child was taken away.
When Amy and I were in California, when were were pastoring out there in California, there was a young girl by the name of Jaycee Dugard. I think that was her name. She was 11 years old. In fact, she was kidnapped in 1991, and I didn't move to California until 1993, but by the time we got out there, her story would still surface from time to time. You would see her on the milk cartons. You would see a news report or a special on 48 Hours. She was even on America's Most Wanted. They had the story on there.
It was just this constant story they kept before you of Jaycee Dugard and how she was 11 years old. If I remember right, I think she lived (don't hold me to this) in South Lake Tahoe. She was on her way to school. She was 11. She gets up, and she wore all pink that day. She goes out, and she walks the two blocks up the hill to where the bus was supposed to pick her up. Her stepfather would always watch her walk up the hill, and he could kind of see her a long ways away, but he could keep his eyes on her. He always had a bicycle out there.
All of a sudden, the report goes that a car pulled up really, really quickly, and she was grabbed, and she was pulled in, and the stepfather saw it, and he jumped on his bike, and he began to try to pedal up the hill, and of course that was futile. He couldn't get to her. As the car sped away, he could hear her screaming. That's horrific.
Can you imagine that moment not only for the stepdad but for the little girl? The horror of being there one minute, and strangers have you the next minute? He turns and screams at a neighbor, and he says, "Call 911." They called 911, and they came out. Of course, she was long gone by then. This couple, this deranged, evil (hear me now) couple had taken her. She was help captive for 18 years. She became their sex slave.
As a matter of fact, the guy who took her fathered two children by her. When she got there, there were two other little girls, and she ended up being like the mother to them over this long process. For 18 years, she was held captive by total strangers. She could not even say her name. They would not allow her to say her name. They took her identity and used fear and manipulation to keep her from escaping.