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Summary: We're to love all life without limits.

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Loving the Least

Romans 13:8-10

Rev. Brian Bill

1/17/10

How many of you watch infomercials? Afraid to admit it, aren’t you? In their current issue (February 2010) Consumer Reports tested 15 different products to find out which ones deceived, delivered or landed somewhere in between.

Here’s what they found about the appeal of infomercials: “The secret lies in neuroscience. Infomercials are carefully scripted to pump up dopamine levels in your brain, says Martin Lindstrom, an advertising expert and author of ‘Buyology: Truth and Lies about Why We Buy,’ which details how ads affected 2,000 research subjects.”

“Infomercials take viewers on a psychological roller-coaster ride,” Lindstrom says. The fun starts with dramatizations of a problem you didn’t know you had, followed by the incredible solution, then a series of ever more amazing product benefits, bonuses, and giveaways, all leading to the final thrilling plunge of an unbelievably low price. After the ride, Lindstrom says, “dopamine levels drop in 5 or 6 minutes. That’s why infomercials ask you to buy in the next 3 minutes.”

There’s a lot of good advice in this issue, including: pause ten minutes before buying, slow down the spellbinders, ask if you’d pay cash for it, consider other solutions, and calculate the real price. Here’s something I didn’t know. Have you ever wondered why most products cost “just $19.95”? It’s because people can part with 20 bucks without a lot of concern. According to one expert, a $19.95 product costs about $6 wholesale.

Are you wondering how some of your favorite products held up to Consumer Reports scrutiny? The “PedEgg” does remove calluses and dead skin but the testers were not wowed with the “ShamWow.” I’m sorry to be the one to give you some bad news about the “Snuggie,” because I know Ken Fulkerson really likes his. The basic problem is that it doesn’t fit right and it sheds when washed. They do have a Snuggie for dogs that I’m going to look into.

After spending two weeks focusing on how we’re to relate to government authorities, we’re going to look at the next three verses in Romans 13 and it’s my prayer that you and I will be wowed by the Word of God, for God never deceives and always delivers on His promises. Someone last week asked me when we would be done with the government stuff because he’s ready to move on. Another person told me she didn’t like the sermons on submission while another commented on how helpful they were. Go figure.

Turn in your Bibles to Romans 13:8-10: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not covet,’ and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.’” Since the word “love” is used five times in three verses, I want to propose this summary statement: We’re to love all life without limits.


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