First Things First


Gain a greater understanding of biblical truths in this easy-to-read book covering key Christian beliefs.

Learn about the nature of God, and how God is different from our culture’s “New Age” spiritual ideas.

Also learn about our fallen nature, the work of the Cross, what it means to be a disciple, eternity with (or without) God, and the authority of the Bible (as well as practical guidelines for studying it).

Doug Britton, M.Ed., MFT. LifeTree Books. Paperback: 5½ x 8½. Wire “spiral” binding. 160 pages.

We live in an age of individuality

Instead of looking to anyone as an ultimate expert, many people pick and choose what to think or believe. Many of us have become “professional skeptics.” We have trouble thinking there is such a thing as absolute truth. We say, “Everything is relative.”

God looks at things differently. There is truth. When we hold to it, it sets us free from sin and error. As Jesus said:

If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:31-32).

The problem for many Christians is that they don’t know what the Bible says, or they try to mix its truths in with other “spiritual” ideas from our culture. God warned about rejecting his knowledge when he said:

My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests.” (Hosea 4:6)


Dig into six key truths about God

In First Things First, you will read six foundational truths about God, his love, and your relationship with him — truths that can transform your life. These essential truths are straight from the Bible.


1. Who or what is God?

Many people think God is just a spiritual force, the “divine within you,” or the “inner light.” In this chapter you will read that none of these phrases describe God. The Bible teaches us that God is the one true God, that he created the heavens and earth, that he is eternal, and that he loves you. You will also read much more about his character and his holiness.


2. What’s wrong with everybody?

A common opinion is that babies are born “good” or “neutral.” The Bible says something very different. This chapter describes the fall of Adam and Eve, and how their fall affected everyone who will ever live. As the Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God “(Romans 3:23).


3. How can we get straightened out?

Many say there are many ways to know God. However, Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) This chapter describes how Jesus’ sacrifice affects each one of us, and how we can enter into a relationship with God through belief in Christ.


4. What does God want from me?

What does it mean to be a disciple (a follower) of Christ? This chapter highlights practical ways to obey God’s two greatest commandments — to love God and to love others (Matthew 22:37-30).


5. What’s up with the Bible?

This chapter gives an overview of how the Bible is organized, explains why it is important to read the Bible, describes how to study the Bible, and challenges readers to allow the Bible to transform them.


6. What happens after you die?

If you are a follower of Jesus, you will spend eternity with him after you die. This will be indescribably wonderful. Encouraged by this knowledge, we are motivated to follow God, and we are strengthened when we go through difficult times.


First Things First is ideal for personal use or small group studies

Personal application questions are written throughout each chapter to help you learn Bible-based truths and apply them in your life.

This book is ideal for a six-week study by individuals or in small group settings. Guidelines for small group leaders and discussion questions for each chapter are found at the back of the book.


This book is part of the “Growing in Christ” series

You can study this book on its own. In addition, you may be interested in the other books in the “Growing in Christ” series. The three books are:


In this book you will learn how to live according to God’s Word. When you read it, you will discover it is:

Bible-based. This book is solidly Bible-based, with every chapter showing how to apply the Bible’s truths in your life.

Cross-cultural. Since the guidelines in this book are based on God’s Word, they apply to every group and culture.

Practical. Readers are given clear, practical steps they can take.

Reader-friendly. Many techniques — from a simple, straightforward writing style to breaking the text into small, easily digested portions — make the books easy to read.

Comprehensive. Numerous questions and dilemmas are anticipated — and answered.

Interactive. Personal application questions throughout the books get readers involved.

Action-oriented. Readers write action plans as they go through each chapter.

“Three-in-one” — great for small group studies.This book has all the information you would expect to find in three separate books:

  • Book — with practical, Bible-based information,
  • Workbook — with “personal application” questions scattered throughout each chapter.
  • Small group leader’s guide — with guidelines for small group leaders and chapter-by-chapter discussion questions at the end of the book.

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This book was written by Doug Britton, MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist). Doug, President of LifeTree Institute, has been a Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist for over thirty years.

Doug has helped hundreds of thousands of people as a therapist, clinical director of a treatment center, seminar speaker, radio-co-host, and author of over twenty books that show people how to apply God’s truths in their daily lives.

He has also trained counselors, small group leaders, pastors, and mentors, showing them how to share practical, effective ways to apply the Word of God in all areas of life.

Doug has a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology and has edited and published three professional publications. His wife Skeeter has been a homemaker, landscape designer, journalist and novelist. She also has taught marriage and parenting workshops, and holds degrees in English and Landscape Architecture.

Doug draws from his counseling experience and his own struggles and victories when he writes.

More importantly, he draws from the Word of God, offering readers Bible-based, practical, cross-cultural tools, insights, and guidelines they can use in their daily lives.

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