Really looking forward to reading through Desiring God with John Piper tomorrow! Round table discussions will be live-streamed from 12 to 1pm (EST). And if you would like more, there is a very good study guide available with or without answers.
Here are a couple of sections from chapter 1 that I especially like…
The ultimate ground of Christian Hedonism is the fact that God is uppermost in his own affections:
The chief end of God is to glorify God and enjoy himself forever.
The reason this may sound strange is that we are more accustomed to think about our duty than God’s design. And when we do ask about God’s design we are too prone to describe it with ourselves at the center of God’s affections. We may say, for example, his design is to redeem the world. Or to save sinners. Or to restore creation. Or the like.
But God’s saving designs are penultimate, not ultimate. Redemption, salvation, and restoration are not God’s ultimate goal. These he performs for the sake of something greater: namely, the enjoyment he has in glorifying himself. The bedrock foundation of Christian Hedonism is not God’s allegiance to us, but to himself.
If God were not infinitely devoted to the preservation, display, and enjoyment of his own glory, we could have no hope of finding happiness in him. But if he does in fact employ all his sovereign power and infinite wisdom to maximize the enjoyment of his own glory, then we have a foundation on which to stand and rejoice.
God does all things for his own sake. “For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it . . . my glory I will not give to another.” 12
This is love, because in pursuing the praise of his name in the hearts of his people, he commands the very thing that completes our joy.
God is the one being in the universe for whom self-exaltation is the highest virtue and the most loving act.