Desiring God DVD Study Guide: Finding Complete Satisfaction and Joy in God


This study guide companion to the DVD version of Desiring God—the classic explanation of Christian hedonism by John Piper—will help individuals and groups understand that the supreme calling of life is to "glorify God by enjoying Him forever."  

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This study guide companion to the DVD version of Desiring God—the classic explanation of Christian hedonism by John Piper—will help individuals and groups understand that the supreme calling of life is to "glorify God by enjoying Him forever."  

The DVD and this guide create an ideal package for adult and youth Sunday school classes, small groups, retreats, classrooms, families, as well as for individual study.  

Topics for this 12-session guided group study include:

  • One Great Mission and Motivation
  • A Summary of Christian Hedonism
  • The Foundation of Christian Hedonism
  • The Essence of Christian Hedonism
  • The Grand Obligation (Part 1): Commanded to Rejoice
  • The Grand Obligation (Part 2): An Essential Element of Faith and Worship
  • The Grand Obligation (Part 3): Holy Hedonism Is Love
  • The Grand Obligation (Part 4):  The Strength for Sanctification and Service
  • How Then Shall We Fight for Joy? (Part 1): Know Its Sources and Setbacks
  • How Then Shall We Fight for Joy? (Part 2): Make Use of the Means of Grace
Complete with Scripture, key quotations for reflection, penetrating questions, and five daily assignments per week, this study guide will help you understand why God’s pursuit of His glory and your pursuit of joy are not at odds—because God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.
Also includes a 6-session intensive track option. Leader’s Guide Included.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601423122
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/18/2011
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 475,255
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN PIPER is pastor for preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis,
Minnesota. He is the author of more than forty books, including Future Grace, A Godward Life, The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Don’t Waste Your Life, and The Pleasures of God. John and his wife, Noel, have five children and an increasing number of grandchildren.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction to This Study Guide

Living a life of hedonism, in most people’s minds, is the furthest thing from Christian obedience. The idea of seeking maximum pleasure in everything you do sounds like the epitome of selfishness and the absence of all self-control. For many, to live like a hedonist means to become an enemy of love and to set yourself in outright opposition to God.
   But could this aversion to hedonism be an overreaction? In other words, could it be that we have allowed the concept of pursuing pleasure to be commandeered by the world and thereby lose any healthy sense of the idea for ourselves? After all, was not pleasure God’s intention for man from the very beginning, when he filled Eden with “every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food” (Genesis 2:9) and gave Adam and Eve sexuality without shame (see Genesis 2:25)?
   It is true. God did make us to enjoy pleasure, and not only in the garden. Throughout the Bible, God is calling his people to pursue pleasure and to pursue it in him. “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!” (Isaiah 55:1). “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink” (John 7:37). “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).
   The tragedy of sin is that it sidetracks and shortchanges us of the real joy of knowing God. Satan offers stolen goods, which are indeed sweet, but the span is short, and the cost far outweighs the benefits. God, on the other hand, extends far sweeter and infinitely longer-lasting pleasures: “In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). True hedonism, Christian hedonism, sees God as the source of the best delights and is unashamed to forsake sin and follow hard after him.
   The aim of this study guide and its accompanying DVD is to help you see that God-hungry hedonism is biblically acceptable. On top of that, it argues that such hedonism is not merely one more option for how to follow God but must instead be the fuel and fervor that motivates and empowers all of your obedience. Finally, this study seeks to highlight several of the ways laid out in Scripture for cultivating and increasing such desire and delight in God.

   This study guide is designed to be used in a twelve-session* guided group study that focuses on the Desiring God DVD set. After an introductory lesson, each subsequent lesson examines one thirty-minute session from the Desiring God DVD set. You the learner are encouraged to prepare for the viewing of each session by reading and reflecting upon Scripture, by considering key quotations, and by asking yourself penetrating questions. Your preparatory work for Lessons 2–11 is marked with the heading “Before You Watch the DVD, Study and Prepare.”
   The workload is conveniently divided into five daily, manageable assignments. There is also a section suggesting further study. This work is to be completed individually before the group convenes to view the DVD and discuss the material.

Throughout this study guide, paragraphs printed in a shaded box (like this one) are excerpts from a book written by John Piper or excerpts taken from the Desiring God Web site ( They are included to supplement the study questions and to summarize key or provocative points.

   The second section in Lessons 2–11, entitled “Further Up and Further In,” is designed for the learner who wants to explore in greater detail the concepts and ideas introduced in the lesson. This section is not required, but it will deepen your understanding of the material. This section requires that you read online sermons or articles from the Desiring God Web site ( and answer relevant questions. These sermons can be found by performing a title search at the Desiring God Web site.
   The third section in Lessons 2–11, entitled “While You Watch the DVD, Take Notes,” is to be completed as the DVD is playing. This section includes fill-in-the-blanks and leaves space for note taking. You are encouraged to engage with the DVD by filling in the appropriate blanks and writing down other notes that will aid you during the group discussion.
   The fourth section in each normal lesson is “After You Watch the DVD, Discuss What You’ve Learned.” Three discussion questions are provided to guide and focus the conversation. You may record, in the spaces provided, notes that will help you contribute to the conversation. Or you may use this space to record things from the discussion that you want to remember.
   The fifth and final section is an application section: “After You Discuss, Make Application.” You will be challenged to record a takeaway point and to engage in a certain activity that is a fitting response to the content presented in the lesson.
   Group leaders will want to peruse the Leader’s Guide, which is included at the conclusion of the study guide.

   Life transformation will only occur by the grace of God. Therefore, we highly encourage you to seek the Lord in prayer throughout the learning process. Pray that God would open your eyes to see wonderful things in his Word. Pray that he would grant you the insight and concentration you need in order to get the most from this resource. Pray that God would cause you to not merely understand the truth, but also to rejoice in it. And pray that the discussion in your group would be mutually encouraging and edifying. We’ve included objectives at the beginning of each lesson. These objectives won’t be realized without the gracious work of God through prayer.

*While this study guide is ideally suited for a twelve-session study, it is possible to complete it in six sessions. For instructions on how to use this study guide for a six-session group study, turn to Appendix A: “Six-Session Intensive Option.”

Lesson 1: Introduction to Desiring God

Lesson Objectives
It is our prayer that after you have finished this lesson…
• You will have a better sense of how you and others in your group approach the Christian life.
• Your thoughts on the subject will be stirred, and questions will come to mind.
• You will grow more eager to hear what the Bible says about the essence of following Christ.

About Yourself
1. What is your name?
2. Tell the group something about yourself that they probably don’t already know.
3. What are you hoping to learn from this study?

A Preview of Desiring God
1. In one sentence write your personal mission statement that answers the question, “What is my overarching purpose in life?” Share your statement with the group and explain how you arrived at it.
2. List what you think are the top five virtues in the Christian life and rate them from one to five, with one being the most important. Share your list and ratings with the group and explain your reasoning.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 23, 2011

    Desiring God DVD Study Guide

    Today I am reviewing a DVD and its study guide by John Piper.
    The DVD /Study Guide is called Desiring God- Finding Complete Satisfaction and Joy in God I could not wait to pop the DVD in and review this study when I got it. I sat and took it all in. I mean who can't use a little more joy and desiring of God in their life. I sat and listened to the seminar that is based on a series of sermons that John Piper preached in the1980's and he then wrote a book called Desiring God in 1986. The sermons are as relevant today as they were then. I realized shortly into watching the seminar and reading the study guide that this might be harder to do than I thought. John started this seminar lesson with "It is better to give than receive". Mr. Piper speaks on many lessons that are about what it is to have Christian Hedonism, he gives you the definition of it and later he goes into how to walk in Christian Hedonism. Mr. Piper has a study guide that goes with every lesson in the seminar on the DVD. The study guide is a very detailed with questions that really make you reflect and of course Bible readings as well. This is a 12 week study. I will be doing a more detailed study after this review I don't want to miss something because I have my mind on the review of this. As I watched the DVDs (the study comes with two DVDS and a study guide) I took note that he had a powerful message. He was very educated and I like that he gave a biography of different times of his life. He deals with the fact that this will be a struggle for us before we get joy. I liked this DVD study Guide set. I got a lot out of the reviewing this product. If you are new in your Christian walk this is a good study for you. If you are in the middle of your walk God this is a good one for you. If you think your relationship with God is perfect right were it is at, I still think you can learn from this DVD/Study Guide. This is one of those re-read studies years after your first study. I give it five stars. I would like to thank Waterbrook Multonomah for allowing me to review this. They provided me with this free in exchange for writing a review. The opinions are my own. It was truly an honor to review Mr. Piper's work.

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Desiring More of God

    It took way too long to finish an analysis on John Piper's book titled "Desiring God". I first want to start out by pointing out that this book is a good read, however, its a long read, with great amounts of scripture to off set John's grand thesis of Christian Hedonism.

    Christian Hedonism is what this book hinges on, and in his arguements he goes to great lengths to have us as the reader understand that being a Christian allows us the opportunity to take great joy in the Lord. He even goes as far as to say that taking joy in the Lord, in all circumstances is actually a commandment, and that in doing so we fully understand the character of the Lord. John Piper invites us to fight the temptation to make our faith a religion, and maintain it as a relationship full of affections and Love for our Father and maker in heaven.

    Overall I think he is spot on and takes a swing at the ultra conservatism that has almost quenched the Holy Spirit, making Christianity lifeless, cold and often distant for many. The life blood of Christianity is a faith in a Savior, who in obedience, joyfully followed his Father's every command. It wasn't merely dutiful, it was a pleasure and a joy.

    It is with great pleasure that we as Christians are allowed to share in his glory, no matter the trial, tribulation or triumph. Our God is victorious always and thus, we have an eternal perspective that gives us hope, which strenghthens faith.

    If you are looking for a quick read steer clear. Give yourself a good couple of weeks to dive into this book, its a good read, and is intellectually stimulating.This is recommended for the Christian yearning to feast on something other than spiritual milk (which, by the way, is alright for anyone, in any stage of their walk).

    God Bless

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