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Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith [Kindle Edition]

Jon Bloom , John Piper
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

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"Why We Pray"
Author William J.U. Philip explains what prayer is, why it exists, and how it can encourage us in our life of faith. Learn more

Book Description

Trusting Jesus is hard. It requires following the unseen into an unknown, and believing Jesus’s words over and against the threats we see or the fears we feel. Through the imaginative retelling of 35 Bible stories, Not by Sight gives us glimpses of what it means to walk by faith and counsel for how to trust God’s promises more than our perceptions and to find rest in the faithfulness of God.

Editorial Reviews


“Vivid, nourishing sketches of Bible characters learning to live with their sometimes startling Lord.”
J. I. Packer, Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College

“To live by faith is no small thing. Jon Bloom’s Not By Sight provides brief readings—one per day would be ideal—to help us rethink our lives in the light of Christ’s faithfulness. The audacity of this book is that it simply but thoughtfully takes Christ at his word. How rare, how powerful.”
Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Lead Pastor, Immanuel Church, Nashville, Tennessee

“Spurgeon said, ‘My books are my tools.’ And the book you hold in your hands is one wise match for the journey. Bloom’s stories and insights ignite—ignite fire in bones, and ignite the old and best paths, and ignite glimpses of His glory that make us want to run this walk of faith!”
Ann Voskamp, author, New York Times bestseller, One Thousand Gifts

“Jon Bloom is a Christ-centered, God-worshipping, kingdom-oriented guy. And since not all writers are, those are good reasons to read this book! But it’s more than that. Jon is a gifted writer of something we need more of—truth-telling nonfiction that’s full of imagination. For years I have read Jon’s Desiring God blogs and pondered them, saving some of them to quote from in future books. I love how Jon repeatedly takes me back to Scripture. God says his words won’t return to him empty without accomplishing his purpose. He never says that about our words. That’s why Not By Sight will endure beyond this world—it is infused with the life-giving Word of God that will never die.”
Randy Alcorn, Founder and Director, Eternal Perspective Ministries; author, If God Is Good and Heaven

Not By Sight creatively and winsomely invites readers into the realities of the gospel accounts, enabling us to hear the rocks of the adulterous woman’s accusers fall to the ground, feel the tingle of health rushing through the leper’s body, see the panic in Peter’s eyes as he begins to sink, smell the fragrance that has been poured on Jesus’s feet, and taste the fish Jesus serves to the disciples for breakfast.”
Nancy Guthrie, Bible Teacher; author, Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament Bible study series

“Forgetfulness and familiarity. Faith is often plagued by these twin faults. We easily forget what we know about who God is and what he’s done for us in Jesus Christ. When we turn to Scripture for help, our familiarity dulls the wonder in the splendid story of God’s mercy to mere men. We need to be reminded of the old stories of Scripture, that they might irrigate our parched souls and ignite our faith. In Not By Sight, my friend Jon Bloom shatters our familiarity with the Bible by helping us see afresh how the drama of Scripture unfolds in the gritty reality of human experience and how those stores are infused with grace as they fit into the greatest story: God’s plan to save sinners by his Son. Do you need to be reminded of what you already know? Do you need to be shaken from your familiarity? Jon’s fresh tellings of the old tales will help you recover surprise and delight in the stories of Scripture.”
C. J. Mahaney, Senior Pastor, Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky

“There is nothing quite like the gritty, grace-filled stories of Scripture to awaken our hearts to the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ. And there is hardly anyone I know more gifted or capable of bringing them to life and making poignant, and often painful, application of them than my good friend, Jon Bloom. This is a wonderfully insightful, powerfully edifying, and above all Christ-exalting book that I cannot recommend too highly.”
Sam Storms, Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

“Do you, like me, feel the futility of straining to get hope from the things you can see? Using the voices of those who have gone before us, Jon Bloom describes the better way—walking by faith with Jesus, our Blessed Hope. Not By Sight takes you on a walk through the cloud of witnesses whose testimony of God’s always sufficient grace, echoes through the ages. I’m grateful for this meditation on the precious promise of God’s provision to enable us to put one foot in front of the other by faith.”
Gloria Furman, Pastor’s wife, Redeemer Church of Dubai; mother of four; author, Glimpses of Grace and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full  

“What happens when we humbly and expectantly meditate on the stories of the Scriptures while wearing the lens of the gospel? Ask Jon Bloom, or better still, buy his new book, Not by Sight, and discover for yourself. This treasury of short devotionals is the nourishing fruit of a man smitten with Jesus and hungry for grace—a brother whose words make the gospel beautiful and believable, to believers and non-believers alike. This is a book you’re going to want to give to a whole lot of friends, no matter where they are in their faith story.”
Scotty Smith, Teacher in Residence, West End Community Church, Nashville, Tennessee

“There are probably only two books I’ve read with a depth of discipleship untouched by the Church at large in America. Not By Sight by Jon Bloom is one of those. More than once, I found myself unable to continue reading as tears filled my eyes, my heart being so deeply moved and encouraged by Jon’s soothing words about the surprising, but always trustworthy ways of God. More Christians need to understand these truths if they are to walk firmly into every good work God has prepared for them. If you only read one book this year, I strongly recommend it be this one.”
Matt Brown, Evangelist; author; Founder, Think Eternity

About the Author

Jon Bloom is a co-founder and the president of Desiring God, and finds great joy in helping others believe and delight in Jesus Christ. Bloom and his wife, Pam, live in Minneapolis with their five children.

John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is teacher and founder of and chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. He served for 33 years as pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don’t Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?

Product Details

  • File Size: 417 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway Books; 1 edition (April 30, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CB1J476
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,038 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel the sand in your shoes May 11, 2013
You can almost feel the desert sand in your shoes as you read about the saints of old who walked by faith. Bloom writes short, memorable stories based on characters in the New Testament. With creativity and pastoral sensitivity, the author reminds us again and again that our faith is in the very same God who calms storms, forgives sins, and raises the dead.

I'm grateful for this meditation on the precious promise of God's provision to enable us to put one foot in front of the other as we walk with him by faith. I'll be re-reading this book often!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than His Letters May 10, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author, Jon Bloom, wrote a monthly for Desiring God. I often come across people that had every single letter that JB every wrote. Bloom has an exceptional gift of relating biblical stories with the ability to almost put you right into the scene, to hear the discussion or thinking, to watch the miracles, and to help us all realize that right now we do walk by faith and not by sight. One day the sight of our Christ will be bold and wonderful. Today, these selected letters from Bloom's collection will encourage just about anyone you know. Whether you are reading it devotionally, to a parent in a retirement center, or for your kids each letter brings up a fresh, bold question about the biblical story. It is worth owning and giving as a gift.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must read!! June 10, 2013
By Tommy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was incredible. Real simple, yet stirs your heart and affections for Jesus unlike any other. Probably because it's based on so much scripture. Definitely a faith builder
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sanctifying the imagination November 2, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fresh re-imagining of several narratives from the Bible. Some are merely an attempt to put the reader in the vicinity of the story. Others go a bit further, adding imaginative details on the thoughts and words of those we read about in the Scriptures. For example, how and why did Thomas get separated from the eleven, so that he was missing in John 20:24, and how did the reaction of the other disciples affect him when he next met them?

I adore this kind of imagination: thinking about things that might have happened, might have been said (always staying true to what's recorded in the text). It helps put even more flesh and blood on people who were eyewitnesses of the glory.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stories May 11, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jon puts his prayful story-telling ability to great use here. You can almost fell that you are there seeing the biblical story as it happens. Very stimulating to my faith in Jesus and enriching my love for Him.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Believe the Hype February 5, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is AWESOME. Every chapter is only three pages long (or so). So I like to read one every night before I turn out the light. If you ever struggle with doubt or faithlessness, this book will help. The accounts chosen are very relevant to our lives today and the points are made well. You won't have to think long and hard about the lessons you are to learn. They are obvious and instantly applicable. Plus, the writing is humorous at times and entertaining. I consider my nightly reading to be a "treat." I look forward to my daily dose of faith booster!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Front Row Seats to Observing Faith September 26, 2013
"Not By Sight: A Fresh Look At Old Stories of Walking By Faith" takes readers directly inside scriptural narrative and offers them a front row seat of observation.

Bloom writes: "The purpose of this little book is to imaginatively reflect on the real experiences of real people in the Bible in order to help you grasp and live what it means to "trust in the LORD with all your heart, and...not lean on your own understanding." Its goal is to help you believe in Jesus while living in a very confusing and painful world (pg. 18)."

Who's it written for?

As Bloom stated, his goal is to help you believe. "...believing in Jesus is very difficult...Because of this, it is crucial that followers of Jesus learn to "walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7). In other words, we must learn to trust God's promises more than we trust our perceptions (p.17-18)." You, the searching, the new Christian, or the old Christian. It is for any of you.

In the glowing forward written by friend and ministry partner John Piper, Piper writes:

"New Christians or old Christians, what we need in order to walk by faith and not by sight is glimpses. I know that sounds contradictory. We need sight not to walk by sight? But it's not contradictory, because the sight we need is not a sight of what the day holds, but a sight of who holds the day (p.14)."

Readers in every stage of faith should benefit from Bloom's book, as we all need to be confronted regularly by scripture's stories of faith. God placed these stories throughout His word to challenge, encourage, convict, and sanctify us. The book of Hebrews underscores the need for constant reminder of the faithful saints that have gone before us.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars vivid reflections on familiar biblical stories December 2, 2013
I was skeptical when I first looked at this book. I'm not sure why, for some reason I just had low expectations. This book exceeded them greatly! It contains 35 short chapters (usually about 4 pages), each taking a story from the Bible and retelling it in vivid detail. The effect of this was to enable me to enter more fully into the experience of these biblical characters, and feel more deeply what they must have been feeling as the biblical events played out in their lives. All of this is with the goal of seeing more deeply and more explicitly the evidence of God's goodness and faithfulness and trustworthiness, in order that our faith might be deepened. It certainly had this effect!

One of the things I love about John Piper, and everything out of Desiring God is their ability to see the implications of biblical truth, and flesh it out in a vivid way that captures your heart and engages your mind. Jon Bloom does this very well. It was in this book that I saw a reference to Piper's The Innkeeper. The same imaginative retelling of that story is what Bloom does here.

It reminds me too of reading The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name to my 3 year old daughter. I love it when authors help you see more of God and pull you out of the mental rut as you read the "same old story for the 50th time." Not By Sight has the same effect, for grown-ups :-)

This book makes a good devotional, read a short chapter and reflect.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A respectful, realistic, absorbing and edifying re-telling of Bible...
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Jon Bloom, in a very respectful, realistic and absorbing fashion, brings to life some of the most dramatic stories of the Bible, focusing on the... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Ramon Jimenez
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
Instead of "A Fresh Look" it should read "A Refreshing Look". Every chapter held me. One of those books you don't want to put down!
Published 20 days ago by RoadKing
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A+++ I would use them again
Published 23 days ago by B. Bigney
5.0 out of 5 stars sincere thought provoking
It was a slow intentional read for me! Loved it! It brought Scripture to life in a real way for me! A must read!
Published 23 days ago by Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful & Insightful
This was a wonderful, insightful & encouraging journey through beloved scriptures. I praise God for all He is accomplishing through John Piper, Jon Bloom & Desiring God! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dennis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of my favorite all time books. I absolutely love it.
Published 1 month ago by Matt Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Glad I purchased this book, would recommend.
Published 3 months ago by King Nothing
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reading
Absolutely fantastic! Jon makes these Bibical stories very enjoyable to read. Application to daily living is wonderful!
Published 3 months ago by Edward Enfinger
5.0 out of 5 stars Short chapters on different Bible stories offering wonderful insights!
This little book is a gem! Short chapters on different Bible stories offering wonderful insights!
Published 4 months ago by Eve
3.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative but not well researched
Tim Keller recommended this book but I was not impressed. The author, in my opinion, takes loads of liberties with Bible stories in an attempt to make them more meaningful but the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Poets Logic
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