Today's encouragement comes from Mark 7:15, where the Lord Jesus said this:
"There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man."
These words lay out a basic difference between the true religion and all false religion. False religion is concerned about externals, first and foremost, and often exclusively. The true religion is focused on the sinful and fallen nature of the heart, and how this problem must be resolved before a Holy God.
False religion is very easy to practice: do a few things, and one can pretend he or she is in God's good standing. True religion requires brokenness for heart sins, repentance, and faith in the only Redeemer of God's elect.
[Puritan quote of the day: "It is a true rule in divinity that the desire for any grace is the grace itself; for to desire to believe is faith, and true desire to repent is repentance, and true desire to mourn for sin is mourning for sin." --Christopher Love, in, "The Dejected Soul's Cure"]