Matthew 23:26 "Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also."
This verse really spoke to me when I read it. So many are going through life with religion. They say they know Christ as their Saviour. I had religion for four years before I had a relationship. Those who have religion are attempting to work their way to Heaven...they just don't realize that they are. They are attempting to cleanse the outside of the cup and platter but have not done what they need to in order to cleanse the inside first.
Many are trying Jesus and not trusting Him. Those with religion will fail to accomplish anything of worth to God. God's Word tells us that our righteousness is as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6 "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;..." To do things for the sake of religion will not be acceptable to God. Religion is of self...a relationship is of Christ.
There are many who are dressing right...talking right...avoiding the wrong places and doing right but don't have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Religion is mankind's attempt to work its way to Heaven. Christianity is God's good news that Heaven is a free gift. Religion involves trying. Christianity involves relying."
So let me ask you....are you trying or are you relying? Are you working hard at cleaning the outside of the cup and saucer without having done what it takes to make sure the inside is clean? If you are then stop TRYING and trust Jesus to clean up the inside first and start RELYING or you are wasting your time and your effort.