Recognizing that the true gift of God's giving is Himself amplifies our thanksgiving for such generosity. We sense the wind of the Spirit, as it were, in every breath provided by the heart and hand of our Heavenly Father who so loves us that He continually graces us with Himself.
"And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God" (II Corinthians 8:5).
The Apostle Paul references in this passage the first century believers of Macedonia, who themselves were in great poverty, but who nevertheless gave with much liberality to other suffering believers. Such loving sacrifice involved the bestowal of more than material substance. The Macedonians "first gave their own selves to the Lord," and thus joined Him in the Divine love whereby the heart of all giving is the heart of the giver. Generosity as led and enabled by the indwelling Holy Spirit always involves this giving of something far more than the time, effort and expense sacrificed to provide for others. Christ is known as the Gift of the gift, first in the giver, and then in the recipient. Both parties are thereby blessed, and both give thanks for the experience of the Lord Jesus being known as the source and supply for every need.
It is one thing to be grateful for the package, the countless expressions of "life and breath and all things" provided by God (Acts 17:25). It is quite another to realize that the content of "every good gift and every perfect gift" is Christ Himself (Philippians 4:19). The Giver comes with His gifts in a manner perhaps beyond our understanding, but not beyond the capacity of our hearts to know as we believe the Bible's clear declaration that "all your need" is supplied "by Christ Jesus." Just as the Macedonians "first gave their own selves," so does the God who led and enabled their sacrifice. He is the Blessing of our blessings, and the reason for a far greater and more impassioned thanksgiving than we often express.
"In everything ye are enriched by Him."
(I Corinthians 1:5)